On this day in 1814 – September 27th – American astronomer Daniel Kirkwood was born.
Kirkwood is best known for his study of asteroid orbits. When arranging the then-growing number of discovered asteroids by their distance from the Sun, he noted several gaps, now named Kirkwood gaps. He associated these gaps with orbital resonances with the orbit of Jupiter.
On this day in 1920 – October 2nd – the "Grandfather of the fly-by" Giuseppe 'Bepi' Colombo was born.
It was Colombo who suggested to NASA in 1970 that its Mariner 10 mission could achieve a second fly-by of Mercury by making use of the planet's gravity. A careful analysis showed this could indeed be done and was incorporated into the mission. ESA (European Space Agency) has commemorated him by naming its Mercury mission BepiColombo.
Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 10/04/1703:33 AM.