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