Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day.
But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in
their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth -
Babe Among the Stars 10-23 Apr 08
American astronomer William Wallace Campbell was born on 11 April,
1862. The 1901-30 Director of Lick Observatory, California, was the
recipient of many honours and medals during his career, and there's an
asteroid named after him (2751 Campbell)
as well as craters on the Moon and Mars. Dr Piers
Sellers BSc, British-born veteran of two Space Shuttle
missions, celebrates his 53rd birthday on 11 April.
On 14 April, 1629, the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens was
born. He discovered Saturn's moon Titan and studied the awesome rings
of the planet. The Huygens Region of the Orion Nebula is named after him, as well as a
crater on Mars, a mountain on the Moon, an asteroid and the
Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn.
German astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve was born on 15
April, 1793. Best known for his study of double stars, he founded the
Pulkovo Observatory, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Welsh astronaut Dr John Anthony (Tony) Llewellyn BSc was born on 22
April, 1933. Although he got as far as qualifying for the Space
Shuttle programme, he didn't quite make the team so never actually
went into space.
April Diary Dates
- 12 Apr: Mars is just over a degree
south of the Moon.
- 15 Apr: Regulus (alpha Leonis) is
one of the four 'Royal' stars. Grab a chance to view it less than a
degree north of the Moon, then see if you can identify Saturn just a couple of degrees further
- 20 Apr: Full Moon (The Pink
- 22 Apr: The Lyrids meteor shower is
expected between 16-25 April, so you can expect to see some meteors
those nights. This is helpful to know as the night of the maxim is
usually clouded out, especially if you've made a special effort to
find a dark-sky viewing area. Check the weather forecast for 22 April
(the maxim) and pray for clear skies because the Lyrids is generally a
- 23 Apr: Antares (alpha Scorpii), another of the 'Royal' stars,
is just a fraction of a degree north of the Moon. See if you can spot
the difference between Antares and Mars!
Chat about your celestial observances at the h2g2