Sunday 30 September 2018

Astronomy Scrapbook and World war 2

September 30th

If you have ever followed my blog you will know that I was Curator of Astronomy at the Yorkshire Museum in York until I retired in 2011 and I present a weekly radio show on Drystone Radio which is called not surprisingly the Astronomy Show. What people might not know is that apart from astronomy, another great interest of mine is military history so I thought that with the coming of 2019 and the 80th anniversary of the start of the second world war that I would see if any there were any major dates that occurred during that conflict that also coincided with astronomical anniversaries.

Here is the first, and it starts before the war started, but it was an event that had major implications for people in Europe.

This blog will begin on September 30th 1938 with the British prime minster Neville Chamberlain returning back to Britain after a meeting with Adolf Hitler in Germany Chamberlain had a piece of paper which he waved to the crowds and proclaimed that there would be peace in our time. The paper referred to the Munich agreement which allowed Nazi Germany to occupy certain parts of the country then known as Czechoslovakia. This area of Czechoslovakia was known as the Sudetenland.

September 30th 1550 the German astronomer Michael Mastlin was born, a professor of mathematics and astronomy, one of his pupils was Johannes Kepler who is best known for his laws of planetary motion and for his observations of the supernova of 1604 which is usually referred to as Kepler’s 

September 30th 1975 Charles Kowal and Elizabeth Roemer discovered Themisto a small moon of Jupiter. There were not enough observations of the orbit of the moon at the time of discovery and it was subsequently lost only to be rediscovered again in 2000. Themisto is only about 5 miles in diameter and is named after the daughter of the river god Inachus and lover of Zeus.

The Astronomy Show every Wednesday afternoon between 3.00 pm and 5.00 pm only on Drystone Radio 103.5FM The show can be heard live on line at or can be heard later on the Drystone Radio podcast.

Next Astronomy Show Wednesday 10th October.

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