Monday 17 November 2014

The Astrognome #3

There is a lot going on in space at the moment, the Rosetta mission is exploring Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Curiosity rover is on Mars together with a small armada of space craft which are orbiting the Red Planet. There are probes watching the Sun and studying the changing climate of the Earth.

Mars Today pod at University of York

If you are thinking about a space exhibition for the future, take a look at the Astrognome website, and if you want to see what an example of an Astrognome pod looks like, the Mars Today pod (see attached image) will be at the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) at the STEM centre at the University of York until the end of November.   
If you would like to discuss the possibilities of an Astrognome exhibition visiting your museum please contact me.

The Astrognome

Astronomy Scrapbook Monday 17th November 2014

November 17th 1970 Lunokhod lands on the Moon

The Americans used astronauts and moon buggies to explore the surface of the Moon. The Russians decided that they would send unmanned remote controlled rovers to the Moon. In much the same way that the surface of Mars is being explored today by the Curiosity rover.

The Lunokhod looks very strange by to-days standards however  it  was the first remote controlled robot rover to travel on an astronomical body beyond the Earth.

It looked like a giant saucepan on 8 wheels it was 2.3 meters long and carried many pieces of equipment to study the Moon. The Lunokhod landed in the Sea of Rains and during a 10  month mission on the Moon traveled about 6.5 miles. Over 20,000 photos from the surface of the Moon were taken.

In 1973 the Russians would put Lunokhod 2 onto the surface of the Moon.
Lunokhod 1

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Tuesday 11th November 2104

November 11th 923 Arab astronomers observe eclipse of the Sun

The Arab astronomer Abu al Hassan Ali ibn Amajur observed a total solar eclipse of the Sun from modern day Iraq. This eclipse was not visible in Britain.

November 11th 1572 Tycho Brahe observes Supernova in Cassiopeia.

The Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe the last of the great pre- telescopic astronomers first observed the bright star in the constellation of  Cassiopeia. Today we now know it was a supernova. This is a star that destroys itself in a massive explosion. Although he was not the first to see it Tycho observed it continuously until it faded from view,  hence its name today is Tycho's Star. Astronomers refer to it as Supernova SN1572.

Little Gnome Weather Fact #6 Armistice Day and Mushy Peas

November 11th 1938 How good weather and a  promotional flight ended up in court.

November 11th 1938 and a  Captain Michelmore is under contract with the mushy pea manufacturer Batchelor’s to advertise their product by trailing a banner behind his biplane aircraft over Manchester.

Poor weather had grounded him in previous days. His contract says that he must contact Batchelor’s before each flight. However in those days phones were often not reliable and he cannot contact Batchelor’s.

On this day the weather is good so at mid morning he takes off but he has forgotten one detail, at the stroke of 11.00 o’clock the crowd in Salford`s main square bow their heads and remain silent to commemorate armistice day.

At precisely this moment Captain Michelmore arrives overhead with the aircraft engine roaring and the banner telling people to ‘Eat Batchelor’s Peas’

The two minute silence finishes and Batchelor’s head office is jammed with complaints.

An action for defamation and breach of contract follows. The case sets a precedent for recovery of damages in breaches of contract cases.

Little Gnome Weather Fact #5 St Martin's Day

November 11th is St Martin's day.

According to weather folklore

If ducks do slide on St Martins day at Christmas they will swim, if ducks do swim at St Martins day at Christmas they will slide.