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2020: On this day . . . #931969 01/01/20 04:56 PM
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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.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #931983 01/02/20 12:29 PM
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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.

He 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.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #931984 01/02/20 12:32 PM
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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.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #931986 01/02/20 12:36 PM
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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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #931995 01/03/20 01:23 PM
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On this day in 2004 - January 3rd - NASA's rover Spirit landed on Mars.

Along with the Opportunity rover, the rovers' mission was designed to last for just over three months. Spirit was active until 2010.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932011 01/04/20 11:02 AM
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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. When nearly a century later England adopted the Gregorian calendar, the equivalent date was ten days later.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932012 01/04/20 11:08 AM
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On this day in 1797 - January 4th - German astronomer Wilhelm Beer was born.

Beer was an amateur astronomer, who with Johannes Heinrich Maedler, 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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932016 01/05/20 12:31 PM
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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.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932017 01/05/20 01:14 PM
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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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932021 01/06/20 09:59 AM
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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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932029 01/07/20 10:45 AM
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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 his time 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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932030 01/07/20 10:47 AM
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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.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932034 01/08/20 09:44 AM
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On this day in 1942 - January 8th - English theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was born.

For thirty years he was the Lucasian Professor at the University of Cambridge, a prestigious post once held by Isaac Newton. Hawking also wrote books on cosmology for the general public, the most famous of which was A Brief History of Time. He was most closely with his work on black holes.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932035 01/08/20 09:46 AM
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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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932042 01/09/20 11:46 AM
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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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932048 01/10/20 10:39 AM
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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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932054 01/11/20 10:20 AM
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On this day in 1787 - January 11th - William Herschel discovered the Uranian moons Oberon and Titania.

It would be almost five decades after Titania and Oberon were discovered that an astronomer other than Herschel would observe them.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932057 01/12/20 10:15 AM
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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, if at all, as the Chief Designer.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932058 01/12/20 10:19 AM
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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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932060 01/13/20 10:40 AM
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On this day in 1610 - January 13th - Galileo discovered a fourth satellite of Jupiter.

This was the moon we now know as Ganymede, the biggest moon in the Solar System.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932061 01/13/20 10:43 AM
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On this day in 1978 - January 13th - NASA selected its first women astronaut candidates.

In 1983 Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932072 01/14/20 09:38 AM
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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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932073 01/14/20 09:44 AM
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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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932074 01/14/20 09:56 AM
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On this day in 1916 - January 14th - the Royal Astronomical Society in London, founded in 1820, finally admitted the first women to full membership in the society.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932080 01/15/20 08:32 AM
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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.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932085 01/16/20 09:00 AM
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On this day in 1969 - 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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932086 01/16/20 09:07 AM
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On this day in 1969 - 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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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932094 01/17/20 11:26 AM
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On this day in 1647 - January 17th - Elisabetha Hevelius (née Koopmann), the second wife of Johannes Hevelius, was born.

She is considered to be one of the first European female astronomers, and is often called 'The mother of Moon charts'. Elisabetha helped her husband manage his observatory, and published two of his works after his death.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932098 01/18/20 08:39 AM
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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.


Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 01/19/20 11:07 AM. Reason: corrected date

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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932101 01/19/20 10:57 AM
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On this day in 1747 - January 19th - Johann Bode was born.

Although his name lives on in "Bode's Law", he was, more importantly, a celestial cartographer who created two influential sky atlases.


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On this day in 1851 - January 19th - Jacobus Kapteyn was born.

Kapteyn was a Dutch astronomer best known for his studies of the Milky Way. He was the first to discover evidence that galaxies rotate.


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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, and on New Year's Day 2019, followed it up with a flyby of the Kuiper Belt object informally called Ultima Thule, but later renamed Arrokoth.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932109 01/20/20 08:49 AM
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On this day in 1930 - January 20th - Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin was born.

The second man to step onto the Moon has been not only an astronaut, but also an Air Force combat pilot, aerial gunnery instructor and flight commander. His doctoral thesis at MIT was on techniques for manned orbital rendezvous.


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On this day in On this day in 1573 - January 20th - German astronomer Simon Marius was born.

