Sunday 26 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Monday 27th January 2014

On This Day (1)
January 28th 1829 birth of Isaac Roberts

Isaac Roberts (27 January 1829 - 17 July 1904) born in Wales Roberts was a  business man who became an accomplished astronomer, he pioneered the astro photography of nebulae.

An example of Isaac Roberts` photography, the Andromeda Nebulae

On This Day (2)
January 27th 1967 Apollo 1 Disaster

On January 27th 1967 the Apollo 1 mission was undergoing tests with the astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee on board,  a fire in the command module tragically killed all three astronauts. Their deaths would ensure that safety procedures were incorporated into future Apollo missions.

Apollo 1 

The tragic crew of Apollo 1

Friday 24 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Saturday 25th January 2014

Eye in the Sky

January 24th See Mare Orientale

The Moon`s libration means that the spectacular Mare Orientale or Eastern Sea is visible close to the southwest edge of the Moon. It will be visible for the next few days.

On This Day (1)
January 25th 1736 birth of Joseph Louis Langrange

The French mathematician and astronomer most famously known for 3 points later called Lagrange Points. A Lagrange point is a special type of place where the gravity is stable. This is used with two objects in space where the smaller object orbits around the bigger one, like the Sun and Earth or the Earth and the Moon.

On This Day (2)
January 25th 1944 TINTIN and the Solar Eclipse

Herge, with his famous Adventures of TINTIN published his book "Prisoners of the Sun in 1949. The Total Solar Eclipse described in this book is the one in South America on January 25th 1944.

Thursday 23 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Friday 24th January 2014

On This Day
January 24th 1914 death of Sir David Gill

Sir David Gill

Born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1843, while at university he was taught by James Clerk Maxwell, Gill would spend most of his astronomical career in South Africa where he undertook measuring astronomical distances,and pioneered  astrophotography, he took the classic photographs of the great comet of 1882.

Great Comet of 1882

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Thursday January 23rd 2014

On This Day
January 23rd 1892 discovery of Nova Auriga 1891


The Scottish astronomer T D Anderson of Edinburgh discovered this nova in the constellation of Auriga on January 23rd 1892. Later in searches it was found on photographic plates taken on December 10th 1891. This was the first well observed nova of modern times. At its brightest it reached a brightness of magnitude 4.4. He would also discover the bright nova in Perseus in 1901.

                                                  Nova Auriga also known as T Aur

Monday 20 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Tuesday 21st January 2014

On This Day (1)
January 21st 1292 Annular eclipse of the Sun observed in China.

According to the records, "a darkness invaded the Sun, which was not totally covered. It was like a golden ring. There were vapors like golden earrings on the left and right and a vapor like a halo completely surrounding it."

The halo was caused by ice crystals in the Earth`s atmosphere.

On This Day (2)
January 21st 1892 death of John Couch Adams

John Couch Adams (1819-1892) and the French astronomer  Urbain Le Verrier became famous for their independent hunts for the planet Neptune which was finally discovered in 1846. Adams tried to show where Neptune was by just using mathematics rather than observing the night sky.

Sunday 19 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Monday 20th January 2014

Eye in the Sky
January 20th

Alpha Hydrid Meteor Shower Max

On the night of January 20th the alpha hydrids will be at maximum, although a weak shower with a maximum meteor rate of between 2-5 per hour. It is predominately a southern hemisphere event. The meteor shower appears to last from January 15th-30th. This meteor shower was first detected in 1929 and the most detailed knowledge of this shower has come from observations of the Western Australia Meteor Section.

Friday 17 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Saturday 18th January 2014

Eye in the Sky
January 18th

The waxing Moon is only 5.5 degrees south of the 1st magnitude star Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo the Lion.

On this Day

January 18th 1898, an  Eclipse of Sun was visible on Mount Everest.

It was possible to see an eclipse of the Sun from the top of Mount Everest the tallest mountain on Earth, totality lasted for 65 seconds. The next time this will be possible will be March 18th  2360 when totality will last for 94 seconds.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Thursday 16th January 2014

Eye in the Sky
January 16th the Wolf Moon

Each full moon of the year has its own name, in January we have the Wolf Moon so named because in the depths of winter with deep snow hungry wolfs could be heard howling outside villages.

Monday 13 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Tuesday 14th January 2014

On This Day (1)
January 14th 1742 Edmund Halley died

Edmund Halley was born on November 8th 1656, he became assistant to John Flamsteed the first astronomer royal. In fact it was Halley who actually numbered all the stars the Flamsteed cataloged. He made many contributions to astronomy but is probably is best known for observing the comet he observed in 1682, he recognized that its orbit was similar to other comets observed and correctly predicted its return in 1758 This comet we now know as Halleys comet  

On This Day (2)
January 14th 2005 Huygens probe landed on Titan

artist impression of Huygens landing on Titan

The Cassini- Huygens mission was launched on October 15th 1997 on arriving at Saturn the probes separated and the Huygens probe soft landed on Titan the largest moon of Saturn. It transmitted data for about 90 minutes. Its landing stared a new exploration phase of Saturn`s largest moon.

