Astronomy and Space Science for the Curious January 2017, Issue:2

Galaxy News editorial team is preparing 3D Astro Joy .

About thıs ıssue

Hello dear astronomer, or astronaut to be!

Welcome to the second issue of Hisar Galaxy News. In this issue we will be sharing the joy of the New Year, covering topics such as; The New Year Comet, traveling to Mars, remembering history with paw prints, and saying good bye to history-making astronaut, John Glenn. You'll find 5 more interesting Space facts and a quiz to summarize it all as usual. Again, welcome to Hisar Galaxy, where space and learning sparkle the brightest! The Hisar Galaxy News Team hope you'll have a wonderful year, and enjoy our latest issue! Happy reading....

Hisar Galaxy News Editors

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust.”

Prof. Lawrence Krauss

Image Credit: "NGC 1333 Stardust Nebula" by Stephen Leshin

John Glenn, (July 18, 1921 - December 8, 2016)

GOODbye to john glenn

Did you read our first issue? If you did, you will remember an article about the song 'Fly Me to the Moon'. In the article we wrote "During NASA's 50th anniversary gala producer, Quincy Jones, presented a platinum copy of 'Fly Me to the Moon' to USA Senator, John Glenn, and Apollo 11 Commander, Neil Armstrong." He was a hero. He was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth in his spacecraft Friendship 7. He was from the first group of astronauts that NASA chose. That group was called ‘Mercury Seven’, because they were going to fly on the Mercury spacecraft. He also retains the title of the oldest person in space, because at the age of 77, he went to space again! He was born on 18th July, 1921, but sadly died just a few weeks ago on 8th December, 2016. He now lies in repose at the Ohio state seal.

Source: "Who Was John Glenn?". NASA. (web). 24.12.2016

by Lal Menase


A New Year Miracle

A new year is coming! Everyone is excited about it. While people are giving each other gifts, the New Year Comet is a present for all of us. At this time of year it’s cold, and the New Year Comet is cold too; it is an icy snowball called Catalina.

In the days following New Year, the comet will be just 100,000,000 kilometers away (Jan 17th). Even though it seems very far, it’s actually really close for a comet. Once it hits its closest point, it'll start to draw away from Earth becoming increasingly hard to see. Whenever you choose to look up at the comet you should get some help - it's best to use some binoculars or a telescope. However, if it is a dark night, you might be able to spot it with the naked eye. This is the last chance to see it in your lifetime, as it passes Earth disappearing into Space. The workers at NASA, after several years of tracking, are already getting their binoculars ready for this beautiful sight.

Other events around this time of year are the Geminid meteor shower and Ursid meteor shower, usually arriving in mid to late December. In early January (3-4), you will be able to see the Quadrantids meteor shower, with up to 40 in one hour!

We hope you'll have a chance to see this amazing sight with your family and friends. Happy New Year!

by Nil Kastro

Source: Richard Tyson. "Now's your last chance to see Comet Catalina in your lifetime". Science Alert. (web). 24.12.2016

Image Credit:"Comet Catalina and Galaxy M101" by Fritz Helmut Hemmerich

2 Hands 1 Paw

We all know so many scientists and astronauts that we sometimes forget animals also play a huge role in science and innovation. One of those animals was a dog, her name was Laika; we owe her so much because she sacrificed her life for science, beyond her home in the Russian streets, she had the heart of true space explorer and was destined to see beyond the rest of her breed. Laika the dog was the first ever living thing in space, to leave the atmosphere of the Earth. She was sent into space by the Russian Federation. She was destined to reach the stars and write her name as the most special animals of all time. Space discovery owes Laika so much, because she showed what a mammal needed to survive outside Earth's atmosphere. Sadly, Laika didn't make it back. Though, she would always be remembered.

Shortly after, two chimps were sent into space by the United States of America. They’re names were Able and Baker. They too, were special from their breed. They had the chance of being the first in space, as official astronauts! They too taught the USA many new ideas about how survival in space should be for a mammal and what environmental conditions are needed. Fortunately, Able and Baker did return safely, and thanks to the "GPA"s attached to their skin, they were easily detected. Sadly, Laika was sent to space in such hurry that she wasn't able to be taken care of properly. After the two chimps returned, they had to take out the attachments on their skin. One of the chimp's surgery wasn't successful and it died. The other got to live a long life, and it now has a grave in Space Camp Alabama where you can write your respect on banana shaped notes.

Thanks to these important animals, space exploration caused no human family members to be separated.


Source: "Laika The Dog & The First Animals In Space". (Web). 25.09.2012


MARS: the red planet

The fourth planet in the Solar System, is named as Mars, because of the Rome God Mars. The God's color was red so they got inspired from him. The planet is also red because of the iron oxide which covers it. Mars is 142 million miles far from the Sun and 49 million miles away from our Earth.

In a year in Mars, there are 687 Earth days and in a day, there are 24 hours and 37 minutes. Mars has two Moons. One of them which called as Phobos is a bigger moon and the other one is called Deimons, it is a small planet.

What About Water? 💦

NASA saw signs that water may exist on the surface of Mars.This is very exciting because this may mean that there may be life on Mars.

Life In Mars...

Are there any life on Mars? Actually we don't know for certain that there is life on Mars.There is no scientific evidence that shows that there is life on Mars.Nasa is working hard to learn more about the planet. But it is not a very comfortable place to live because of the lack of air.

