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New Year's Day to Candlemas – Quiz *new* #926044
01/25/18 09:52 AM
01/25/18 09:52 AM
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Posts: 7,362
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
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Chimpanzee
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Exploration, famous birthdays and ancient festivals in the time between January 1st and Candlemas at the start of February. Here's a little quiz for you that picks out some highlights in this period. How many do you recognize?

New Year's Day to Candlemas – Quiz


Mona Evans
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Re: New Year's Day to Candlemas – Quiz *new* [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #926063
01/26/18 09:04 AM
01/26/18 09:04 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,362
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
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Chimpanzee
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,362
United Kingdom
The starter's pistol for the space race was fired on October 4, 1957. It was in the form of a small highly-polished sphere that orbited the Earth every 98 minutes. This was the Soviet Union's Sputnik, Earth's first artificial satellite. It shook up the United States, and there was more to come.

Cosmonauts - Birth of the Space Age

Find out a bit more about the other the side of the Cold War's Space Race.


Mona Evans
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Re: New Year's Day to Candlemas – Quiz *new* [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #926081
01/27/18 05:28 PM
01/27/18 05:28 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,362
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Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
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Chimpanzee
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You can't see Jupiter's moons with the naked eye. It wasn't until Galileo was looking at the sky with a telescope that anyone even considered that our Moon wasn't the only one. But Galileo's telescope was quite primitive compared to the ones available today, so you don't even need a telescope to see them. You could see them with binoculars.

Here's a view of Jupiter and its four largest moons seen through binoculars. You might not see all four, of course. Much of the time one or more will be either behind Jupiter – or right in front of Jupiter where they'll be lost in the light reflected from Jupiter.

If you're not sure where to look for Jupiter, Heavens-above.com will give you a sky chart for your location and time.


Mona Evans
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Re: New Year's Day to Candlemas – Quiz *new* [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #926125
01/29/18 01:32 PM
01/29/18 01:32 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,362
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
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Chimpanzee
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Posts: 7,362
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The Quadrantid meteor shower early in January got its name because the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Quadrans Muralis. The constellation was invented in the 1790s by the French astronomer Joseph Jérôme de Lalande (1732–1807), director of the observatory of l’École Militaire in Paris. A mural quadrant was a wall-mounted astronomical instrument used for measuring star positions.

Johann Bode included Quadrans Muralis in his star atlas Uranographia in 1801. By the middle of the 19th century, it was accepted that there was an annual meteor shower that radiated from Quadrans Muralis. However in 1922, when the International Astronomical Union approved an official list of constellations with their boundaries, Quadrans Muralis wasn't on it. But the shower didn't get a new name.


Mona Evans
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Re: New Year's Day to Candlemas – Quiz *new* [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #926215
02/03/18 09:48 PM
02/03/18 09:48 PM
Joined: May 2010
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Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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The Celtic spring didn't begin at the spring equinox. It began about midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Holidays like this are known as cross quarter days. This spring day was Imbolc in Ireland. With the coming of Christianity, it eventually became St Brigid's Day. Brigid was the only Celtic goddess to become a Christian saint. Some of the ancient practices of the season involved animal divination, which shows up in North America in the form of Groundhog Day.

So February 1/2 . . . Imbolc, St. Brigidi's Day, Candlemas, Groundhog Dog. All of these days are twisted together in a celebration of spring.


Mona Evans
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Re: New Year's Day to Candlemas – Quiz *new* [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #926270
02/07/18 08:31 PM
02/07/18 08:31 PM
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Posts: 7,362
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Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
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In July 2015 the New Horizons missions surprised and amazed the world - especially professional astronomers - by what it showed about Pluto and its moons. Astronomers would love to have another mission to Pluto to try to get even more information about the Plutonian system, and to test their ideas about what they saw in 2015.

But the New Horizons mission hasn't finished yet. Pluto and its major moon Charon were two substantial Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). However there are many more, and New Horizons is headed for 2014 MU69. It should be there in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2019. Let's keep an eye out for more info on this little KBO. So many astonishing things have been discovered in the outer Solar System, I will only be surprised if New Horizons doesn't find something surprising!


Mona Evans
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Re: New Year's Day to Candlemas – Quiz *new* [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #926328
02/11/18 11:15 PM
02/11/18 11:15 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,362
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Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
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Posts: 7,362
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Snowdrops (galantha nivalis) bloom early in the year, often starting to bloom before Candlemas on February 2nd. Another name for them is Candlemas bells. I've seen quite a lot of them in the past month.

Groundhog Day in parts of North America is also on February 2nd. It's a remnant of an ancient pagan holiday celebrating the beginning of Spring.


Mona Evans
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Re: New Year's Day to Candlemas – Quiz *new* [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #926347
02/12/18 10:54 PM
02/12/18 10:54 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,362
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Posts: 7,362
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For nearly ninety years Pluto was our ninth planet. Then in 2006, much to the annoyance of some, it was no longer a planet, but a dwarf planet. What happened? Eris happened. Some call Eris and Pluto twin planets, but they aren't twins. Eris has a secret.

Eris and Pluto - They're Not Twins


Mona Evans
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Re: New Year's Day to Candlemas – Quiz *new* [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #926376
02/14/18 08:28 PM
02/14/18 08:28 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,362
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
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Posts: 7,362
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Beyond Neptune lies the Kuiper Belt where tens of thousands of icy bodies are scattered over billions of miles of space. Quaoar, named for the Tongva creation god, is one of them. It seems to fit the criteria for a dwarf planet, but it's still not on the official list.

Quaoar – What Is It


Mona Evans
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Re: New Year's Day to Candlemas – Quiz *new* [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #926434
02/18/18 11:00 PM
02/18/18 11:00 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,362
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
BellaOnline Editor
Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
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Chimpanzee
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,362
United Kingdom
Easter Island and a distant dwarf planet – what do they have in common? The answer is Makemake – the creator god in the Rapa Nui mythology of Easter Island. How did his name come to be given to a small frozen body seven billion kilometers (four billion miles) from the Sun?

Makemake


Mona Evans
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