On this day in 1900 – April 28th – Dutch astronomer Jan Oort was born.
Oort made major contributions to the understanding of the Milky Way and was a pioneer in radio astronomy. He realized that the orbits of comets “implied there was a lot more solar system than the region occupied by the planets.” The Oort cloud of comets that surrounds the Solar System was named for him.
Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 04/30/1710:57 AM.
The infrared observatory was named after William Herschel, who discovered infrared radiation, and his sister and collaborator Caroline. The observatory was able to see the coldest and dustiest objects in space, but it needed liquid helium to cool its instruments. When that ran out the mission ended.
On this day in 1974 – May 11th – the first geostationary satellite was launched.
SMS-1 (Synchronous Meteorological Satellite) was the first satellite in the first series of geostationary meteorological satellites. (A geostationary satellite is in an orbit that keeps it above the same part of the Earth all of the time.)
Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 05/13/1706:48 AM.