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Lunar Perigee and Apogee Calculator ~ Perigee is when an object comes closest to the Earth. Apogee is the exact opposite, the point at which it is the furthest away. In terms of our Moon the difference between these two is almost one eighth, so here’s an excellent Javascript calculator that I stumbled across, to help spot when the full moon is going to look especially huge…
Makemake ~ Following the adoption of the term dwarf planet by the International Astronomy Union, five bodies have by early 2009 so far been awarded this status. Makemake was fourth and on July 11, 2008 joined Ceres, Pluto, Eris and later Haumea in a group growing all the time. Come on astrologers, what do you think of this one?
Mars One ~ Mars One is a non-profit organisation, aimed at establishing a permanent settlement on the red planet. Anyone is welcome to apply to be among the first to go and 78,000 did so, within a fortnight of registration opening. Training is provided and there is only one catch, as this is a one-way journey. Once you leave the safety of Earth, Mars is your new home.
Meanings Of Minor Planet Names ~ 714,825 minor planets had been located by the end of June 2016. 31,670 were discovered in the first six months of the year, a daily average of 174 or one spotted every eight minutes. With an estimated 1,025,110 words in the English language naming these is a finite exercise, even when other languages are increasingly put to work.
Mercury, the Pink Planet ~ Comets and asteroids have been centre stage, so the fortnight-long Valentine’s Day special in which Mercury, that most elusive of the visible planets has starred during February 2013, passed by without great fanfare. Still, take a moment to learn how to spot Mercury in future and why although not actually pink, it can often look that way…
MESSENGER ~ MESSENGER is an acronym for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment GEochemistry and Ranging. As I write Mercury is retrograde and NASA are presenting their findings from the first rendezvous of a proposed four this mission will make with the planet in question, leading up to orbit insertion in March 2011.
Meteorite Identification ~ The Geminid meteor shower peaks on December 13-14, 2015. While most shooting stars burn up along the way, the few that make it to the Earth’s surface are known as meteorites. They can fetch high prices, while the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University, estimates just one in a thousand samples they receive is actually the real deal.
Meteorite Information ~ From Washington University in St. Louis, this self-help guide is for those keen to distinguish a real shooting star from an earthly pretender, or your meteorite from your meteor-wrong as the catchphrase affirms. The tone of this content encourages you to bear in mind that you are far more likely to encounter the latter, both in life and especially on eBay.
Meteoritical Bulletin Database ~ The database of the Meteoritical Society, a non-profit organisation founded in 1933. Its catalogue records all known meteorites, whether recently spotted or from the distant past, in a searchable format with photographs where possible and the location of every sighting plotted on Google Maps. Try entering your country or place of interest to start.
Meteor Shower Guide: 2019 ~ I’ll admit to being tardy with this week’s recommendation, since it is already October as I write. Plus, I’m not really mentioning a website either, more a page with links to further information. But in my defence, I must say that out of eleven major meteor showers during 2015, more than half are still to come. Next up are the Draconids on October 8…
Meteor Showers Online ~ Gary Kronk is famous for his work with comets and similar phenomena, he even has a minor planet named after him. At the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower it was great finding this definitive reference for anything connected with meteors, that swiftly covers every astronomical question you never knew you had…
Minor Planet Names ~ This section of Wikipedia looks unpromising, but lists all the minor planets so far, with links to more about their names, discovery, orbit and physical characteristics. Minor planets include the asteroids, centaurs, trans-Neptunians and Kuiper belt objects. They are named after many things, including their discoverer’s pets…
Moongiant ~ This site is connected with all things lunar, yet still has sufficient about its content and presentation to distinguish it from the also-rans. Look around and you will find data that highlights lunar phases, solar and lunar eclipses, meteor showers and the night sky in general. Interactivity and animation help you to appreciate, the importance of each subject.
Moon Zoo ~ The images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show the Moon’s surface in remarkable detail, including features down to about 50 cm across. Here is your chance to help count craters on the lunar surface along with areas of boulders too, both important factors when it comes to understanding the history of our satellite…
Naked Eye Planets ~ Excellent source of reference for those interested in the night sky and who’d like to extend their knowledge beyond what they’ve seen or read on their computer screen. Actively updated and with lots of intriguing visuals, you will soon be abreast of the latest celestial happenings, learning how to spot some of these planets for yourself.