The SPA - was founded in 1953 by Patrick Moore, Ernest Noon and Eric Turner and was originally called The Junior Astronomical Society.
Star in a car If you could travel to the nearest star in a car at 70 miles an hour, it would take 356,908,917,036 years!
Sunrise on Venus - If you watch the sunrise on Venus you would not see the Sun rise in the East and set in the West as you do on Earth but rather you would see it rise in the West and set in the East. This is because Venus has a retrograde orbit which means its rotation is backwards compared to the other planets
A real turn-on The light from the star Arcturus was used to open the 1933 Chicago World's Fair in 1933 because it was then thought that the star was 40 light years away. So the light would have left the star in 1893 when the previous fair was held. But we now know that Arcturus is only 36.7 light years away, and the light that was used actually started its journey in 1896.
Helluva place There is a crater on the Moon called Hell. But it is named after the Hungarian astronomer Maximilian Hell (1720-1792).
|One of the few photos of Neil Armstrong on the Moon. NASA picture|
Wrong guy You know all those pictures of Neil Armstrong on the Moon? They're actually of Buzz Aldrin. Neil Armstrong was the one who took almost all the photos.
Light Speed Did you know that light speeds along at 186,000 miles per second!
The Moon speeds around the earth (orbits) at 2288 miles per second.
A Long Old Day - Did you know that the planet Mercury spins so slowly upon its axis that one day on Mercury is equal to 58 days 15 hours here on Earth!
Save your pennies! - When the space shuttle Endeavour was constructed it cost a total of $1.7 Billion Dollars...thats a lot of Pocket Money.
The Former Astronomer Royal, Sir George Biddell Airy, liked to have everything arranged correctly and didnt like mess or clutter. He once spent an entire day in the basements of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich writing the word 'Empty' on the empty boxes that were stored there.
300 Million Years Ago - There were no sperate countries on Earth. All the land was gathered together in one giant mass known as Pangaea. The land started to drift apart around 200 million years ago to form the continents we know today. The charts below show Pangaea and its breakup
The Post of Astronomer Royal - has been held by 15 different astronomers including Sir John Flamsteed, Sir Edmund Halley & Prof Arnold Wolfendale
Venera 7 - Was the first space craft to successfully land on another Planet. It landed on Venus in 1970 but was only able to transmit the temperature of the planet which was recorded as 475 degrees Celsius. The descent capsule of Venera 7 can be seen below.
Uranus is a strange world - as it doesnt rotate like all the other planets but actually spins on its side!
VY Canis Majoris - is the largest known star. If you were able to fly across the surface of the star at a speed of 900 km/h (559 mph) it would take you 1,100 years to circle the star once.