The first picture from the surface of Titan

Saturday 11 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Sunday January 12th 2014

On This Day
January 12th 1910
The Great Daylight Comet of 1910 discovered.

It is thought that the first people to see this bright comet, it was brighter than Venus were diamond miners in South Africa returning g to the surface from a mine. It`s tail would become 50 degrees long. Many people believed that they were looking at Halleys comet which was due back in 1910. However the daylight comet was much brighter than Halley`s comet.

Friday 10 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Saturday 11th January 2014

Eye in the Sky
January 11th

The waxing gibbous Moon lies between the Hyades and Pleiades

On This Day
January 11th 1787 Discovery on Uranus moons  Oberon and Titania



William Herschel discovered both of these moons of Uranus. Titania is the largest moon while Oberon is the second largest.

Thursday 9 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Friday 10th January 2014

On This Day
January 10th 1829 birth of James Francis Tennant

Born in Calcutta to Scottish parents a noted solider he became interested in astronomy after working on the great trigonometrical survey of India. He observed the solar eclipse of 1868 and 1871 both seen across India and the transit of Venus in 1874. It was during these events that photography was used extensively, Tennant became an expert in photography. He died on the 6th March 1915  

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Thursday January 9th 2014

On This Day
January 9th 1848 Caroline Herschel died

One of the first great women astronomers. Caroline Herschel was the sister of Sir William Herschel who discovered the planet Uranus. Caroline was born on the 16th March 1750, she discovered 8 comets, the galaxy M110,  NGC 205 the second companion to the Andromeda galaxy, she also made many other contributions to astronomy.

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Wednesday 8th January 2014

On This Day (1)
January 8th 1587 birth of Johannes Fabricius

The eldest son of David Fabricius, he would go on to independently discover Sunspots with Galileo.

On This Day (2)
January 8th 1642 death of Galileo

One of the first astronomers to use a telescope to look at the night sky.

On This Day (3)
January 8th 1964 X 15 Rocket Plane sets new speed record

Capt. Joe Engle flying the X-15 Rocket Plane topped reached 3,716 mph at a height of 27 miles to break his own record.

Monday 6 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Tuesday 7th January 2014

On This Day
January 7th 1976
Aten asteroid discovered.

Aten is the prototype of a group of near Earth asteroids. Aten was discovered by Eleanor Helin.

Saturday 4 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Sunday January 5th 2014

Eye in the Sky
January 5th 2014

Jupiter at opposition tonight

Jupiter the largest of the planets in our solar system is at opposition tonight. Opposition is the termed used to describe when a planet is at its closest point directly opposite the Sun in the sky. It actually occurs at 21.01UT on Jan 5th.  Jupiter will easily be visible all night.

On this Day
January 5th 1905, the moon Elara was discovered at Jupiter.  

The Moon Elara was discovered at Jupiter by Charles Perrine at Lick Observatory. Elara is the 8th largest moon orbiting Jupiter.

Friday 3 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Saturday 4th January 2014

Eye in the Sky
January 4th
Earth at Perihelion

The Earth will be at its closest point to the Sun on January 4th during its yearly orbit around the Sun.

On This Day
January 4th 1959
Luna 1 was the first space craft to fly past by the Moon

The Russian spacecraft Luna 1 was the first probe to travel past the Moon. It was designed to crash into the Moon but due to on-board problems it missed the Moon by about 6,000km.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Friday 3rd January 2014

Eye in the Sky

3rd January Quadrantid meteor shower at maximum.

At 19.30UT the Quadrantid meteor shower will be at its peak with over 80 meteors per hour visible. The peak is very short and the radiant is in the now defunct constellation of the Mural quadrant.

On This Day
January 3rd 1964
Japan announces a space research head quarters.

In Tokyo a space research head quarters is to be established for its space research programme. Plans call for a 5 year, 37 billion Yen programme to develop launch vehicles and multi purpose satellites.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Thursday January 2nd 2014

Eye in The Sky
January 2nd

The Moon and Venus will be 1 degree apart at 11.00UT in broad daylight, they can be seen easier during evening twilight but will be 3.5 degrees apart.

On This Day
January 2nd 1892
Death of Sir George Biddell Airy (1801-1892)

Astronomer Royal from 1835-1881, was in post when Neptune was discovered and missed the opportunity for the discovery to be made in Britain. He died from injuries from a fall.