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#925538 - 12/31/17 10:10 PM 2018: On this day . . .
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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On this day in 1801 - January 1st - Giuseppe Piazzi discovered Ceres.

Ceres was the first object discovered in what's now known as the asteroid belt. It was at first considered a planet, then an asteroid, and is now classed as a dwarf planet.


Edited by Mona - Astronomy (12/31/17 11:02 PM)
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#925558 - 01/01/18 11:37 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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On this day in 1925 - January 1st - Edward Hubble read to the American Astronomical Society what would be a ground-breaking paper.

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

Here is picture of the glass plate on which Hubble discovered a Cepheid variable - marked VAR! - in the Andromeda galaxy. From this he determined that it was too far away to be located in our own galaxy.


Edited by Mona - Astronomy (01/02/18 10:37 AM)
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#925569 - 01/02/18 09:53 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1959 - January 2nd - the Soviet Union's Luna 1 was the first spacecraft to leave the Earth's gravitational field.

Luna 1 passed to within 6000 km of the Moon, and ended up in orbit around the Sun.



Edited by Mona - Astronomy (01/02/18 10:27 AM)
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#925570 - 01/02/18 10:26 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 2004 - January 2nd - NASA's Stardust probe encountered Comet Wild.

Stardust collected samples of space dust and comet dust, and returned them to Earth in 2006.
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#925573 - 01/02/18 10:07 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1920 - January 2nd - American author and scientist Isaac Asimov was born.

Asimov was a chemistry professor, but also a prolific writer on many subjects. He's best remembered for his works of science fiction and of popular science, including astronomy.
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#925585 - 01/03/18 08:21 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 2004 - January 3rd - NASA's rover Spirit landed on Mars.

Along with the Opportunity rover, their mission was designed to last for just over three months. Spirit was active until 2010.
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#925591 - 01/03/18 10:28 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1643 - January 4th - Isaac Newton was born.

Newton was born on Christmas Day 1642, according to the Julian Calendar then in use. Nearly a century later England adopted the Gregorian calendar, and the equivalent date was ten days later.


Edited by Mona - Astronomy (01/03/18 10:35 PM)
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#925605 - 01/04/18 08:40 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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On this day in 1797 - January 4th - Wilhelm Beer was born.

Beer was an amateur astronomer, who with Johannes Heinrich M├Ądler, published the first map of the Moon (Mappa Salenographica). They also made a map of Mars and calculated the planet's rotation period to within 0.1 second of today's figure.
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#925613 - 01/04/18 10:57 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 2005 - January 5th - Mike Brown's team at Palomar Observatory discovered Eris.

The discovery of this distant object that originally appeared to be bigger than Pluto ignited the debate about the definition of a planet. For a time, NASA referred to Eris as the "10th planet", but in the end, both Eris and Pluto became dwarf planets.
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#925632 - 01/05/18 10:49 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1892 - January 5th - the first successful photograph was taken of an aurora.

Early cameras couldn't catch the dim light of an aurora, and long exposures didn't capture the movement. German physicist Martin Brendel and a fellow scientist, on an expedition in northern Norway, took the first successful image, and revolutionized the study of the northern lights.


Edited by Mona - Astronomy (01/06/18 05:17 AM)
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#925645 - 01/06/18 05:16 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1998 - January 6th - NASA's Lunar Prospector was launched.

The mission was designed to investigate the Moon from low polar orbit. This would include mapping the surface composition, locating lunar resources, and measuring magnetic and gravity fields.
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#925656 - 01/06/18 10:12 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1610 - January 7th - Galileo wrote the first letter in which he described his observations of the Moon through a telescope.

In those days, the Moon was assumed to be a perfectly smooth sphere. However Galileo saw that the surface was uneven with mountains, plains and valleys.
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#925673 - 01/07/18 10:31 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1610 - January 7th - Galileo first saw three of Jupiter's moons.

The three objects he saw in his telescope are now known as Callisto, Io and Europa, three of the four Galilean moons.


