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August 15, 2011

Starline: Vega visible in August

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          If you can’t wait five years for exciting new astronomical pictures, NASA’s Dawn space probe arrived at the second largest asteroid Vesta  just last month. After exploring Vesta the Dawn probe is heading on to the largest asteroid, Ceres, now described as a dwarf planet.

          The month of August was named to honor the Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar for his military victories. But initially August  only had  30 days. July, named after Julius Caesar had 31 days. So to satisfy the ego of an emperor a day was taken from February, leaving it with 28 days, and giving August 31 days.  

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 steven.kipp@mnsu.edu.

 

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