SKIP'S ASTRO TRIVIA
From October 2002 to March 2007
"Skip" Newell published
Skip's astro Trivia
If you weighed 200 pounds on Earth you would weigh about 8 pounds on Pluto.
You would have to wait 248 years to become one year older on Pluto. It takes Pluto about 248 Earth years to revolve around the sun.
You would have to adjust to dim light if you were on Pluto. Pluto's brightest daylight is less than moonlight on Earth.
You may already know that Mars' two moons are called Phobos and Deimos, and that their names mean "fear" and "panic." There's a reason for the unusual names: Phobos and Deimos were the horses that pulled the god Mars' war chariot
cosmonauts landed on solid ground instead of into the ocean like American
astronauts. In 1965 Voskhod 2 missed its planned landing spot and the cosmonauts
inside had to fend off hungry wolves for a day until rescuers reached them.
Feeling a little dizzy? That's not surprising: The Earth is spinning at a speed of about 1,070 MPH at its equator. At the same time , it's rotating around the sun at about 67,000 MPH. Our entire solar system is spinning through the Milky Way galaxy at about 558,000 MPH. Meanwhile, our galaxy is spinning with clusters of neighboring galaxies at a rate of about 660,000 MPH.
Jovian or Terrestrial
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are the Jovian (the adjectival form for the word "Jupiter"), or Jupiter-like planets. They are giant planets, composed primarily of light elements such as hydrogen and helium.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are the terrestrial (derived from terra, the latin word for "earth"), or earth-like planets. They are small in size, have solid surfaces, and are composed of rocks and iron. Pluto appears to be a terrestrial-type planet as well, but it may have a different origin from other planets.
Youngest US Astronaut
Oldest US Astronaut
John Glenn at the age of 77 flew his last flight on November 6,1998
Goodbye Mr. Whipple
Fred Whipple, Astronomer, died Aug.30, 2004 at the age of 97. It was he who proposed that comets were "dirty snowballs" made up of ice with some rock mixed in. Up until then it was believe comets were made up of dust. Fred Whipple Nov.5,1906 to Aug.30, 2004
pioneering Sci-Fi novel, Across The Zodiac, published in 1880, British writer
Percy Greg presented the first fictional account of interplanetary travel by
space ship, calling his vessel Astronaut (from the Greek for "star sailor") By
the late 1920s the word had become used to mean a space traveler, rather than
his ship, and once the space age began, it was this sense that became
established in the west, with cosmonaut as the ruccian equivalent.
1656 it was proposed by the French fabulist Cyrano de Bergerac. Cyrano put
forward the rocket as one means to get to the moon; he also suggested traveling
there by balloon.
Sun tornadoes as wide as the Earth?
Yep, this discovery was made by the European Space Agency's SOHO (Solar Observer High Orbit) spacecraft in April 1998. Winds of hot gases inside these tornadoes were swirling at thousands of miles per hour. SOHO was launched into space on December 2, 1995.
Superior or inferior planets
An inferior planet is one whose orbit is nearer to the sun than Earth's orbit is. Mercury and Venus are the inferior planets. Superior planets are those whose orbits around the sun lie beyond that of the earth. Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are the superior planets. The terms have nothing to do with the quality of an individual planet.
1st manufactured reflecting telescope
The first manufactured reflecting telescope was made by Amasa Holcomb of Southwick, MA about 1826. This first one was made to order for a John A. Fulton of Chillicothe, OH, and was 14 feet long, with a 10-inch aperture and six eyepieces that magnified 90 to 960 times. The reflecting telescope was invented by Isaac Newton.
isn't round exactly. It is sort of egg-shaped. A little ,with the small end
pointing toward the Earth
Who invented the telescope?
Lippershey (1570-1619), a German-Dutch lens grinder and spectacle maker, is
generally credited with inventing the telescope in 1608 because he was the first
scientist to apply for a patent. Two other inventors, Zscharias Janssen and
Jacob Metius, also developed telescopes. Modern historians consider Lippershey
and Janssen as the two likely candidates for the title of inventor of the
telescope, with Lippershey possessing the strongest claim.
Does the Earth rotate at the same speed all the time?
The Earths rotation speed is at its maximum in late July and early August and at its minimum in April; the difference in the length of the day is about 0.0012 seconds. Since about 1900 the earth's rotation has been slowing at a rate of approximately 1.7 seconds per year. In the geologic past the earth's rotational period was much faster; days were shorter and there were more days in the year. About 350 million years ago, the year had 400-410 days; 280 million years ago, a year was 390 days long.
Not only Saturn but Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune all have rings.
So you thought Pluto was the farthest planet?
