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June 2000 Issue

Astronomy Digest

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Front Desk

News Throughout
the Net

Updated Weekly

Gamma-Ray Burst Found Where Stars are Being Born - Intense radiation explosion are caused. - CNN, June 30, 2000.

Water on Mars - Update. - SSN, June 29, 2000.

Astroid Map - Astronomers are keeping track of near-Earth asteroids. - ABC, June 28, 2000.

Information Collected on Martian Oceans - Evidence suggests it may have been a salt water ocean. - ABC, June 23, 2000.

Asteroids May Have Seasons - Sun will rise over the south pole of asteroid Eros. - SSN, June 21, 2000.

First Space Tourist - Los Angeles businessman goes to Mir. - BBC, June 17, 2000.

Sugar Found in Space - Radio telescope found molecule glycolaldehyde in gas cloud. May be needed to form life. - BBC, June 16, 2000.

Telescope Sweepstakes - Meade 12 inch LX200. - Ends July 7, 2000.

Salt Found in Meteorite - May change timescale on the origin of our Solar System. - BBC, June 8, 2000.

Bigger the Galaxy the Bigger the Black Hole - New information on Black Holes. - ABC, June 5, 2000.

Hubble Takes a Look at the Crab Nebula - New details are shown. - MSNBC, June 1, 2000.

First Pictures of Earth's Outer Gas Shell - Taken by Nasa's spacecraft . - BBC, June 1, 2000.

Eros May be from Same Type of Asteroids that Formed Earth - Data collected from NEAR spacecraft. - CNN, May 31, 2000.

Chandra Looks at Black Hole - Studies matter as it is drawn in. - BBC, May 26, 2000.

Mars Rock Found - This rock is only the 15th Mars rock ever found. - BBC, May 22, 2000.

Galileo Does a Flyby Passed Ganymede - Collects data for research. - CNN, May 22, 2000.

Lakes, Snow, and Geysers found on IO - Images taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft. - CNN, May 19, 2000.

Virtual Universe - Computer model based on actual data collected by a sky survey. - BBC, May 19, 2000.

Great Ganymede! - NASA's Galileo spacecraft is about to fly 808 km above the surface of our solar system's largest moon. - SSN, May 19, 2000.

Comet Found - Comet passed by unseen. Found in some photographs taken 3 years ago.- ABC, May 18, 2000.

Lost Minor Planet Found. - Last seen in 1911. - CNN, May 12, 2000.

Image of darkness within galaxies. - Hubble looks at dark galactic material. - CNN, May 11, 2000.

June Skies

June 02 - New Moon
June 09 - First Quarter
June 16 - Full Moon
June 25 - Last Quarter

Skywatching Center - Current Month's Skies.

Astronomy Magazine - This Month's Sky Show.

Sky & Telescope - June 2000 Skies.

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Top 10 Astronomy
Web Sites

By Stuart Lolly

Astronomy Digest presents our Top 10 Astronomy web sites of interest to amateur Astronomers.

10. The Constellations and their Stars For their on line sky charts.

9. Astromart For their classified ad section.

8. Stellar Scenes Best amateur astrophotography on the web.

7. Astronomy Picture of the Day Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe.

6. Skywatching Center Discussion on a different object to view in the sky each night.

5. The Messier Catalog SEDS presents excellent images and information on the Messier objects.

4. Deep Sky Web TV on Astronomy issues.

3. Heavens-Above Find out which satellites will be in the sky prior to going to a dark sky site.

2. SETI@home Help search for ET from your own home.

1. U.S. Naval Observatory To get Sunrise/Sunset and Moonrise/Moonset information before you go out to your dark sky site.

Clear Skies

Free Email

Now you can get Free Email that shows you enjoy astronomy. You can use your name, (yourname) . Or, you can use an astronomy name like . Right now there are many names available. I only ask that if you get an account that you plan to use it. And, if you no longer plan to use it, you simply delete it. This will help keep the astronomy names available for others to use. I am very pleased to offer this service for Free.

To get your Free Email account use the Free Email box located at the top right column on this ezine.

The Story of

Young Phaeton persuaded his father to permit him to drive the family sun chariot around the world for just one day. On his journey around the earth he lost control of the chariot. The horses had just too much power for him. The horses orbited too close to the earth. The chariot smoking and flaming crashed into earth. Watching the approaching accident with horror were Cygnus, Phaeton's friend, and Jupiter, Father of the Gods. Jupiter side-tracked the young charioteer with a bolt of thunder and Phaeton plunged into the river Eridanus. Cygnus, heartbroken at the loss of his friend, tried to recover Phaeton's body by diving time after time like a sad swan into the river. The gods, out of pity, turned him into a swan and placed him in the sky.

Photograph was provided by Naoyuki Kurita. You can see more of his astrophotographs at Stellar Scenes web site.

If you have an astronomy related article you would like to have published, email it to Astronomy Digest.

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Air & Space Museum
in 15 minutes

by Stuart Lolly

At work I have been assigned to a special project where I am flying to Washington DC every couple of weeks. The meetings pretty much last all day. However, my last trip the meetings ended at about 4:15pm. I found myself in Crystal City with some time on my hands. So I decided to take the metro and go see the National Air & Space Museum. The metro is nice and convenient to ride. It took about 30 minutes to get there. I finally found the museum at about 5:00 pm. The sign said it closed at 5:30 pm. Great 30 minutes to see the museum. That was before I found out that they start pushing people out at 5:15 pm. That left 15 minutes to see this incredible place.

The first thought that came to mind when I entered the building was I found it amazing that we actually have a space museum. There has been so many space discoveries in the last 40 years such as walking on the moon, the Hubble telescope, and a few missions to mars, we now have a museum that is preserving this early space exploration history.

In the main lobby they had the Mercury capsule that John Glenn orbited earth in. I was amazed how small the space capsule was. Not much bigger than a trash can. I could imagine what a 'E' ticket ride that must have been. There was not much space between him and the atmosphere. To think that he actually blasted off and returned to earth in that spacecraft. Amazing!

The next thing I saw was the actual Apollo 11 capsule. This capsule was a little bigger. It sat three across. This was the world's most important single space achievement. To actually send someone to the moon and return them home safely. From there I went off to one of the wings and saw the Apollo 11 lunar craft that landed on the moon. This was one of the lunar crafts they did not use for the mission. The one they actually used, by design, was left on the moon.

Well at this point the guards started asking everyone to leave. So, I had to leave exploring the museum for another day.

Product Review


The fifth edition of Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion's guide to the night sky is updated for planet positions and forthcoming eclipses up to the end of the year 2004. It includes the latest star data from the Hipparcos satellite. The book contains a chapter on each month of the year and is an easy-to-use handbook for anyone wanting to identify constellations, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies and meteor showers, to follow the movement of planets, or to witness solar and lunar eclipses. Most of the features discussed are visible to the naked eye, and all can be seen with a small telescope or binoculars.--From The Publisher.


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Summer Nights

The Milky Way galaxy is a spiral galaxy with arms that start at the center of the galaxy and swirl outward. Recent findings suggest it may have a somewhat barrel shape. Everything in the universe seems to have a tendency to spin flat, like a CD. Moons and rings that orbit planets, planets and asteroids that orbit the sun, and stars that orbit the galactic center all spin flat. When you look at the big dipper, it is as if you were standing on a CD and were looking up. You see fewer stars within the Milky Way galaxy and you see more objects outside the Milky Way, such as other galaxies. (full story)

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