Friday, 21 October 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook Erasmus Reinhold

Erasmus Reinhold

Erasmus Reinhold was born on October 21st 1511 at Saalfield in Germany.  A professor of astronomy and mathematics he was a supporter of the Copernican system (1543). 

He calculated a set of tables of the motions of the celestial bodies based on the Copernican system which was published in 1551.He calculated that the length of the year was 365days, 5 hours, 55 minutes and 58seconds. 

He died on February 19th 1553. 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook Sunspot 1171

Large Sunspot

There was a report of a large sunspot seen on October 20th 1171. It was seen by astronomers both in China and Korea.

 It was described as being as large as a peach.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook Thomas Cooke

Thomas Cooke 1807-1868

On October 19th 1868 Thomas Cooke died, he was one of the greatest telescope makers of all time.
Thomas Cooke was born on March 8th 1807 into a poor family of shoemakers in the East Riding of Yorkshire.  He taught himself and studied mathematics and optics.

He moved to York in 1829 and in 1855 he built one the Uk’s first purpose built telescope making factories, the Buckingham Works.

 He made not only telescopes but many other kinds of optical instruments and turret clocks. In 1866 he even built a small number of 3 wheeled steam cars.

Among the telescopes he made was one for HRH Prince Albert and in 1869 the largest telescope in the world at that time, the 25 inch Newall refractor. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The Astronomy Show 19th October 2106

The Astronomy Show Wednesday October 19th

On Drystone Radio this Wednesday on The Astronomy Show I will be looking at the Black Moon and having a close look at Andromeda and Pegasus.

The A-Z of constellations continues with Camelopardus the Giraffe. Not the most spectacular of constellations!! M9 in Ophiuchus the zodiacal constellation all astrologers ignore is our latest cluster in The Messier Marathon, and the list of bright stars continues this week with Agena in Centaurus the Centaur.

This plus the astronomical scrapbook, the latest astronomy news, together with what can be seen in the night sky this week plus the astronomical society news.

The Astronomy Show, every Wednesday between 3 pm and 5 pm with Martin Lunn on Drystone Radio 103. 5 listen on line at  or hear me via podcast.  
You can contact me at Drystone radio on
If you missed the Astronomy show on Wednesday 19th October it is available on podcast for 30 days.

Go to and check the podcasts.  

Astrognome Scrapbook Venera 4

Venera 4

At 04.34 UT on October 18th 1967 Venera 4 became the first probe to transmit data from the atmosphere of another planet.

 The scientific instruments had been turned on 5 minutes after separation at an altitude of about 55 km and remained on for 93 minutes, returning 23 sets of readings, until it reached an altitude of roughly 25 km, where it was destroyed by the  atmospheric pressure  and  very high temperature around 277 C. The probe measured an atmospheric composition of 90 - 95% carbon dioxide.

 It was initially believed that the probe had reached the ground and the measured temperature and pressure represented the surface values on Venus.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook Appleby Bridge Meteorite

Appleby Bridge Meteorite

It was 1914; World War 1 was in its first year when an event occurred at Appleby Bridge near Wigan in Lancashire, England, a visitor from outer space,  a meteor crashed to the ground.

It was the evening of Tuesday 13th October 1914 around 8.45 pm when local residents heard a thunderous detonation and saw a sudden and spectacular brightening of the night sky.

Many may have thought it was some kind of secret enemy weapon coming towards them from a Zeppelin airship. It was nothing whatsoever to do with the enemy but a meteorite.

On the following day an unusual stone was found embedded into the ground at Halliwell Farm. It was a Chondrite meteorite. It weighed 33 pounds (15 Kg) and was covered in a burnt powder with an interior of light grey spots of gold and metal.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook Voskhod 1

Voskhod 1

On October 12th, 1964, the USSR continued its pioneering conquest of space orbiting the first multi-member crew on board the Voskhod ("sunrise") spacecraft.

This was the seventh manned Soviet space flight. It was the first space flight to carry crewman into orbit, without the use of spacesuits, and the first to carry either an engineer or a physician into outer space. It also set a manned spacecraft altitude record of 336 km (209 mi).

The three cosmonauts Vladimir Komarov, Konstantin Feoktistov, and Boris Yegorov had no space suits in Voskhod 1 because there was neither the room nor the payload capacity for the Voskhod to carry them. The original Voskhod had been designed to carry two cosmonauts, but Soviet politicians pushed the Soviet space program into squeezing three cosmonauts into Voskhod 1.

The cosmonauts safely returned to Earth the following day October 13th 1964.