Pluto's very eccentric orbit carried it inside of Neptune's orbit on January 23,1979, where it remained until March 15, 1990. During this time Neptune was the outermost planet in our Solar System. However, because the planets are so far apart they are in no danger of colliding with one another.
What do you mean the Moon has a tail?
Astronomers have discovered that the moon has a tail. A glowing 15 thousand mile long tail of sodium atoms streams from the moon. The faint, orange glow of sodium cannot be seen by the naked eye but it is detectable by instruments. Astronomers are not certain ot the source of these sodium atoms.
ET's on the radio
Kark Guthe Jansky (US) detected extraterrestrial radio waves- a steady hiss type
static of unknown origin. He later demonstrated that these waves came from the
Milky Way and opened the way to radio astronomy.
Many heavenly bodies emit radio waves, including the Sun and Jupiter.
Radio telescopes are in fact aerial dishes. The first radio telescope was made with a 31ft diah in 1937 by Grote Keber (US)
In Great Britain the group of seven stars known as the Big Dipper, which is part of the constellation Ursa Major is known as the Plough. The Bi Dipper is almost always visible in the Northern Hemisphere. It serves as a convenient reference point when locating other stars; for example an imaginary line drawn from the two end stars of the dipper leads to Polaris, The North Star.
sky, looking up from Venus is orange.
Notables of old Rome surrounded themselves with bodyguards then called "satellites." Johannes Kepler in 1611 borrowed the term to name the heavenly bodies around planets.
You can never see Venus at midnight.
Samos ? Who?
Around 275BC Aristarchus of Samos (gk) was the author of both the Heliocentric Hypothesis- that the Earth revolved around the Sun-and that of the Earth's rotation on its axis.
Linda who painted nudes?
Linda Sagan, wife astronomer/writer Carl Sagan. It was Linda who drew the plaques depicting a nude male and female, which were attached to the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft.
small android in the 1977 movie Star Wars got it's name from reel 2, dialogue 2
as cued in the sound mixing process of filmmaking.
The preserved brain of Albert Einstein weighs 2.64 pounds
The star nearest to us, after the sun, are those of the Alpha Centauri System, which are more than four light-yeas away. If it were possible to drive through space at a steady law abiding speed of 55 MPH, you could reach our sun in 193 years. But at the same speed it would take 52 million years to reach Alpha Centauri.
Black Holes- the collapsed remnants of giant stars are so dense that not even light can escape their awesome gravitational pull. If a telephone directory weighing no more than 2 pounds were brought to within 20 feet of a black hole, it would weigh more than one trillion tons.
REQUIEM FOR A COW
BLOW FROM THE BLUE
A TOMB WITH A VIEW
The telescope at Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton, in California also serves as a tomb. The 36 inch refracting telescope mounted on a pillar that contains the remains of James Lick (1796-1876). A wealthy financier who funded the observatory's construction and after whom it was named.
SLOWEST, AND SAFEST
The Crawler, the huge transporter that takes the space shuttles to their launch pads is the world's largest and slowest vehicle. It weighs 3,300 tons, and its top speed is just 2 mph. Nevertheless, in the interests of safety the driver is required to wear a seat belt.
Astro was the flying space whale on the 1965 animated movie "Pinocchio in Outer Space"
was the inventor of the 34,000 heat-resistant tiles that made up the skin on the
The man with the golden nose
The wealthy Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) had a large part of his nose sliced off during a sword fight. He had a replacement made from gold, silver, copper, and wax, then painted his nosepiece the color of flesh, glued it in place, and wore it until his death more than 30 years later at the age of 54. The duel in which he lost most of his real was with a young nobleman over who was the better mathematician.
every month have a full moon?
Apparently not! The month of Feb. 1865 according to recorded history did not have a full moon.
On my honor I will do my best
know that the first original seven astronauts were all Eagle Boy Scouts.
Cassiopeia-She was the queen of Ethiopia.
Cepheus- Was Cassiopia's husband and the King of Ethiopia.
Andromeda- was the daughter of Cassiopeia and Cepheus.
Perseus- A Hero, the slayer of the gorgon Medusa with snaky hair, who was so ugly that anyone who observed her directly turned to stone. Perseus chopped off her head while looking at her reflection in his shiny shield.
THE GUZMAN PRIZE, NOT WITH MARS YOU DON'T
of 100,000 francs was offered in Paris France on Dec.17,1900 for the first
person who communicated with an extraterrestrial being. But included in the
rules it was stated that Mars was excluded. The people giving this award felt
that contact with the Martians would be easy.
