astronomy Newsletter


July 30 2017 Astronomy Newsletter

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Summer Triangle
The Summer Triangle is a stellar treat for northern mid-latitudes summer sky watchers. It graces the sky all night long in summer, and its three bright stars are visible even in urban areas. Under dark skies you can also see the Milky Way within the asterism.

*48 years after Apollo 11*
Live or relive the exciting time when Apollo 11 captured the attention of the world – a book by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, a fascinating film with astronaut interviews, and how the Apollo landing sites retell the story.

Carrying the Fire - Book Review
What was it like to be one-third of the Apollo 11 crew? Michael Collins, the man in the command module that didn't land on the Moon, tells a fascinating story of astronaut training and space travel. Originally published in 1974, there was a Fortieth Anniversary edition of Carrying the Fire in 2009.

In the Shadow of the Moon - film review
What would it be like to leave Earth's protective embrace and journey to an alien world? Only twenty-four men have ever experienced this - Apollo astronauts. "In the Shadow of the Moon" uses original footage & astronaut interviews to tell the story of one of the defining events of human history.

Exploring the Apollo Landing Sites
NASA sent the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to the Moon to spy out sites for future manned missions. It doesn't look like they'll be sending anybody to the Moon, but LRO has documented the Apollo landing sites. Astronomy writer and space expert Ian Ridpath takes us to the Moon for a look.

*Historic Anniversaries*

(1) July 20, 1969: Apollo 11 astronauts became the first humans to set foot on another world.
(2) July 20, 1976: NASA's Viking 1 became the first spacecraft to land successfully on Mars and perform its mission. Part of its mission was a biology experiment whose purpose was to look for evidence of life.
(3) July 24, 1950: the first rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It became the launch site for the manned space program. Today the USA can only put astronauts into space via Russian launches.
(4) July 24, 1975: the Apollo crew returned to Earth after docking and working with a Russian Soyuz crew. It was the final flight of the Apollo program and the last US splashdown.
(5) July 24, 2009: the Gran Telescopio Canarias, located on La Palma in the Canary Islands, was dedicated. It's the world's largest single-aperture optical telescope.
(6) July 25, 1982: Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space. She was the second woman in space.


(1) July 22, 1784: German astronomer and mathematician Friedrich Bessel, who was the first to determine reliable values for the distance from the Sun to another star using parallax.
(3) July 23, 1928: American astronomer Vera Rubin whose pioneering work on galaxy rotation rates provided early evidence of the existence of dark matter.
(4) July 28, 1635: English polymath Robert Hooke, known as "England's Leonardo" who contributed to astronomy, geology, structural engineering, chemistry and physics, helped rebuild London after the Great Fire, and was a renowned experimenter, inventor, musician and artist.

Please visit for even more great content about Astronomy. I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I welcome your feedback!

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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