On this day in 2006 - January 19th - NASA's New Horizons spacecraft was launched.
The spacecraft made a flyby of the Plutonian system in the summer of 2015 that stunned everyone with the data that turned the dwarf planet and its moons from distant icy bodies into unbelievably complex worlds.
Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 01/20/1808:13 PM.
On this day in 1930 - January 20th - Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin was born.
The second man to step onto the Moon has been an astronaut, Air Force combat pilot, aerial gunnery instructor and flight commander. His doctoral thesis at MIT was on techniques for manned orbital rendezvous.
On this day in 1573 - January 20th - Simon Marius was born.
Marius was a German astronomer who claimed he had seen Jupiter's moons before Galileo. Galileo's documentation was more extensive and published first, but the suggestions Marius made for naming the four large moons were eventually adopted.
On this day in 1592 - January 22nd - Pierre Gassendi was born.
Gassendi was a French philosopher, priest, astronomer, and scientific observer, experimentalist and chronicler. He was the first person ever to see a planet transiting the Sun when he observed the 1631 transit of Mercury.
Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 01/23/1803:54 AM.
On this day in 1736 - January 25th - Joseph Lagrange was born.
French mathematician Lagrange was one of the greats of the 18th century, and his work included major contributions to physics and astronomy. He's best known now for his identification of equilibrium points between the gravity of the Earth and that the Sun. NASA's SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) sits at one of these points.