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#916725 - 01/01/17 12:06 PM 2017: Astronomy and Space on this day  
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On this day in 1801 - January 1st - Sicilian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi discovered Ceres.

Ceres was the first asteroid to be discovered. It's now classified as a dwarf planet.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 08/23/17 05:31 AM.

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#916746 - 01/01/17 11:45 PM Re: 2017: Astronomy and Space on this day [Re: Mona - Astronomy]  
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On this day in 1925 - January 1st - a ground-breaking paper by Edwin Hubble was read to the American Astronomical Society.

The paper showed that the Andromeda "nebula" wasn't an object in the Milky Way, but a galaxy in its own right.

This is a copy of the photographic plate on which Hubble discovered a Cepheid variable - marked VAR! - in the Andromeda galaxy. Using this, he was able to determine that it was too far away to be located in our own galaxy.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 01/10/17 06:23 AM.

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#916752 - 01/02/17 05:46 PM Re: 2017: Astronomy and Space on this day [Re: Mona - Astronomy]  
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On this day in 1900 - January 2nd - Leslie Peltier was born.

Harlow Shapley once described Peltier as "the world's greatest non-professional astronomer". Over his sixty years of observing he made more than 132,000 variable star observations. He also co-discovered 12 comets, 10 of which bear his name.


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#916754 - 01/02/17 09:58 PM Re: 2017: Astronomy and Space on this day [Re: Mona - Astronomy]  
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On this day in 1920 - January 2nd - American author Isaac Asimov was born.

By profession Asimov was a professor of biochemistry, and also a prolific writer on many subjects. He's probably best remembered for his works of science fiction and of popular science.


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#916760 - 01/02/17 11:12 PM Re: 2017: Astronomy and Space on this day [Re: Mona - Astronomy]  
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On this day in 1959 - January 2nd - the Soviet spacecraft Luna 1 was launched.

Luna 1 was supposed to impact the Moon, but due to a launch error missed it. It was still the first spacecraft leave Earth orbit and the first to get close to the Moon. In addition, when it missed the Moon it ended up going into orbit around the Sun. It still orbits between Earth and Mars.


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#916822 - 01/03/17 11:59 AM Re: 2017: Astronomy and Space on this day [Re: Mona - Astronomy]  
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On this day in 1972 - January 2nd - NASA's Mariner 9 began mapping Mars.

Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. It had arrived a month before, but with a dust storm covered almost all of the planet, the mapping didn't begin until the dust had settled.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 01/03/17 12:00 PM.

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#916824 - 01/03/17 12:45 PM Re: 2017: Astronomy and Space on this day [Re: Mona - Astronomy]  
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On this day in 2004 - January 2nd - NASA's Stardust spacecraft encountered comet Wild 2.

Its primary mission was to collect dust samples from the comet's coma, as well as samples of cosmic dust, and return them to Earth.


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#916832 - 01/03/17 09:35 PM Re: 2017: Astronomy and Space on this day [Re: Mona - Astronomy]  
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On this day in 2004 - January 3rd - NASA's Spirit rover landed on Mars.

The mission was planned to last 90 Martian days, but Spirit collected data for over six years.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 01/04/17 06:21 AM.

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#916875 - 01/04/17 07:58 PM Re: 2017: Astronomy and Space on this day [Re: Mona - Astronomy]  
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On this day in 1797 - January 4th - Wilhelm Beer was born.

Beer was an amateur astronomer who with Johann Heinrich M├Ądler published the first map of the Moon (Mappa Selenographica). The pair also made a map of Mars and calculated the planet's rotation period to within 0.1 second of today's figure.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 01/04/17 07:59 PM.

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#916878 - 01/05/17 08:17 AM Re: 2017: Astronomy and Space on this day [Re: Mona - Astronomy]  
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On this day in 1643 - January 4th - Isaac Newton was born.

By the Julian calendar in use when Isaac Newton was born, he was born on Christmas Day 1642. That's the equivalent of January 4th on the Gregorian calendar now in use.


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