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On this page, you can find ten articles and the subject categories for astronomy. The articles include the latest ones, ones related to historical or current events, and sometimes updates.


Mona Evans
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On Christmas day 2003 a British-European space probe called Beagle 2 was lost on Mars and never heard from. It was not only small, but possibly broken and scattered while attempting to land. Since Mars is quite big, it took eleven years to find the little lander. On January 16, 2015, the UK Space Agency announced that Beagle 2 had been found. Images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) had shown its location.

Beagle 2 – Lost and Found


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Never give up hope - the lost will be found. If anyone ever lands on Mars perhaps they can deploy the solar panels and it will work!

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Johann Elert Bode, the author of the greatest star atlas of the Golden Age of star atlases, is better known today for Bode's Law. Strangely, Bode's Law is neither a law nor original to Bode. So what was it? How did it inspire the Celestial Police? How did Neptune spoil it all?

Bode and Bode's Law


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Traveling into space is an astronaut's dream. However it's a dangerous occupation, both in the realization and in the training. A number of astronauts, almost all American or Russian, have paid the ultimate price for their dreams. Where are their memorials?

Astronauts – in Memoriam



January 27, 1967. January 28, 1986. February 1, 2003. These are the dates when astronaut crews lost their lives. Every year NASA has a day of remembrance. This year Day of Remembrance will be held on January 30th.


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February second is Groundhog Day, a day that's a mystery to people outside North America. Even in the USA and Canada, it's more a bit of fun than a holiday. Yet however superficial it is now, it's the offshoot of traditions that began in Europe thousands of years ago.

The Celtic year began halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, i.e. the first of February on the Gregorian calendar. It was a major holiday as it celebrated the lengthening of the days and the beginning of new growth. In Ireland, it was called Imbolc and the goddess Brigid was part of the renewal that came with spring.

Brigid was the old Celtic goddess that was adopted as a Christian Saint. Her day is on February 1st. Candlemas is celebrated on February 2nd. Snowdrops appear around this time, and one name for them is candlemas bells.

Groundhog Day


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If you've done the Mars quiz, maybe you'd like to have a look at From Candlemas to the March Equinox.

Birthdays, as well as discovery and exploration abounds in the period from Candlemas to the March equinox. This little quiz picks out some highlights in this period. How many do you recognize?


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On February 15, 1564 Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, Italy. His is one of the names from history that most people recognize. He's well known for his persecution by the Church for insisting that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the other way around. And for dropping cannon balls off the tower of Pisa.

Actually, his interaction with the Church is more complex than that and some of it relates to his personality.

As for the cannon balls, no way. He did his experiments with falling bodies by rolling them down inclined planes. Once upon a time, as a student of the Open University in the UK, I had to do this using the kitchen table, rubber balls and a stopwatch. I think Galileo's inclined planes worked better, and he didn't have a cat that wanted to help. Though the stopwatch was an improvement over his timing device.

But for a different view of Galileo I highly recommend Dava Sobel's book Galileo's Daughter. It's a good read - Sobel's books are always good - and centers on Galileo's letters from his daughter.


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