Astronomy and Space Science for the Curious February 2017, Issue:03

Galaxy News editorial team and Dalya K.'s design 3D Astro Joy in the advertisement desk.

About thıs ıssue

Dear Galaxy News Reader,

Welcome to our third issue. In this issue we have a special surprise for you! You’ll get to see our interview answers with one of the most famous theoretical physicist; Prof. Lawrence Krauss. If you have not heard about him before, we have explained little about him in the later pages. Along with our surprise, we have also included more articles that we believe are new and interesting. We truly hope you’ll enjoy our latest issue! Also, we wish you an amazing second term full of space and science! Remember, we are all made from stardust!

Hisar Galaxy News Editors

“Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.”

Plato, (428-348 B.C.E)

Image Credit: NASA, ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and K. Noll (STScI)


This astronaut was the LAST MAN TO WALK ON THE MOON. Eugene (Gene) Cernan died on recently on Monday, 16th January 2017. He was 82 years old. Gene Cernan had flown 3 times in space, 2 of them were on a mission to the moon. Charles Bolden - former administrator of NASA - said that "Truly, America has lost a patriot and pioneer who helped shape our country’s bold ambitions to do things that humankind had never before achieved."

Eugene, who used the nickname ‘Gene’, was born in Chicago, USA. He studied at Purdue University and was in the navy. He had a wife, three daughters, and a grandchild.

Gene Cernan was among the first fourteen astronauts chosen by NASA in 1963. His first trip to space was as a pilot for the mission Gemini 9A in 1966. He was a crew member on the Apollo 10 mission, and was also the commander of the Apollo 17 mission to the moon – going to the moon twice.

Apollo 10 was the first spacecraft to the moon with a fully manned crew of astronauts. The spacecraft orbited the moon but did not land.

Apollo 17 was the last spacecraft to land on the moon.

After Gene Cernan finished his active missions as an astronaut, he spent his time making speeches and lectures to educate and motivate people about research and exploration in space.

Gene Cernan received many awards from NASA for his accomplishments and his help to the world.

by Lara Ann Türeli

Source: "Remembering Gene Cernan". NASA. (web). 07.02.2017

Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan

INTERVIEW: Prof.lawrence m. Krauss

In all of our issues, we chose a quote about astronomy. In our February issue, we chose the quote “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.” by Prof. Lawrence Krauss.

Prof. Krauss is an internationally well known theoretical physicist. His major working areas are; theoretical particle astrophysics and cosmology, dark matter, dark energy, quantum field theory, black holes and a lot more.

He was born in 27 May 1954 in New York. He worked as a Professor in many universities but now he is the director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University. He is the author of 10 popular books and over 300 scientific publications. The Physics of Star Trek (1995) and A Universe from Nothing (2012) books became internationally best sellers.

As Hisar Galaxy News Team, we decided to contact him and ask some questions…

Firstly, we asked him what he would recommend to young astronomy lovers wishing to have a career in astrophysics. He advised us to “…take mathematics and physics in high school, read popular books, and never forget why you enjoy it!” He is so right, we should never forget why we enjoy astronomy because if we don't enjoy it, we can't improve ourselves.

Secondly, we asked him if he wants to solve or continue to a theory? He told us that he “…would like to understand the origin of dark matter and dark energy.” (So would we!).

When we read some of his articles, we saw that he uses really complex vocabulary for middle school students, so it was really difficult to understand his theories. Therefore, in our last question we asked him if he is planning to make books, articles or other products for Astronomy lover young readers like us. We were surprised at his answer, because we learned that he already does many television programs, like “How the Universe Works”, which try to explain his complex theories in popular, simple terms.

Today, Krauss is one of the few prominent scientists to build a bridge between science and popular culture with radio and TV programmes.

Lawrence Krauss, thanks so much for joining the Hisar Galaxy News February Issue, and for taking time to answer our questions.

by Lal Menase and Dalya Kinsizer

Source: Arizona State University. (web). 08.02.2017

The History of

If you are a true astronomy lover, you might have visited for astronomy news. As a student who is interested in astronomy, I visit often, but I realized that I never knew how this award winning website-online news was created. I learned that the first female astronaut Sally Ride and Lou Dobbs were the official founders of the company. It was founded on July 20th 1999 in New York, which was the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. The board for the original company was very interesting, including Neil Armstrong as a board director and Sally Ride as the president. That’s a pretty interesting and strong start to the most viewed (after Nasa) online space magazine! The magazine still continues after 17 years of space focused news for astronomy lovers. The board also includes professional journalists who study the science of astronomy. If you're interested to learn more information about how the most known space institutions are founded, be sure to click the "about" button - it’s all there!


