Thursday 17 April 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Friday 18th April 2014

On This Day
18th April 1955 death of Albert Einstein

It is difficult to write a brief about Albert Einstein so I shall just say General Relativity!

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Thursday 17th April 23014

Eye in the Sky
April 17th Moon close to Saturn

The almost full Moon is 2.5 degrees from Saturn this morning, both objects will be visible from around 22.30 BST on April 16th.

On This Day
17th April 1967 Launch of Surveyor 3

The third of the series of Moon lander craft, Surveyor 3 would later be visited  in 1969 when the astronauts Alan Bean and Charles Conrad from Apollo 12 landed close by and several components were retrieved and bought back to Earth to study long term space exposure effects.  

Sunday 13 April 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Monday 14th April 2014

Eye in the Sky
14th April 2014 Full Moon

The full moon tonight is called the Egg Moon, this was the time of year when Chickens, Ducks and Geese stared to lay more eggs as the weather became warmer and the nights become shorter.

On This Day
14th April 1970 Explosion on Apollo 13

The ill fated Apollo 13 mission suffered an explosion due to an electrical fault. The World held its breadth and  watched  NASA safely bring the 3 astronauts back to Earth.

Saturday 12 April 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Sunday 13th April 2014

On This Day
13th April 1941 death of Annie Jump Cannon

An American astronomer, Annie Jump Cannon worked with Edward Pickering at Harvard cataloging stellar spectra . Although being nearly deaf, she was responsible for dividing the stars into stellar classes, which today we know as OBAFGKM on the HR Diagram. In addition she discovered 300 variable stars and 5 novae.

Friday 11 April 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Saturday 12th April 2014

On This Day (1)
12th April 1817 death of Charles Messier

The French comet hunter who published his list of nebulae and clusters to avoid confusing them with comets. sadly most of his comets are forgotten but his Messier catalogue is famous today.

On This Day (2)
12th April 1851 birth of Edward Walter Maunder

An English astronomer best known for his work studying the Sun and the solar magnetic cycle that led to his identification of the period of no sunspots from 1645 to 1715 that is now known as the "Little Ice Age" or the  Maunder Minimum.

On This Day (3)
12th April 1914 birth Adrian Blaauw

This Dutch astronomer was fundamental in the founding of the European Southern Observatory in 1962.

On This Day (4)
12th April 1961 Yuri Gagarin first man in space.

The first person in space was the  Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in his Vostok space craft.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Thursday 10th April 2014

On This Day
10th April 1813 death of Joseph Louis Lagrange

Possibly the greatest mathematician of the 18th century Joseph Lagrange is best known for the Langrangian points, these are the 5 locations around a planet`s orbit where the gravitational forces and the orbital motion of the space craft, Sun and planets create a stable location from which to make observations.

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Wednesday 9th April 2014

On This Day
9th April 1964 Explorer 9 Burns up in Atmosphere.

Following more than 3 years in space the Explorer 9 balloon satellite burns up in the atmosphere. The 12 feet diameter sphere was launched on Feb 16th 1961 and made 14,000 orbits. Explorer 9 investigated the atmosphere and its drag effect.  

Monday 7 April 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Tuesday 8th April 2014

Eye in the Sky
8th April Mars at Opposition

The red planet comes to opposition in the constellation of Virgo.

On This Day(1)
8th April 1732 birth of David Rittenhouse

A renowned American astronomer, clock maker, mathematician and surveyor Rittenhouse would become the first American to see the newly discovered planet Uranus in 1781.

On This Day (2)
8th April 1964 Launch of Gemini 1

This was an unmanned launch of the future 2 man Gemini space craft series. The launch was successful  however  it was 1 second late!

Sunday 6 April 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Monday 7th April 2014

On This Day
7th April 1968 Launch of Luna 14

The Russian Moon probe Luna 14 which was the final flight of the second generation of the Luna series. It successfully orbited the Moon for 8 days sending back scientific data including information on  solar charged particles and cosmic rays, and the motion of the Moon.

Friday 4 April 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Friday 4th April 2014

On This Day
4th April 1914 Birth of Zdenek Kopal

The Czech astronomer Zdenek Kopal April 4th1914- June 23rd 1993 studied close binary stars and variable stars. After World War 2 he became head of the astronomy department at the University of Manchester, England .

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Thursday 3rd April 2014

Eye in the Sky
3rd April 2014

The waxing crescent moon lies close to the Hyades open cluster in Taurus this evening. The Moon should also be showing earthshine which causes its dark side to become dimly visible.

On This Day
3rd April 1964 Failure of an ATLAS F rocket.

An ATLAS F fails in a launching from Vandenberg Air Base. It was the 7th successive flop for the ATLAS programme since an ATLAS D failed on 6th Sept 1963

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Wednesday 2nd April 2014

On This Day (1)
2nd April 1963 Launch of Luna 4

It is believed to have been a Lunar Lander mission but a course correction seems to have failed and the probe flew past the Moon at a range of 8,500 km on 6th April 1963

On This Day (2)
2nd April 1964 Launch of Zond 1

Officially described as an "automatic station" for the purpose of "further developing a space system for distant interplanetary flights" Many observers believed that Zond 1 was a Venus fly or even designed to impact Venus, but after two course corrections contact was lost in mid May 1964.

On This Day (3)
2nd April 1998 Launch of TRACE

TRACE ( Transition Region And Coronal Explorer) was a NASA space telescope designed  to study the Sun in UV and EUV it was operational until 2010.

How TRACE viewed the Sun