Astronomy and Space Science for the Curious March 2017, Issue:04

Galaxy News editorial team is working on the March Issue.

About thıs ıssue

Dear Galaxy News Reader,

In this issue we will be covering 8th of March, International Women's Day related with space and astronomy. In this issue, we have an article about Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut to go into space, the lord of the rings, water underneath and NASA women's mini lego figures as well as a new scientific research discovery that is related with the lunar surface. We shouldn't forget our 5 interesting facts about space, where astronomy becomes a whole new level with amazing new facts and impressive topics.

Again, welcome to Hisar Galaxy, where space and learning sparkle the brightest! We hope you enjoy this issue and join us on our journey through space and learn more about astronomy. Good reading!

Hisar Galaxy News Editors

"If we want scientists and engineers in the future, we should be cultivating the girls as much as the boys."

Sally Ride (1951-2012)

Image Credit: "NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting Dust".NASA.(web).Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona. 04.03.2017


Sally Ride was the first American woman and third woman to go to space. Sally Ride was born in 1951 in California. At a young age she was interested in both science and tennis, but she decided to go into a scientific profession. After receiving her Ph.d. at Stanford University, she joined NASA. On June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman to go into space. After she stopped working for NASA in 1987, she started teaching at The University of California in San Diego. She also encouraged other girls to pursue their dreams in science and mathematics. She was added to the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2003. Sadly after all the work she had accomplished, she died at the age of 61 of pancreatic cancer in 2012. For some people, she was just the first woman to go to space, but for me she is a hero. She was smart and talented and had many hobbies. She was incredibly successful in her life. She will always remain an important part of science.

by Hazal Kara

Source: "Who was Sally Ride". NASA. (web). 08.03.2016

Sally Ride (1951-2012)

Atomic Bomb = Lunar Surface?

The first-ever nuclear explosion occured on July 16,1945 Trinity test site in New Mexico.

Before we start, let's go all the way back to 1945, when the U.S. Army detonated the first nuclear bomb in New Mexico (Trinity Nuclear Blast - 1945 July 16 - New Mexico). Back then it was a huge discovery for war and defence. It is still the most powerful bomb. For our young readers, an atomic bomb is a nuclear bomb. The bomb works by separating protons and neutrons that are attached together by the nuclear energy located in the nucleus of an atom.

Trinitite Samples

Let's go much farther back, almost 4.5 billion years... That's roughly the time when our moon was made through huge collisions and destruction of material. Of course, you can imagine how much heat is produced in the process, which the scientists think helped bind the elements and materials together.

Now let's go back to the time when the Apollo Mission 11 brought Earth a rock from the surface of the moon in 1969. Almost after xx years later, discoveries lead to surprising conclusions of these two important events. Could it be that the conclusion of the first nuclear bomb has somehow an attachment to a rock that came from the moon?

Finally we have stopped our time traveling to understand how these two different, but significant events are connected. After the first nuclear bomb was detonated, the affected area (about 350 meters in every direction - which means the {r=350 m}) was closed with borders for safe keeping because of its danger. In February 2017, Professor James Day and his colleagues of Scripps Institute of Oceanography discovered that the nuclear bomb’s high-temperature effect on the earth caused an element to form on the surface of the ground. The element is called "Trinitite" - which is like a clear green glass and it is radioactive. It also contains much less zinc and is a less volatile substance. It appears that the lunar rock has the same conditions within it. Here is what Prof. James Day said in his interview " The signatures we observe in the moon really are formed by these high temperatures, volatile-loss process. Space News editor re-wrote Day's words like so: "Trinitite substance is scarce in water and other "volatile" compounds - just like the moon rocks (moon surface) are like."

So if there were thousand of atomic bombs, would that mean that thousands of explosions would only be 1/10000 of the explosion the milky way had been through, especially the moon?

by Dalya Kinsizer

Source: "First Atomic Blast Reveals Clues About Moon Formation".(web)

Lord of the Rings

Saturn is the sixth planet in the solar system. Almost all gas planets have rings around them made out of chunks of ice and rock, Saturn is no different, because of its beautiful rings, it is called the ‘jewel of the solar system’. Also, Saturn is like Jupiter because they both are giant gas planets made of hydrogen and helium. Saturn is so big that 700 Earths could fit inside it!

Some people think Saturn has one large ring and others think that there are seven large rings around it. From far away it looks like seven, but we now know that in the large rings there are smaller, thinner ringlets. In fact, NASA says that if you were to drive a car across Saturn's rings, it would take longer than a week.

Saturn takes 29 years to go around our sun, whereas the earth takes one year to orbit the sun. In Saturn's 29 year orbit, due to the way it's tilted, viewed from Earth there are two times (approximately every 14 to 15 years) that the rings seem to disappear. However this is only an illusion, because while Saturn is orbiting the sun it gets tilted like a flat piece of paper in front of our eyes. With the sun’s reflection it makes the rings seem to vanish.

