astronomy Newsletter


August 28 2015 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Mars Myths – Would You Believe Them
Which famous astronomer kept seeing canals on Mars, even when they couldn't be seen with the world's biggest telescope? What was the tragic outcome of a fictional invasion from Mars? Is NASA hiding evidence of an ancient Martian civilization? Does Mars ever look as big as a full Moon?

*Spitzer Telescope's 12th birthday*
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was launched almost exactly 12 years ago - on August 25, 2003. It's not as well known as the Hubble Space Telescope, but it has also been taking superb images. Spitzer doesn't take pictures in the visual range, but is ultra sensitive to the infra-red. This means that it's able to image things that Hubble can't see. To celebrate its dozen years in space, JPL-Caltech has put together a digital calendar. It covers 12 months from September, each month noting some of the mission's notable discoveries with a picture of one of them.

Here are all the images: And here's a link to the digital calendar:

*Mars Frequent Flyer Club*
Attention, space enthusiasts! NASA isn't yet up to taking any of us to Mars, but you can send your name and collect frequent flyer points. I tried it out and now have 297,805,305 miles, though they are for the InSight mission which hasn't gone anywhere yet. It's easy to do – all ages can participate. But the deadline for registration is September 8, 2015 (11:59 p.m. ET). Over 440,000 people have signed up so far. Here's the link:

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor
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