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On this day in 1965 - November 26th - France became the third nation to launch its own satellite.

Astérix was launched from a site in French Algeria.


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On this day in 1864 - November 26th - French astronomer Auguste Honoré Charlois was born.

He is best remembered for discovering 99 asteroids over a 17-year period while working at the Nice Observatory.


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On this day in 1701 - November 27th - Swedish astronomer, mathematician and physicist Anders Celsius was born in Uppsala.

Best known for his 'degrees Celsius' temperature scale, he was also professor of astronomy at Uppsala University, and he created the Celsius Observatory in Uppsala.


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On this day in 1885 - November 27th - the first known photograph of a meteor was taken.

Austro-Hungarian astronomer Ladislaus Weinek caught a 7mm-long trail at his Prague observing station during the Andromedid meteor shower. (Since the 19th century the Andromedids have faded so much that they're no longer generally visible to the naked eye.)


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On this day in 1971 - November 27th - the Soviet Mars 2 probe became the first man-made object to reach the surface of Mars.

However it wasn't the first successful mission, because the landing system failed and the lander was lost.


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On this day in 1964 - November 28th - NASA's Mariner 4 was launched.

The spacecraft made the first successful flyby of the planet Mars, returning the first pictures of the Martian surface. They were the first images of another planet ever returned from deep space.


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On this day in 1967 - November 28th - at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cambridge, England, the first pulsar was observed by Jocelyn Bell and Antony Hewish.

A pulsar is a rapidly rotating neutron star, but at the time no one knew this. A neutron star was still a theoretical construct whose existence wasn't generally accepted by astronomers.




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On this day in 1967 - November 29th - Australia became the 4th nation to launch a satellite from its own territory.

The satellite (Wresat) was a joint venture of the Weapons Research Establishment and the University of Adelaide's Physics Department. It collected and sent back data about the composition of the upper atmosphere for 73 orbits.


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On this day in 1609 - November 30th - Galileo Galilei made his first detailed observations of the Moon using a telescope.

Using a telescope with 20x magnification, he examined and drew the Moon from 30 November to 18 December.


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On this day in 2013 - December 1st - China's Chang'e-3 spacecraft was launched to Moon.

It was made up of a lander and the rover Yutu which would be deployed for a time on the lunar surface.


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