Marius claimed he had seen Jupiter's moons before Galileo. Galileo's documentation was more extensive and published first, so he got the credit. However, the suggestions Marius made for naming the four large moons were eventually adopted.


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On this day in On this day in 2014 - January 20th - ESA's Rosetta spacecraft awoke from a deep space hibernation of over thirty months.

Rosetta's historic mission saw her then catch up with a comet, go into orbit around it, put a lander on its surface, and follow the comet as it went around the Sun.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932123 01/21/20 07:19 AM
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On this day in 1908 - January 21st - Danish astronomer and astrophysicist Bengt Strömgren was born.

He applied quantum mechanics to understanding stars, produced pioneering work in the chemical composition of stars, and discovered vast shells of ionized hydrogen around stars, now known as Strömgren Spheres.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932128 01/22/20 11:02 AM
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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.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932134 01/23/20 09:43 AM
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On this day in 2003 - January 22nd - Pioneer 10's last signal was received.

Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to pass through the asteroid belt, and later the first to pass the orbit of Pluto. Originally designed for a 21-month mission, it lasted more than 30 years.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932137 01/24/20 10:33 AM
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On this day in 1986 - January 24th - Voyager 2 flew past Uranus.

This fly-by was the first and only visit of a spacecraft to Uranus.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932141 01/25/20 06:13 AM
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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, and the mission was officially brought to an end in February 2019.


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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, the craft was used to test the effects on sensors and components of extended exposure to space.


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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.


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On this day in 1983 - January 25th - the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) was launched.

IRAS, a joint project of NASA (USA), NIVR (Netherlands) and SERC (UK), was the first space telescope to carry out a survey of the whole night sky at infrared wavelengths.


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On this day in 1978 - January 26th - the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) was launched.

The IUE was a joint effort by ESA, the UK Science Research Council and NASA. It was switched off in 1996, after it had worked 14 years beyond its planned lifetime.


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On this day in 1967 - January 27th - the crew of Apollo 1, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee, died when fire swept through the command module during a preflight test.

They are commemorated at the Astronaut Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


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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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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 actually showed the spiral structure of M31.


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On this day in 1986 - January 28th - NASA's space shuttle Challenger exploded soon after launch, killing the seven crew members.

They are commemorated at the Astronaut Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932164 01/29/20 01:04 AM
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It's one of those memories that stays with you for eternity.

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I agree, Monika. It's always so heart-wrenching to think of it. And instantly see in your mind the launch footage where suddenly the spacecraft breaks up. The anniversary of the third of the trio of NASA disasters is on Saturday.


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On this day in 1611 - January 28th - Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius was born.

Johannes Hevelius studied sunspots, produced a lunar chart, discovered several comets, and compiled an important star atlas. He was one of the most influential astronomers of the 17th century.


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On this day in 2003 - February 1st - NASA's space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing the seven crew members.

They are commemorated at the Astronaut Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


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On this day in 1995 - February 3rd - the first space shuttle mission with a woman pilot was launched.

Eileen Collins was the first woman to pilot a space shuttle. Four years later she became the first woman commander of a space shuttle.


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On this day in 1966 - February 3rd - the Soviet spacecraft Luna 9 made the first successful soft landing on the Moon.

Luna 9 also sent back the first pictures taken on the Moon's surface.


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On this day in 1906 - February 4th - Clyde Tombaugh was born.

Tombaugh was the American astronomer who discovered Pluto. He died in 1997, and a portion of his ashes were on the New Horizons spacecraft that journeyed to Pluto.


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On this day in 1963 - February 5th - Dutch astronomer Maarten Schmidt had a sudden insight that provided the clue to solving the mystery of quasars.

Schmidt realized that a quasar wasn't an object in our Galaxy, and its unusual spectrum wasn't full of unknown elements. It was mostly composed of hydrogen that was redshifted because of its enormous distance away in an expanding Universe.


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On this day in 1963 - February 5th - NASA's Mariner 10 took a historic gravity assist from Venus in order to make its flyby of Mercury.

It was the first spacecraft to turn the theoretical possibility of such a gravity assist into a reality, and it enabled the first visit of a spacecraft to Mercury.