Hubble Space Telescope photo of Mars taken when the planet was 50 million miles from Earth on May 12, 2016.

by Melis Alsan

Source: "All about Mars". NASA. (web). 15.12.2016

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), by J. Bell (ASU), and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute)

Centaurus A Galaxy with a Black Hole at its center


Everyone, who looks up the sky at night, must have seen few stars; in different sizes, colors and brightness. But have you ever wondered what will happen to those stars? Since stars aren’t immortal there must be a way for them eventually die. When a star dies, it creates a supernova and after a black hole forms up.

A black hole is a place where gravity pulls so much that nothing can get out of it. Even light can't escape so it's impossible to spot a black hole with a human eye.

It is produced by a dying star. To become a black hole at the end of its life, the star has to be at least twenty times bigger than the sun. In a normal star life, two forces which are gravity pulling in and the core energy pushing out, balance each other. When the star runs out of energy, there is no power to fight the gravity force which then predominates and finally the star collapses under its own weight.

The massive collapsed star explodes as a supernova and the outer parts of the star scattered into space while the core completely collapses. After the supernova, nothing can stand to the gravity inside the dead core , which affects the other planets or stars. After all the collapsing, the star finally becomes a black hole. How big and powerful the black hole will be depends on the mass of the dying star.

by Ceren Dolu


“How is a Black Hole Created?” . Hubble Site . (web) . 22.12.2016

“What is a Black Hole?” . NASA . (Web) . 22.12.2016 “How is a Black Hole Created?”. Hubble Site . (web) . 22.12.2016

Grand Design Spiral Galaxy

Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, NGC 6814: Grand Design Spiral Galaxy from Hubble" by Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)


1- You become taller in Space. Another change to the human body in micro-gravity is that spine straightens out, as gravity is not pushing you down. In fact you can be up to as much as 5 cm taller in the Space Station.

2- On Venus a day is longer than a year. This is tricky one to get your head around but a year on Venus (that is the length of time it takes to complete one whole orbit around the Sun) is 224.7 Earth days. However it takes 243 Earth days to rotate on its axis just once.

3- The North Star will change…eventually. The North Star used for navigation, a steady point in the night sky will change, however not in our lifetime. The Earth is rotating like a spinning top and therefore the pole of our planet wobbles. Currently it points to Polaris but in the year 13727 our Pole Star will be the star Vega, in the constellation of Lyra. Vega was the also North Star in 12000 BCE.

4-In space metal sticks together. In a vacuum like space, when two pieces of metal touch each other they bond together. This is a process called cold welding. On the Earth because of the oxygen in our environment this does not happen naturally but it is used during some manufacturing processes. It is something to take into account but it is not usually a problem as the astronaut’s tools maintain an oxide layer even when leaving Earth.

5- You can cry in space but your tears don’t fall. On-board the International Space Station, water floats like bubbles or spheres. However the water will cling to a surface until it is dislodged. This means that tears start to form bubbles around your eyes as the weightless environment is not causing your tears to fall. This sounds really cool but it can be dangerous. ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano suffered a spacesuit leak whilst on a spacewalk. The water leaked into his helmet covered his eyes and ears, but thankfully he made it back into the Space Station unharmed, but if not he could have drowned in space.

by Serra Çelik

Source: BBC Space. (web). 23.12.2016

Image Credit: NASA, "Flamming Star Nebula", Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, University of Arizona, by Adam Block

New Year Comet Cartoon by Dalya Kinsizer

Behind the Scene: Mission Patches

Have you ever known that every space shuttle has a mission patch? Maybe some of you say yes to this question. However, not everyone knows the story behind how these patches are designed. In this article will discover how NASA astronauts design their mission patches to tell the story of each shuttle mission.

NASA carefully chose a crew of astronauts the size of the crew was determined by the mission. One of the first jobs that was given to create a patch was representing the crew and pictures, colors to explain the importance of the mission. Mission patches also include the names of members of the crew. The astronauts could design the patch themselves or they could work with a graphic designer or an artist to create the patch. Let’s look at some of the space shuttle missions


STS stands for Space Transportation System. This is the first shuttle mission that Nasa accomplished. Here is the STS-1 mission patch as you can see above. STS-1 has the names of the astronauts and shows the shuttle orbiting the Earth.


Another important mission was STS -31, which placed the hubble space telescope into orbit. As you can see the patch for this mission shows hubble space telescope.

Now Let’s Explore Some Of The Examples From The Apollo Mission…


Apollo 11 was the first mission that landed humans on the moon. İn this mission the commander was Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin was the pilot and he did the landing of the lunar module. On this mission Neil Armstrong was the first man who landed on the lunar surface.

Apollo 11


Apollo 13 was the third mission to land on the moon, but an terrible accident happened.The oxygen tanks exploded at the spacecraft during flight and the crew were forced to orbit the Moon and return to Earth without landing.

Apollo 13

As can be seen from the examples given in this article, patches are an important part of space missions. They are used to visualize the aim of the mission. These patches are designed and worn by the astronauts on the missions. Even after the missions are completed these patches continue to show their importance to the whole world.

Similar to NASA missions, in Future Explores Program we also worked about the mission patches and created them with our imagination. They of course represent the missions.

Source: "Mission Patch". YouTube . (web). 22.12.2016

by Melis Seven

Hisar Future Explorers Program Mission Patches Designs

NAsa Happy NEW YEAR 2017

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Hisar Galaxy News Editorial Team

Melis ALSAN, Ceren DOLU, Serra ÇELİK, Dalya KİNSİZER, Lal MENASE and Lara Ann TÜRELİ

Special Thanks to John Gell, Middle School English teacher interested in astronomy.

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