Babe Among The Stars: Extraterrestrials

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Galaxy Babe's column banner, showing a full moon and some little folk looking up at the sky

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 - Ptolemy

ET phone Earth (please!)

This column gives me a wide readership all over the Earth (hopefully) as I can post the link on Facebook and some people not connected to h2g2 or even the BBC get to read it too, which is good. Just in case the BATS column readership is wider than anyone can guess, (it's just possible that Zarminians1 may be tuning in, or maybe some intelligent being even closer is an avid reader!), I'd like to offer any extraterrestrial readers a warm welcome and give them a quick update on happenings on Earth regarding the ET issue. We have a UN-appointed Alien Ambassador, the Malaysian astrophysicist Dr Mazlan Othman (60), who has impeccable references and an impressive CV. She is the official spokesperson but obviously if ET lands in my back garden I am willing to put the kettle on and make small talk until Dr Othman can be reached. More good news is that the Vatican's astronomer and curator of one of the world's most important collections of meteorites, Brother Guy Consolmagno, has said he would love to baptize any extraterrestrial visitors, but only if they are willing. So hopefully ET won't take much longer before making first contact, now they know there's such a warm welcoming committee awaiting them!

March Diary Dates

There are multiple minor activity meteor showers which all peak during March. Worth having a look on any clear, moonless nights!

  • 01: Venus and the Moon have a close encounter
  • 02-06: Orange Blossom Special Star Party, Dade City, Florida
  • 04: New Moon
  • 06: The brand new crescent Moon passes within 6° of Jupiter
  • 10: Moon within 3° of The Pleiades
  • 15: Jupiter 2° south of Mercury
  • 19: Full Moon: the last full moon of winter, it has several names including the Worm Moon and the Windy Moon. If it looks bigger than usual that's because it's at perigee (closest) at 356,574 km (221,565 miles) distance
  • 20: Vernal Equinox (Northern Hemisphere: first day of spring/Southern Hemisphere: first day of autumn)
  • 20: Comet 43P/Wolf-Harrington makes its closest approach to Earth (1.9 AU). You can track its progress (and have a play with the options if you wish)
  • 27: Neptune and Venus will be less than half a degree apart

Easter is very late in 2011, due to the rule about Easter Sunday being the first Sunday after the first Full Moon on or after the Vernal Equinox. This month the Moon was full on the eve of the equinox, therefore the Easter Bunny is delayed by almost a month! April's Full Moon happens on the 18th, therefore Easter Sunday will fall on 24 April. Hopefully the chocolate eggs which have been on sale in supermarkets since 15 February won't have passed their expiration date!

  • Chat about your celestial observances at the H2G2 Astronomy Society. Comment on anything in this edition of Babe Among the Stars by starting a new conversation below.

Babe Among the Stars Archive

Galaxy Babe

28.02.11 Front Page

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1Denizens of Zarmina's World, aka Gliese 581 g.

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