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On this day in 1971 - February 6th - Alan Shepard hit the first golf balls on the Moon.

The Apollo 14 lunar module landed on the Moon on February 5th with lunar module pilot Ed Mitchell and commander Alan Shepard. Shepherd hit the golf balls on their second exploration of the Moon.


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On this day in 1999 - February 7th - NASA's Stardust comet probe was launched.

Stardust was the first sample return mission to collect samples of cosmic dust, and of dust from a comet's coma, then return them to Earth.


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On this day in 1984 - February 7th - NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless made the first untethered spacewalk during space shuttle mission STS-41B


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On this day in 1826 - February 8th - Jules Verne was born.

The French author was a major European literary figure best known in the English-speaking world for his exciting and influential adventure stories, many of which are considered early science fiction. Ray Bradbury said "We are all, in one way or another, the children of Jules Verne."


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On this day in 1974 - February 8th - the last crew to occupy NASA's Skylab left it.

Skylab, the first US space station, was launched in May 1973. The Skylab 4 crew was the last to occupy it.


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On this day in 2010 - February 11th - NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was launched.

The SDO observes the Sun in order to understand the ways in which it affects the Earth, such as space weather.


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On this day in 2001 - February 12th - NASA's NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft landed on the asteroid 433 Eros.

NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) Shoemaker was the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on an asteroid.


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On this day in 1852 - February 13th - Johan Dreyer was born in Copenhagen.

Dreyer was a prominent astronomer and writer. He was born in Denmark but became a British citizen. Dreyer is best remembered for his New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars (based on the Herschel catalogues of nebulae). The catalogue numbers are still in use, prefixed by NGC.


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On this day in 2011 - February 14th - NASA's Stardust-NExT spacecraft made a close flyby of comet Tempel 1.

It was NASA's second visit to Tempel 1, because the Deep Impact mission had visited it in 2005, sending an impactor in order to learn about the comet's interior.


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On this day in 1980 - February 14th - NASA's Solar Maximum mission was launched.

Solar Max was designed to investigate solar phenomena, particularly solar flares.


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On this day in 2000 - February 14th (Valentine's Day) - NASA's NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft went into orbit around the asteroid Eros.

The asteroid was named for Eros, the Greek god of love, son of the goddess of love Aphrodite.


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On this day in 1990 - February 14th - NASA's Voyager 1 took a Family Portrait, looking towards the Sun from 6 billion km away.

Earth is only one pixel of the image, christened by Carl Sagan "the pale blue dot".


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On this day in 1564 - February 15th - Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, Italy.

Galileo was one of the first to use a telescope to observe the heavens. He's known for his astronomical discoveries, his experimental physics, his astronomical discoveries, and, of course, his getting in trouble with the Church.


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On this day in 2013 - February 15th - a meteor explosion occurred over Chelyabinsk in Russia causing around 1500 injuries.

The meteoroid was about 20 meters across with a mass of 12,000-13,000 metric tonnes. Fortunately, the explosion occurred high in the atmosphere and the atmosphere absorbed much of the energy. However the shock waves caused a lot of damage, and many of the injuries were from flying glass.



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On this day in 1973 - February 15th - Pioneer 10 became the first ever spacecraft to cross the asteroid belt.

Pioneer 10 was launched in 1972, and is is now over three times as far away from the Sun as Pluto.


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On this day in 1948 - February 16th -Gerard Kuiper discovered Miranda, a moon of Uranus.


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On this day in 1996 - February 17th - NASA's NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft was launched.

The spacecraft went on to do a fly-by of asteroid Mathilde and then studied asteroid Eros from orbit.


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On this day in 2018 - February 17th - it was the 5000th sol for NASA's Mars rover Opportunity on the red planet.

Opportunity's mission was originally planned for 90 sols. A sol is a Martian day, and it's just over 39.5 minutes longer than an Earth day. A severe planet-wide dust storm in the summer would finally end Opportunity's amazing mission.


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On this day in 1723 - February 17th - German cartographer and astronomer Tobias Mayer was born.

Mayer's chart of the full moon was the standard for half a century, but he's best known for his lunar tables. The accuracy of the lunar positions (and the theory behind them) enhanced the lunar distance method for determining longitude at sea. It enabled navigators to find longitude accurately to half a degree.


