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
No doubt you've all noticed that my prediction last month that the world wouldn't end on 21 May came true, I'm very pleased to announce. As if to deprive Harold Camping of the oxygen of publicity, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI chose that day to make history by participating in a video call to the 12 astronauts working on board the ISS (International Space Station). He blessed the crew and asked them set questions. Watching the broadcast, it was difficult not to be amused by the female astronaut's hair, which was floating above her head in the zero gravity.
The Astronomy Picture of the Day website came up trumps for me again when they published an image to explain the speed of light from the viewpoint of a driver travelling through space! It's the sort of picture which would appeal to petrolheads as well as astronomy nuts.
June 2011 Diary Dates
- 01: New Moon
- 01: Partial solar eclipse (only visible from high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere)
- 07: Moon passes below Regulus (alpha Leonis)
- 10: Saturn, Spica (alpha Virginis) and Moon form a triangle
- 11: Moon passes Spica
- 14: Saturn and gamma Virginis have a close encounter
- 15: Full Moon (the Strawberry Moon or the Honey Moon)
- 15: Total lunar eclipse visible from Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia
- 21: Summer solstice (Northern Hemisphere)
- 26: Crescent moon passes over Jupiter
- 28: Mars 1.7° south of Moon
- 28: (pre-dawn) Moon close to The Pleiades
- 29: (pre-dawn) Moon, Mars and Aldebaran (alpha Tauri) form a triangle
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.