Saturn has moons like most of the other planets, but the moons around Saturn each tell a story about its system. Scientists have discovered 53 moons sofar, with another 9 moons possible. That would make 62 moons around Saturn.

by Lara Ann Türeli

Source: "Saturn: Overview"


Enceladus is the sixth largest satellite of Saturn. It was discovered by William HERSCHEL in 1789 . It is so small (much more than you think) that it can fit within the borders of Arizona, being only 157 miles (252 kilometers) in mean radius. The most exciting part is that this small satellite has water under its surface!! Although it has a cold temperature, it has liquid water that can make possible the chemical reactions which can create life. This liquid includes organic compounds, volatile gases, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, salts and silica.

Tiger Stripes

Enceladus has underground oceans, and the surface of this moon has cracks. Following these cracks, underground oceans get through creating a stream all along the surface of the moon. With the cold temperature these freeze and make it look like tiger stripes made from ice. From the tiger stripes, ice particles form a cloud which feeds one of the Saturn's rings.

by Ceren Dolu and Melis Alsan

Source: "Enceladus: Overview"NASA. gov.(web).21.02.2017-22.02.2017

"Fresh Tiger Stripes on Enceladus" 23.02.2017

Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

This illustration shows the possible surface of TRAPPIST-1 Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A new place for us to live

Have you ever thought that if one day when the earth or the sun in our solar system dies, how could we live? I have an answer for this. There are seven planets out of our solar system whose sizes are most similar to Earth. Their star is called TRAPPIST-1. TRAPPIST-1 is 40 light years away from Earth and it is a very cold dwarf sun. All its planets potentially have liquid water. They were discovered by the Spitzer Space Telescope. It is a new record for being the most habitable planets orbiting one sun. However, three of the planets have more chance to support life than the others. The planets are also really close to each other - from one TRAPPIST-1 planet you should be able to see the other TRAPPIST-1 planets in the sky.

Trappist-1 System Illustration Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

These planets are known as exoplanets. The farthest exoplanet in the TRAPPIST-1 system is probably an icy world, but it needs more observation to be sure. There is also a high potential for their atmospheres be habitable. The TRAPPIST-1 star is so cool that liquid water could survive on the exoplanets. So maybe they are the next planets that we are going to live on. The Spitzer, Hubble and Kepler Space Telescopes will keep following these discoveries, and you can learn a lot more when the James Webb Space Telescope launches in 2018.

by Lal Menase

Source: ”NASA Telescope Reveals Largest Batch of Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around Single Star”.

This poster imagines what a trip to TRAPPIST-1e might be like. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech


I do not know about my friends and family but I sure do have an obsession about Legos. I even have a collection of five shelves of Lego. When I first saw a NASA Lego set really existed I was shocked. I thought that I had to get the set but unfortunately it is not accessible to us yet. The Lego Set is a celebration for the contributions of NASA's female precursors. It will soon be available for the children who dream of space and are curious about STEM fields.

The Lego (brand) has announced that this set has the Lego versions of Nancy Grace Roman, Mae Carol Jemison, Sally Ride, Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson and Margaret Heafield Hamilton- reflecting their famous pictures and positions. To represent what they did to make a difference to the world there are accessories that come with the mini figures. It is the dream team.


Nancy Grace Roman is an astronomer who had a very important role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope, she is also known as "Hubble Mother" too. That's why she has the Lego Hubble Space Telescope by her side.


Mae Carol Jemison is a very talented person who stands out with her engineering skills, physics information and her good astronaut training. She is the first African-American person to go to space.


Sally Kristen Ride is a very significant physicist and a hero astronaut. She had a dream of being the first American woman in space which became true.


Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson is a famous physicist and mathematician who put a lot of effort into the space programs.


Margaret Heafield Hamilton is a successful computer scientist at NASA who had a very important role in the famous Apollo Missions.

by Ceren Dolu

Sources: “Margaret Heafield Hamilton” NASA.women.WEB.07.03.2017

“Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson” NASA.women.WEB.07.03.2017

“Sally Kristen Ride” NASA.women.WEB.07.03.2017

“Mae Carol Jemison ” NASA.women.WEB.07.03.2017

“Nancy Grace Roman” NASA.women.WEB.07.03.2017

“Everything Is Awesome For The Women Of NASA Lego Set” thewashingtonpost.WEB.07.03.2017


1- Venus is the second planet from the Sun and is the second brightest object in the night sky after the Moon.

2- The Apollo astronauts' footprints on the moon will probably stay there for at least 100 million years. Since the moon doesn't have an atmosphere, there's no wind or water to erode or wash away the Apollo astronauts' mark on the moon. That means their footprints, roverprints, spaceship prints, and discarded materials will stay preserved on the moon for a very long time.

3- Sally Kristen Ride said to her family that she went to bungee jumping but she went to space her family learned from radio.

4-Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became first woman in space in July,25th 1984.

5-Professor Feryal Özel, the only Turkish woman scientist at NASA, is already managing a project for an event horizon telescope that aims to monitor a black hole

by Serra Çelik

Source: History

Hisar Galaxy News Editorial Team

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

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

Created By


NASA Images

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.