astronomy Newsletter


August 10 2011 Astronomy Newsletter

Hello everybody!

The Perseids have already started and the peak is expected to be the night of Friday the 12th into the small hours of Saturday morning. The full moon will be a hindrance, but it won’t wipe out the bright meteors.

If you're clouded out, you can still take part. . . .

(1) Live video and web chat Friday night for people in the Americas + European insomniacs. The Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama will have astronomers answering your questions on August 12/13 from 11.00 - 5.00 EDT. (Java needed) A live feed to their All Sky camera lets you see meteors that go over the area.

(2) Meteorwatch. They did the Perseids trailer that I sent last week. A meteor map will be recording the observations people tweet to them. You can see their site at It was very popular last year. (The site finally crashed at some point.)

(3) Space Weather Radio. The Air Force Space Surveillance Radar tracks satellites and spacecraft - also passing meteors. Stan Nelson has an antenna that picks up the echoes and broadcasts them. Most of what you hear is static, but there’s a noticeable ping or whistle when something is detected.

The Astronomy Forum thread on the Perseids is at

Now for something completely different. Here is a star trails photograph with a difference. It’s pretty and it made me laugh. The photographer Mike Rosinski had set up the camera and then dozed off. When he looked at what the camera had captured, he found yellow streaks all around the picture: fireflies! Love it.

And here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Lyra the Heavenly Harp
Music of the spheres? Here’s a harp to play it on: Lyra, the harp of Orpheus that almost brought his beloved back from death. The constellation has one of the sky’s brightest stars, a star that is really four stars, and a colorful donut.

That's all for now. Wishing you clear skies.

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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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Mona Evans,
Astronomy Editor BellaOnline


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