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In this Month - February 2018

Supernova1987A, Image: ESA/NASA 18 February 1930 Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto. 23 February 1987 Supernova 1987A is observed in the Large Magellanic Cloud. 1 February 2003 Space shuttle Columbia disintegrates on its return to Earth. BORN 19 February 1473 Nicolaus Copernicus. Polish astronomer famous for his heliocentric theory – the Sun, not the Earth, is at the centre of the solar system. 15 February 1564 Galileo Galilei. Noted Italian astronomer. Discovered four of Jupiter’s many moons. 4 February 1906 Clyde Tombaugh. American astronomer. Discovered Pluto in 1930.

Solar observations for December 2017

The lack of solar activity over December and months prior brings a question to the writers mind. Are we heading for another Maunder minimum, bearing in mind the extreme cold conditions in the U.S.A. at present? I think not. The next 4 years might tell. Nonetheless I observe the Sun every day and there have been a few notable events. My first observation was made on the 2nd December and once again the solar disc was completely clear of Sunspots and remained so until the 11th. A small group of 3 very small spots were observed with a Classification Value (CV) of Bxi (3) in Active Region (AR) 12691. By the following day they had completely disappeared and once again the Sun remained clear of all

Did you know? - Mercury

A day on the planet Mercury is twice as long as its year. Mercury rotates very slowly but orbits the Sun at 180,000 km/h Mercury orbits the Sun in slightly less than 88 days Its interesting to compare: The Earth orbits the Sun in 365 days at an average speed of 107,220 km/h The fastest known Neutron star rotates over 700 times in one second. Left: Mercury photographed by NASA's Messenger spacecraft, copyright NASA.

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