On this day in 1999 - December 10th - the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the Newton X-Ray Multi-Mirror Telescope (XMM-Newton).
XMM-Newton, named after Sir Isaac Newton, investigates interstellar X-ray sources, uses narrow- and broad-range spectroscopy, and performed the first simultaneous imaging of objects in both X-ray and optical (visible and ultraviolet) wavelengths. Although planned to be operational for 10 years, the telescope is still in operation.
On this day in 1904 - December 13th - Irish theoretical physicist Sir William Hunter McCrea was born.
He made contributions to mathematics, physics and almost every area of astronomy, but is best known for his seminal work in modern relativistic cosmology. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Astronomical Society, the Royal Irish Academy, and was awarded many other honors.
On this day in 1917 - December 16th - British author, futurist, inventor and explorer Arthur C. Clarke was born.
Clarke wrote more than 100 books, and he inspired scientists and space explorers. In honor of his work, the International Astronomical Union named the distance of 36000 km above Earth the Clarke Orbit, and in 2018 they named a mountain on Pluto's moon Charon for him.
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