The Free Press, Mankato, MN


June 29, 2011

STARLINE: Get to know your galaxy; and happy birthday, Neptune!


Happy birthday Neptune!

July 12 is Neptune's birthday! The planet Neptune was first observed September 23, 1846, about 165 years ago.
As of July 12 Neptune will have orbited the sun just once since its discovery. On this basis Pluto, discovered in 1930, with a period around the sun of about 250 years, is not yet a year old! The Delta Aquarid meteors peak July 28-29 with 20 meteors per hour. Watch the sky a few hours before dawn to see the most meteors.
July began with a new moon. A second new moon falls on July 30. The second full moon in a calendar month has come to be called a "blue moon" but unfortunately there is no special name for the second new moon.
Steve Kipp is a professor of astronomy at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Questions or comments may be sent to MSU, 141 Trafton Science Center N, Mankato, MN, 56001 or send E-mail to


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