On this day in 1736 - January 25th - French mathematician Joseph Lagrange was born.
Lagrange was one of the great minds 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.
On this day in 2004 - January 25th - the Mars rover Opportunity landed on the red planet.
The mission was designed to last 90 Martian days, but it was operational until the summer of 2018 when an exceptionally severe dust storm blanketed Mars for three months. The rover didn't recover from the loss of power.
On this day in 1994 - January 25th - Clementine was launched.
Over a period of nearly four months the US spacecraft Clementine made scientific observations of the Moon. In addition, Clementine was used as a test of the effects on sensors and components of extended exposure to space.
On this day in 1829 - January 27th - pioneering astrophotographer Isaac Roberts was born.
Roberts was a Welsh amateur astronomer, and a fellow of the Royal Geological Society. He developed a photographic technique which made it possible to capture faint objects. Roberts's photograph of the Andromeda Nebula showed the spiral structure of M31, which was surprising at the time.
On this day in 1941 - January 27th - New Zealand astrophysicist Beatrice Hill Tinsley was born.
Beatrice Tinsley began her career late, and died in 1981, but in the intervening years she revolutionized our view of galactic evolution. Her pioneering work continues to be regularly cited by researchers.
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