On this day in 1785 - October 15th - English astronomer James South was born in London.
South was an active observer and best remembered for his observation of double stars. He and John Herschel compiled a catalog of double stars originally observed by William Herschel, and South went on to observe 458 further double stars. He was awarded both the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society and the prestigious Copley Medal of the Royal Society.
He's known for his work in stellar evolution including black holes. The Chandrasekhar Limitt is the dividing line between the mass of a star that has spent its nuclear fuel and will collapse into a white dwarf and one massive enough to go out with a bang - a supernova. It's about 1.4 times the Sun's mass.
On this day in 2016 - October 19th - the European Space Agency's ExoMars mission arrived at Mars.
There were two parts to the mission. The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) was successfully inserted into orbit and is working as expected. However due to a systems malfunction, the experimental lander Schiaparelli crash landed on Mars.
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