Source: (web). 03.02.2017

Is Venus that Beautiful?

I think some of you believe that Venus is a beautiful planet. This may be because Venus is actually the name of a Roman goddess of love and beauty. Actually, it's not as beautiful as you might think, of course, depending on your point of view. It’s a really hot planet with plenty of volcanic activity. It’s the hottest planet in the solar system (reaching up to 465 degrees Celsius), even though it's not the closest one to the Sun.

Twin Of Earth...

Do you know that it is the closest planet to the Earth, and is about the same size? The similarities between Venus and Earth are not only the size, but also its mass, density and composition. They also look like a bit like each other, like twins, but they have totally different characters. Venus has an extremely toxic atmosphere that no human or animal can survive in - but on Earth, of course, we can.

Let's be positive...

I know it may not be that beautiful, but it is the brightest planet in the sky. This makes it different from others, which is good as it is easily seen from Earth. Another interesting and charming fact about Venus is that it's direction of rotation is opposite to most other planets. It has no satellite (moon) either. Therefore, while it's not the most beautiful, it is a unique planet in our solar system.

by Melis Alsan

Source: "Venus: The basics" NASA.(web).04.01.2017-05.01.2017

Image Credit: Nasa Web

White Dwarfs

Have you ever wondered "What will happen to the sun eventually?"... It will become a white dwarf like most of the stars in the Milky Way. Every star has a battle in itself, the gravity pulling in and the pressure pushing out. When the star stops burning, the gravity wins the battle and the star collapses on itself causing the star to shrink. If the star's size is less massive than 8 times the mass of the sun, with a last spark of energy it will scatter its outer layers creating a planetary nebula. After millions of years the core is the only thing that remains, and this is called a white dwarf.

A white dwarf is an extremely dense object. A teaspoon of white dwarf matter weighs 5.5 tons, as much as an elephant on Earth!

In 1862, a white dwarf was spotted for the first time by a telescope maker, Alvan Clark. He named it 'Sirius B'.

by Ceren Dolu

Sources: "What is a White Dwarf Star?" NASA.(web), 06.02.2017

"What is a White Dwarf and How Does It Form?" NASA. (web). 06.02.2017

"How Does a White Dwarf Form?"NASA Hubble Site.(web), 06.02.2017

Image Credit: " Sirius B". NASA, ESA, H. Bond (STScI) and M. Barstow (University of Leicester)


1- We have eight planets in our Solar System. However, outside of our Solar System there are thousands of other planets. The extrasolar planets or exoplanets are in orbit around another star. So far, we have almost 1800 confirmed new worlds, with another 3000 awaiting confirmation. Astronomers are looking to a star’s goldilocks zone for planets that may be habitable, just like the Earth. The majority of planets discovered so far are hot gas giant planets.

2- In space the skin on your feet peels off! This is a pretty gross fact but in the microgravity environment, astronauts are not using their feet to walk. Therefore the skin on their feet starts to soften and flakes off. As laundry facilities do not exist in space, astronauts will wear the same underwear and socks for a few days. Those socks then need to be taken off very gently. If not those dead skin cells will float around in the weightless environment.

3- Dirty underwear and toilet paper has helped grown plants on the ISS. American astronaut Don Pettit discovered that by folding a pair of underpants into a sphere shape and stitching in some Russian toilet paper (which is thick, wool like gauze), this created a warmer environment for some tomato and basil seeds to start to sprout.

4- The hottest planet is not the closest planet to the Sun. Even though Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, it is not actually the hottest. Mercury does not have any atmosphere meaning that this planet is only hot in the daytime when it is directly facing the Sun. At this stage temperatures can rise to 425 °C but at night the planet’s temperature can drop down to a freezing -180 °C. Venus is the hottest planet.

5- One million Earths can fit inside the Sun. Ancient astronomers once believed the Earth was at the centre of the Universe but now we know that the Sun is at the centre of our Solar System and our planets orbit the Sun. The Sun makes up 99.8 % of the entire mass of the whole Solar System. One million Earths would be needed to be the same size as the Sun.

by Serra Çelik

Source: BBC Space. (web). 08.02.2017

Hisar Galaxy News Team working at the advertisement desk.

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.

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