Babe Among the Stars: Rocks and Shuttle Flights

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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

Rocks In Space

Comet 2009 P1 Garradd (dubbed 'Comet Garradd') is already being touted 'comet of the year' by astronomers. Backyard enthusiasts still require a small telescope to see it, but this month it could brighten to naked-eye visibility.

We are already experiencing the Perseid meteor shower so glance upwards on any clear night for your chance to see a 'shooting star' (meteor). Unfortunately, this year the peak of the shower coincides with the full moon. The brightly-beaming lunar spotlight will no doubt drown out any possible meteor sightings.

Space Shuttle Programme Ends

The space shuttle programme is over. As well as the magnificent achievements, we should honour the memory of the astronauts who died when two shuttles were destroyed — the loss of the Challenger contingent during take-off in 1986, which included civilian 'Teacher in Space' Christa McAuliffe, and the crew of the
Columbia which disintegrated on re-entry in February 2003.

August 2011 Diary Dates

  • 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.

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