astronomy Newsletter


August 4 2019 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here is the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Apollo 11: The Inside Story ? book review
The 50th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing was on July 20, 2019, and there were books galore to celebrate it. Apollo 11: The Inside Story tells the fascinating story of how the space race was a battle front in the Cold War as two competing ideologies vied for supremacy.

*Summer birthdays*
(1) July 17, 1894: Belgian astronomer and physicist Georges Lema?tre. He made the first definitive formulation of what has become known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.
(2) July 18, 1921: NASA astronaut and US Senator John Glenn. He was the first American to orbit the Earth, and in 1998 became the oldest person ever to go into space.
(3) July 19, 1921: US astronomer and director of Harvard College Observatory Edward Pickering. He hired women assistants (computers), and modernized the observatory's work in astronomy by the use of photography.
(4) July 21, 1620: French astronomer Jean Picard. He collaborated and corresponded with Isaac Newton, Christiaan Huygens, Ole R?mer, and Giovanni Cassini and others, and was a founding member of the French Academy of Sciences.
(5) July 22, 1784: German astronomer and mathematician Friedrich Bessel. He was the first to determine the distance to another star using parallax.
(6) July 23, 1928: American astronomer Vera Rubin. Her pioneering work on galaxy rotation rates uncovered a discrepancy between the predictions and the observations, providing early evidence for the existence of dark matter.
(7) July 27, 1801: English mathematician and Astronomer Royal Sir George Biddell Airy. He helped to establish the Greenwich meridian as the prime meridian of the world.
(8) July 28, 1635: English polymath Robert Hooke. He 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.
(9) August 1, 1818: American astronomer Maria Mitchell. She was the first American woman to discover a comet, the first to be a college professor, and the first woman to be elected to scientific societies in the USA.
(10) August 5, 1930: Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11 astronaut and the first human to set foot on another world.
(11) August 8, 1948: Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya. She was the second woman in space and the first woman to carry out a spacewalk.

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I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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