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On this day in 1512 - March 5th - Gerardus Mercator was born.

Mercator was a German-Flemish cartographer, geographer and cosmographer. He created the 1569 world map based on a new projection that represented sailing courses of constant bearing as straight lines—an innovation that is still employed in nautical charts.





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On this day in 1937 - March 6th - Valentina Tereshkova was born.

Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space. She was a Soviet cosmonaut who spent three days orbiting in Vostok 6.


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On this day in 1787 - March 6th - Joseph Fraunhofer was born.

Fraunhofer was a German optician who was known for the quality of his optical glass and excellent telescope objectives. His name is still known today for his discovery of the dark absorption lines - known as Fraunhofer lines - in the Sun's spectrum.


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On this day in 2015 - March 6th - NASA'S Dawn spacecraft went into orbit around dwarf planet Ceres.

Dawn had already orbited the asteroid Vesta before being the first spacecraft to visit a dwarf planet.






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On this day in 2009 - March 7th - NASA launched its planet-hunter Kepler.

As of February 2017 Kepler had found over 2600 confirmed exoplanets and five thousand possibles for further investigation.


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On this day in 1792 - March 7th - John Herschel was born.

Son of the discoverer of Uranus, John Herschel was one of the 19th century's most distinguished individuals. He was a brilliant mathematician, chemist and astronomer, as well as an accomplished artist, musician and linguist.


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On this day in 1837 - March 7th - Henry Draper was born.

Henry Draper was a pioneer of astrophotography. Following his early death, his wife Anna donated money to Harvard College Observatory to complete his catalogue of stellar spectra. If you see a deep sky object named with an “HD” prefix, it refers to this catalogue.


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On this day in 1831 - March 7th - King William IV signed a Royal Charter for the Astronomical Society of London, and it assumed the name Royal Astronomical Society.

William IV also agreed to be the Society's Patron; every subsequent monarch has followed suit.


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On this day in 1979 - March 9th - astronomer Linda Morabito discovered evidence of volcanic activity on Jupiter's moon Io.

Voyager 1 took the picture on which the first active volcano outside the Earth was found.




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On this day in 1564 - March 9th - David Fabricius was born.

Along with his son Johannes, David Fabricius discovered Mira, the first known periodic variable star. They also made the first confirmed observations of sunspots.





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