Pho­bos and Deimos are ir­reg­u­larly shaped ob­jects that or­bit what planet?

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Yourdaily Break - Les­lie El­man TRIVIA FANS: Les­lie El­man is the au­thor of “Weird But True: 200 As­tound­ing, Ou­tra­geous and To­tally Off the Wall Facts.” Con­tact her at triv­i­abit­sleslie@gmail.com.

Pho­bos and Deimos — Fear (from the same Greek root that gives us pho­bia) and Ter­ror — are ir­reg­u­larly shaped ob­jects that or­bit Mars. We call them moons although it’s more likely they’re as­ter­oids caught in the planet’s grav­i­ta­tional pull. As­aph Hall, a math­e­ma­ti­cian and as­tronomer at the U.S. Naval Ob­ser­va­tory, cat­a­loged and named them in 1877. Hall made his dis­cov­er­ies us­ing the ob­ser­va­tory’s 26-inch “Great Equa­to­rial” re­fract­ing tele­scope, in­stalled in 1873 and still in use at the U.S. Naval Ob­ser­va­tory to­day.

Trivia ques­tion: Named for the Greek god­dess of dis­cord and strife, Eris is a dwarf planet found where? A) Be­tween Jupiter and Saturn B) In the Kuiper Belt be­yond Nep­tune

C) Or­bit­ing Mer­cury

D) In the An­dromeda galaxy

The 2018 Pyeongchang games marks Malaysia’s first par­tic­i­pa­tion at the Win­ter Olympics, with Jef­frey Webb rep­re­sent­ing the trop­i­cal na­tion in alpine ski­ing and Ju­lian Yee in men’s fig­ure skat­ing. Malaysia has com­peted in the sum­mer games since 1956 and is typ­i­cally a force to be reck­oned with in bad­minton, in­clud­ing tak­ing sil­ver medals in men’s sin­gles, men’s dou­bles and mixed dou­bles at Rio in 2016.

When Anne of Brit­tany died in 1514, she was buried in Paris but she left her heart in Nantes — lit­er­ally. Mar­ried to Charles VIII of France and then to his suc­ces­sor Louis XII, she’d twice been queen con­sort of France, but the in­de­pen­dent duchy of Brit­tany was her first love. Thus, her heart was in­terred there sep­a­rate from her body. His­tor­i­cally, di­vided buri­als of prom­i­nent in­di­vid­u­als are not un­com­mon: When Pol­ish-born com­poser Fred­eric Chopin died in 1849, his body was laid to rest in Paris and his heart re­turned to his beloved War­saw.

The “star” in a star sapphire is caused by nat­u­ral de­posits of a ti­ta­nium-based min­eral called ru­tile in­side the stone. Oc­ca­sion­ally, those nee­dle-shaped im­per­fec­tions meet at their points to cre­ate a star shape called an as­ter­ism (from the Latin for star). When that hap­pens, the raw gem­stone is cut and pol­ished to high­light the nat­u­ral star­shaped in­clu­sion.

In­cor­po­rat­ing the sounds of ham­mers, anvils, church bells, chains, can­nons, sirens, stones and shot­guns into its com­po­si­tion, the dis­so­nant or­ches­tral piece “Hekla, op. 52” by Ice­landic com­poser Jon Leifs is re­puted to be the loud­est or­ches­tral piece ever writ­ten. To per­form it re­quires the par­tic­i­pa­tion of 19 per­cus­sion­ists! Tough to play and tough to lis­ten to, the piece was in­spired by a vol­cano called Hekla that erupted in Ice­land in 1947, about 14 years be­fore Leifs com­pleted his com­po­si­tion.

In April 1862, Union forces took con­trol of the Con­fed­er­ate Fort Pu­laski in Ge­or­gia. The 48th New York In­fantry, left to gar­ri­son the fort, spent most of its work­ing hours re­pair­ing bat­tle dam­age to the struc­ture. In the off-hours, the sol­diers or­ga­nized a base­ball team, a band and a theatre troupe that per­formed ev­ery­thing from farces to Shake­spearean tragedy in its own theatre. When the 24th Mas­sachusetts was moved in to re­place the 48th New York, it con­tin­ued the fort’s theatre tra­di­tion.

Trivia an­swer: Named for the Greek god­dess of dis­cord and strife, Eris is a dwarf planet found (along with Pluto) in the Kuiper Belt be­yond Nep­tune.

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