In 1988 a Soviet probe sent to the Martian moon Phobos carried with ti a plaque commemorating that natural satellite's discovery in 1877 by the American Astronomer Asaph Hall. Thank you Russia.
Do you know that Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise?
TELEPHONING OUTER SPACE
Earthlings tried to reach out and touch extraterrestrial beings via spacephones in 1988.
AT&T had a publicity gimmick going. A caller could have his voice transmitted toward Outer Space, but with no guarantee something Out There would hear it.
To make it work, the telephone giant places free phones in the atrium of company headquarters in New York for a few days. The public was invited to "communicate with someone who could hear their voice long after they/re dead."
AT&T had a web of 100-ft. dish antennas spun across North America, pointed at communications satellites. To send the messages to Outer Space during early morning hours when the antennas weren't being used for Earthbound business, they swung the radio beams away from two dished. The messages sped outward at the speed of light in a straight line, presumably until they tan into something. Some 30 hours of recorded voices and pictures were beamed to Outer Space through the phones.
Students from a Manhattan school were given a first crack at the telephones. A 13-year-old, who said he didn't believe in UFOs, sent the message, "I hope you saw the Knicks versus the Bullets, because the Knicks won." A 13-year-old member of Young Astronauts of America said, "I hope the quest for knowledge last forever." Another, concerned about drugs in his world, said, "I hope they don't get stupid like us." Most of the youngsters said they thought it likely someone would see or hear the messages. Anyway, use of the space phones was free so nobody could complain if they didn't get a call back.
MOONS - WHO DISCOVERED THEM?
first mention of possible Martian satellites was fictional -- by Jonathan Swift,
in Gulliver's Voyage to Laputa (1727). Swift described two satellites of
Mars, one of which has a revolution period short than the rotation period of its
primary; but there was no scientific basis at that time for such an object.
Two satellites of Mars were also described in another novel, Voltaire's
Micromegas (1750). The reasoning was, apparently, that since the earth has
one satellite and Jupiter was known to have four, Mars could not possible manage
with less than two! But it wasn't until August 10, 1877 that Asaph Hall of
Washington discovered Deimos and 6 days later he discovered Phobos.
DID JONATHAN SWIFT AND VOLTAIRE KNOW THAT HALL DIDN'T KNOW?
RUN, A FIRE BALL!
In 1719 Mars was at perihelic opposition (closest to the Earth and Sun). Mars was so bright that people panicked and mistook it for a red comet which was thought might be on a collision course with the Earth.
OK MARTIANS LETS TALK!
In 1802 German mathematician K.F. Gauss drew up a plan to draw vast geometrical patterns in the Siberian tundra at signal the inhabitants of Mars. In 1819 J. Von Littrow of Vienna proposed to use signal fires lit in the Sahara to signal Mars. Later in 1874 Charles Cros of France put forward a scheme to focus the Sun's heat on to the Martians deserts by means of a huge burning-glass, the glass could be swung around to write messages on the desert to the Martians.
People and cities on the Moon?
The first report of a lunar city was made in 1822 by the German astronomer F. von P. Gruithuisen who described a structure with dark gigantic ramparts which however proved to be low and quite haphazard ridges. In 1790 Sir William Herschel had stated his belief in an inhabited Moon, and in 1835 there came the famous Lunar Hoax when the paper The New York Sun published some quite imaginary reports of discoveries made by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope. The reports were written by a reporter, R. A. Locke, and included descriptions of bat-men and quartz mountains. The first article appeared on 25 August 1835 and the Sun admitted to the hoax on 16 Sept 1835
Schwarzschild singularities? HUH
In 1967 what were called Schwarzschild singularities was renamed to become BLACK HOLES.
In 1922 the Montgomery Ward catalogue offered a 33 power astronomical telescope for $25.65. Shipping was 10 cents extra. It also offered an additional eyepiece of 70 power with smoked glass so one could look at the sun. This extra eyepiece sold for $7.20 with 6 cents for shipping.
When will our sun die?
The sun is approximately 4.5 billion years old. About 5 billion years from now, the sun will burn all its Hydrogen fuel into Helium. When this process occurs, the sun will change from the yellow dwarf star we know it as to a red giant. Its diameter will extend well beyond the orbit of Venus, and even possibly beyond the orbit of Earth. In either case, the Earth will be burned to a cinder and will be incapable of supporting life.
Evangelista Torriculli invented the barometer in 1643. We know her. She was Galileo's secretary.
Kentucky, the world's first space chick was hatched March 25,1989, in an incubator at Kentucky Fried Chicken's Colonel Sanders Technical Center at Louisville, Kentucky, a week after the egg came home from a five-day flight in orbit aboard the shuttle Discovery. Kentucky was later donated to the Louisville zoo to live out a normal lifetime.
