astronomy Newsletter


August 7 2013 Astronomy Newsletter

Hi everybody

Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at

Herschel Partnership - for Kids
The Herschels were the greatest astronomical family of all time. A partnership of two brothers and a sister built the best telescopes of their time, and with those telescopes mapped the deep sky. They changed the way astronomers understood the heavens.

The article is a brief look at the first generation of Herschel astronomers. But it doesn't stop there, for William's son John completed the sky survey by cataloging the nebulae of the southern skies. Besides astronomy, he was also a pioneer of photography and one of Victorian England's greatest scientists. He is buried in Westminster Abbey near Isaac Newton.

*Maria Mitchell got a Google doodle*

It was the 195th anniversary of Maria Mitchell's birthday on the Thursday, August 1st. Google USA commemorated the occasion with a doodle, which you can see here:

Maria Mitchell never met Caroline Herschel, the first woman to be credited with the discovery of a comet. However she did once meet her nephew Sir John Herschel and wrote a little memoir of the visit:

*The Perseids are here*

The first Perseid meteors – including fireballs – have already started arriving. The peak is expected after midnight on the night of August 12/13, but it's worth looking before and after then, too. If you have a clear, dark sky and a bit of patience, there's a good chance of seeing something. There is more information in this article: .

If I come across any interesting updates, pictures, etc., there will be something about it in the forum:

*How to tell a planet from a spy drone*

The border region between India and China is a high-tension area. Things were made worse several months ago when the Indian army documented hundreds of sightings of unidentified objects in this disputed zone. They assumed they were seeing spy drones. But finally - and it should have been sooner - someone got the Indian Institute of Astrophysics to have a look. It seems that Venus and Jupiter were the culprits.

So if anyone wonders why people should know basic astronomy, it could help to avoid dangerous international incidents! Some of the hints in “How to Tell a Planet from a UFO” work for telling planets from spy drones too:

For a variety of astronomy images, follow me on Pinterest at:

To participate in online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Astronomy located here -

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!

Do pass this message along to family and friends who might also be interested. Remember it's free and without obligation.

I wish you clear skies.

Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor

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