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On this day in 1930 - February 18th - Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto.

Pluto was considered to be the ninth planet for many years. It's now the largest known Kuiper Belt object, and is classified as a dwarf planet.


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On this day in 1677 - February 18th - Jacques Cassini was born at the Paris Observatory.

He was the son of the director of the observatory Jean Dominique Cassini, with whom he made numerous astronomical observations. Eventually, he took over his father's duties as head of the Paris Observatory and continued the astronomical work.





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On this day in 1677 - February 19th - Mir was launched by the Soviet Union.

Mir was the first modular space station and was assembled in orbit. It was the first continuously inhabited long-term research station in orbit. The failing station was deorbited in March 2001.




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On this day in 1473 - February 19th - Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Torun, Poland.

His work De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) set out his arguments for a heliocentric (sun-centered) system instead of a geocentric (Earth-centered) system.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932311 02/20/20 07:02 AM
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On this day in 1965 - February 20th - John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.

Glenn's space capsule Friendship 7 took him around the Earth three times before its splashdown.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932312 02/20/20 07:09 AM
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On this day in 1965 - February 20th - NASA's Ranger 8 ended its mission by a crash landing on the Moon.

Ranger 8 was the first NASA spacecraft to take high resolution close-up images of the Moon's surface. It transmitted over 7000 images, intended to help choose landing sites for Apollo missions, before its own mission ended.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932318 02/21/20 07:35 AM
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On this day in 1744 - February 21st - Dutch astronomer Eise Eisinga was born.

He built the Koninklijk Eise Eisinga Planetarium at his house in Franeker, Netherlands. The orrery still exists and is the oldest functioning planetarium in the world.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932320 02/22/20 08:57 AM
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On this day in 1978 - February 22nd - the first Navstar GPS satellite was launched.

What is now called the Global Positioning System (GPS) was originally called Navstar GPS.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932327 02/23/20 07:32 AM
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On this day in 1945 - February 23rd - Ukranian astronomer Svetlana Gerasimenko was born.

Gerasimenko's name is well known because she was the co-discoverer of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This was the comet explored by the Rosetta mission. Both the Rosetta spacecraft and the lander Philae are on the comet as it continues to orbit the Sun.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932328 02/23/20 07:38 AM
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On this day in 1990 - February 23rd - Pioneer 11 crossed the orbit of Neptune on its way out of the Solar System.

Although on that date the spacecraft went beyond the most distant planet, since there are dwarf planets and many other objects beyond Neptune, the spacecraft still hasn't left the Solar System. It's now over 100 times farther from the Sun than the Earth is.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932330 02/24/20 07:51 AM
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On this day in 1987 - February 23rd - the light from supernova SN 1987A reached Earth.

The supernova occurred in the Tarantula Nebula in our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud. It was the closest supernova seen in nearly four hundred years, visible to the unaided eye in the southern hemisphere. It has greatly increased our understanding of this spectacular phenomenon.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932338 02/25/20 07:04 AM
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On this day in 1968 - February 24th - the discovery of the first pulsar was announced.

A pulsar is a fast-rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. We can only detect it when it's pointing towards us, rather like a lighthouse, so it seems to pulse. A neutron star is the remnant of a massive star following the collapse of its core in a supernova explosion.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932344 02/26/20 07:26 AM
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On this day in 1842 - February 26th - Camille Flammarion, French astronomer and popular author, was born.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932349 Yesterday at 03:00 PM
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On this day in 1897 - February 27th - French astronomer Bernard Lyot was born.

Bernard Lyot's work brought him major international awards. His most important contributions to astronomy were in solar observing, especially the invention of the coronagraph which makes it possible to observe the Sun's corona without waiting for a total eclipse.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932354 5 hours ago
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On this day in 2007 - February 28th - the New Horizons spacecraft flew past Jupiter en route to Pluto.

New Horizons made over 700 observations of the Jovian system, but the main reason for the flyby was to carry out a gravity assist maneuver. That boosted the speed of the spacecraft to get it to Pluto five years earlier than it would have otherwise.


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