Edited by Mona - Astronomy (01/13/18 12:05 AM)
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#925674 - 01/07/18 10:38 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1587 - January 8th - Johannes Fabricius was born.

Fabricius was a German/Frisian astronomer, eldest son of David Fabricius who was also an astronomer. In their solar observing they discovered sunspots about the same time as, and independently of, Galileo.
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#925693 - 01/09/18 12:15 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1942 - January 8th - Stephen Hawking was born.

Hawking is possible the most famous living scientist. For thirty years he held the prestigious post of Lucasian Professor at the University of Cambridge, though he retired a number of years ago. (Isaac Newton was once Lucasian Professor. He's best known for his work on black holes.
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#925704 - 01/09/18 11:20 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1839 - January 9th - Thomas Henderson published his determination of the distance to Alpha Centauri.

Henderson had actually been the first person to calculate the distance to a fixed star by using stellar parallax. However he had delayed publishing his results, and the credit for being first went elsewhere.
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#925711 - 01/09/18 10:11 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1946 - January 10th - the US Army Signal Corps had the first successful echo detection of a radar signal bounced off the Moon.

It was part of the first experiment in radar astronomy, a technique used decades later to map the planet Venus.
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#925722 - 01/10/18 09:19 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
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On this day in 1787 - January 11th - William Herschel discovered the Uranian moons Oberon and Titania.
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#925745 - 01/11/18 10:19 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1907 - January 12th - Sergei Korolev was born.

Korolev was the mastermind of the Soviet space program, and a state secret referred to only as the Chief Designer.
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#925760 - 01/12/18 10:23 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 2005 - January 12th - NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft was launched.

Deep Impact was the first space mission to study the interior composition of a comet.
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#925766 - 01/13/18 12:03 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1610 - January 13th - Galileo discovered a fourth satellite of Jupiter.

This was the one we now know as Ganymede, the largest moon in the Solar System.
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#925777 - 01/13/18 11:03 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 1978 - January 13th - NASA selected its first women astronauts.

In 1983 Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.
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#925789 - 01/14/18 07:27 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 2005 - January 14th - the European Space Agency (ESA) probe Huygens landed on Saturn's moon Titan.

It was the first time a spacecraft had been landed on a moon other than our own. Here is footage of the Huygens landing on Titan.
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#925803 - 01/14/18 01:07 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

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On this day in 2008 - January 14th - NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft made its first flyby of Mercury.

MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) was the second spacecraft to reach Mercury, the first having been Mariner 10 in 1975.
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#925817 - 01/15/18 04:42 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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On this day in 1916 - January 14th - the Royal Astronomical Society in London admitted the first women to full membership in the society.



Edited by Mona - Astronomy (01/15/18 09:19 PM)
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#925834 - 01/15/18 09:07 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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On this day in 2006 - January 15th - NASA's Stardust spacecraft completed its mission by returning its samples to Earth.

Stardust was robotic space probe whose primary mission was to collect dust samples from the coma of comet Wild 2, as well as samples of cosmic dust.


Edited by Mona - Astronomy (01/15/18 09:13 PM)
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#925835 - 01/15/18 09:12 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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On this day in 2015 - January 16th - the UK Space Agency announced that the remains of the probe Beagle 2 had been located on Mars.

The probe had been lost on Christmas Day 2003 after successful insertion into orbit by Mars Express. It was finally identified in images from the HiRise camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
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#925852 - Yesterday at 12:11 AM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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On this day in 2015 - January 16th - the first docking of two manned spacecraft occurred.

The Soviet Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 docked in space and transferred crew from one vehicle to another by a space walk.
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#925880 - Today at 12:08 PM Re: 2018: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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On this day in 2002 - January 18th - the Gemini South Observatory was dedicated.

Gemini South in Chile and Gemini North in Hawaii together constitute the Gemini Observatory. The twin telescopes provide almost complete coverage of the skies with two of the largest and most advanced optical/infrared telescopes available.
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