On this day in 1893 - March 24th - German astronomer Walter Baade was born.
Baade, who worked at Mt Wilson Observatory in California for many years, defined two distinct populations of stars, and his discovery that there are two types of Cepheid variable star meant that his recalculation of the known universe doubled the size calculated by Hubble.
On this day in 1807 - March 29th - Heinrich Olbers, German physician and astronomer, discovered Vesta.
Olbers discovered Vesta almost five years to the day after his discovery of Pallas. Vesta was the third asteroid to be discovered, and it was also counted as a planet at the time. Like Ceres, it's been visited by NASA's Dawn mission.
On this day in 1997 - March 31st - The Pioneer 10 mission officially ended.
NASA's Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to go through the asteroid belt and the first to fly by Jupiter. After the end of the mission, for a time there was still contact with the spacecraft to record telemetry as it headed out into the Kuiper Belt. It's currently about 126 AU from Earth.
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