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In this month: August

13th August 1898 The asteroid Eros is discovered by the German astronomer Gustav Witt at the Urania Observatory in Berlin, and independently on the same day by Auguste H.P. Charlois in Nice, France. The asteroid, or to give its minor planet designation, 433 Eros, is approximately 16.8 km in diameter, rotates once every 5.27 hours, and is shaped like an elongated peanut. On the 12th February 2001 the NEAR spacecraft (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) landed on Eros making it the first spacecraft to orbit and then land on an asteroid. It is also the first asteroid detected by the Arecibo Observatory's radar system. The naming of Eros, the Greek god of love, was unique in that it was one of the f

Did you know? Naming planets

This month . . . . Naming the three planets in our solar system discovered in “modern” times was not a straightforward process. There were several alternatives before arriving at the names we know them as today. The first five planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - were known in antiquity and named by ancient astronomers after Roman Gods or Goddesses. Uranus: Discovered in March 1781 by Sir William Herschel. He called the new planet the "Georgian star" (Georgium Sidus) after King George III, which brought him favour, however the name did not catch on particularly in France, where reference to the British king was to be avoided if possible. The name "Uranus" was first proposed

Solar Observations: June 2020

Monty has been observing regularly but over the past few months his reports have not been happy ones because the Sun has not been very active. Fortunately there was a slight improvement in activity in June and good news from ESA's Solar Orbiter Mission with the release of the first image early in July and the images over the past day which reveal activity that looks like "campfires" on the Sun. The image right is from the ESA Solar Orbiter and released on 16 July European time. Toner Stevenson website editor. MONTY LEVENTHAL OAM JUNE SOLAR REPORT For the month of June 2020 Sunspot activity was extremely low during my observations with only one group observed. No Sunspots were observed on th

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