OR WANING MOON
The moon as it's illuminated face increases in size during one half of any month is said to be waxing. If during the other half of the month the moon seems to be decreasing it is said to be waning.
IT TRUE THAT THE EARTH IS CLOSER TO THE SUN IN WINTER THAN IN SUMMER IN THE
Yes, However, the Earth's axis, the line around which the planet rotates, is tipped 23.5 degrees with respect to the plane of revolution around the sun. When the Earth is closest to the sun (it's perihelion, about January 3), the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun. This causes winter in the Northern Hemisphere while the Southern Hemisphere is having summer. When the Earth is farthest from the sun ( it's aphelion, around July 4), the situation is reversed, with the Northern Hemisphere tilted towards the sun. At this time, it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
WHY DOES THE MOON ALWAYS KEEP THE SAME FACE TOWARD THE EARTH?
Only one side of the moon is seen because it always rotates in exactly the same length of time that it takes to revolve about the Earth. This combination of motions (called "captured rotation") means that it always keeps the same side towards the Earth.
You thought that Mt. Palomar 's 200 inch telescope was large!
In Cerro, Chile is the European Southern Observatory. It consist of four 8-meter (315 inch) reflectors. If used together through computers it is equivalent of a 16 meter (630 inch) reflector.
How does NASA talk to it's spacecraft?
NASA developed the deep space network for two-way communications. It consists of three deep-space communication complexes placed about 120 degrees apart around the world. One at Goldstone, Cal. in the Mojave desert, another near Madrid, Spain and the third near Canberra, Australia. This ensures that at least one antenna always is within sight of a given spacecraft. Each complex contains up to ten deep-space stations equipped with large parabolic reflector antennas.
Water as rocket fuel?
Only on the Grillo rocket of Italy. On Sept. 28,1963 Italy successfully launched and tested a 60lb. rocket propelled by water. The water was heated to 300 degrees and produced a steam pressure of 130 atmospheres.
You grind the mirror!
The 200 inch blank mirror for the now Mt. Palomar observatory weighed 193/4 tons. After polishing it weighed 141/2 tons. The correct parabolic curvature over it's entire surface is within 1/2,000,000th of an inch.
You thought you had a big Cassegrain telescope!
Mt Palomar's 200 inches is also a Cassegrain. It has a central opening of 401/2 inches with a focal length of 55 feet and an f-ratio of 3.3
In 1781 William Herschel (1738-1827) who was employed as a musician accidentally discovered the planet Uranus thinking at first it was a comet. This discovery made him so famous that he gave up his career in music to become the Kings astronomer. But who was the other Herschel? None other that William's sister Caroline (1750-1848) She herself discovered eight comets and built a catalog of 2,500 nebulas and star clusters.
JUPITER (anyone need a moon, plenty to spare)
year 2001 astronomers at the University of Hawaii discovered 11 more moons to
the planet Jupiter, bringing the number orbiting the solar system's largest
planet to a whopping 39. Does this mean that Jupiter doesn't have a new moon
type night for deep sky observing? How many full moons in one night does Jupiter
have? If you find out call me.
DID YOU KNOW?
know that the first photograph of the moon was taken on March 23,1840 by J.W.
Draper using a five inch reflector telescope. The image was one inch across and
the exposure was twenty minutes.
HEY ANYONE SEEN MY WRENCH?
The shuttle Discovery made six flights to space with a construction wrench lost somewhere inside the ship.
The wrench was lost during construction in 1984 and was spotted by x-ray in 1987 during pre-flight metal stress testing and was recovered by a woman with long slender arms. The wrench was in a tight spot in one of Discovery's forward compartments.
Several workers with larger arms tried in vain to retrieve the tool until one with long slender arms was able to grab it.
Shuttle builder Rockwell International Inc. had told NASA in 1984 that the combination wrench was lost during construction in Palmdale, California. NASA didn't suspect mischief or foul play. Since the wrench was small and light Rockwell decided there was no concern and NASA agreed.
The orbiter flew six times with the lost tool, from August 1984 to August 1985, without any problem from the wrench. The wrench was found in 1987 as Discovery was being prepared for America's return to space Sept.29,1988
NOT TOO MUCH OFF THE TOP PLEASE!
Did you know that Astronaut Alan Bean on Skylab 3 was the first person to get a haircut in space?
Astronaut Owen Garrett used a suction hose to catch the stray weightless clippings as he gave a haircut to Al Bean.
HEY! HOW DO YOU START THIS THING?
Astronaut Wally Schirra upon entering his Mercury spacecraft found a set of car keys dangling from the main controls.