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On this day in 1885 - November 2nd - American astronomer Harlow Shapley was born.

Shapley was the director of the Harvard College Observatory for thirty years, and he was known as an expert in his main area of study, the Milky Way.


Mona Evans
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On this day in 2000 - November 2nd - Expedition 1 arrived at the International Space Station (ISS).

The ISS has been continuously occupied ever since then. 241 people from around the world have lived and worked on the space station since Nov. 2, 2000.




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Hi Mona
You do such a fantastic job with your Astronomy site, it's always interesting to get a glimpse of our universe. This year I've had the chance to see what I think are comets during daylight hours (Alberta, Canada) and I believe on Saturday night it may have been Neowise frolicking across the massive prairie sky again, but can't find a source to verify. Are there any websites or apps that you can recommend for comet, asteroid, or satellite tracking? Thanks

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Monika, Neowise hasn't been visible to the naked eye since the summer. But if you're seeing frolicking, you may actually be catching glimpses of Taurid meteors. Comets don't appear to move while you watch. Now meteors, in my experience, are so quick they're gone between someone's "Look!" and my eyeball moving. But I have seen Taurid meteors that move slowly.

Can the International Space Station and various satellites be seen from your house? If so, when and where should you look? What are the two bright stars you've seen around sunset time? The website Heavens-Above is a tool for beginners and experienced observers to identify what's in the sky. It includes interactive sky maps. Heavens-Above – website

Cosmic Pursuits is focused on North America and gives a monthly rundown on what's in the sky this month.


Mona Evans
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Hi Mona
I guess my biggest fear has come true: UFOs and war of the worlds.

What we saw moved very slowly and had a distinct white tail, but not like an airplane. When we saw what we thought was Neowise in the summer, it had the same appearance, but this past weekend when we saw it again, it moved slowly, then the clouds moved over it and it reappeared in a very different location but still slow-moving. It was very unusual.

I've seen a flaming meteor once, it hit the ground in Saskatchewan. I knew I had witnessed something special then too. But this thing was out of this world. I will investigate the links and yes, I've seen the space station twice in my life. It's super fast.

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On this day in 1957 - November 3rd - Sputnik 2 carried the dog Laika into space.

Laika was the first living creature to orbit the Earth.


Mona Evans
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On this day in 1871 - November 4th - American astronomer William Hammond Wright was born.

Among his accomplishments was the research carried out into the radial velocity of stars in the southern sky. This was mainly done at the Chile station of California's Lick Observatory. He later became the director of Lick Observatory, a post he held from 1935-1942.


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On this day in 2013 - November 5th - the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).

MOM - also called Mangalyaan ("Mars-craft" in Sanskrit) was India's first interplanetary mission. In September 2020 it completed its sixth year in orbit.


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On this day in 2018 - November 5th - Voyager 2 entered interstellar space.

It was the second spacecraft to cross the heliopause. This is where the tenuous, hot solar wind meets the cold, dense interstellar medium. Voyager 1 crossed this boundary in 2012.


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On this day in 1572 - November 6th - Tycho Brahe recorded his observation of a bright new star (now listed as supernova SN 1572) in the constellation Cassiopeia.

The understanding of the time was that the stars were part of a sphere which was perfect and unchangeable, so the new object was assumed to be a local phenomenon. However, Tycho's study showed that it was a distant object.


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