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On this day in 1882 – December 28th – English astrophysicist Arthur Eddington was born in Kendal, Westmorland, England.

Eddington was one of the most eminent scientists of his day, and was made famous by testing Einstein's theory of general relativity during a total solar eclipse.

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On this day in 1789 – December 28th – Scottish astronomer Thomas Henderson was born in Dundee, Scotland.

He was based at the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa during the early 1830s. After his return to his native Scotland, he became Astronomer Royal for Scotland in 1834, a post he held until his death in 1844.

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On this day in 2005 – December 28th – GIOVE-A, the first Galileo satnav system satellite, was launched.

Galileo is Europe's global navigation satellite system, developed under a partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission (EC).

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On this day in 1888 – December 29th – pioneering Welsh astrophotographer Isaac Roberts took the first detailed picture of another galaxy, the Great Nebula in Andromeda.

Roberts went on to systematically photograph the brightest nebulae and star clusters visible from England, and received international recognition for his work.

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On this day in 1928 – December 30th – Henri Debehogne was born in Maillen, Belgium.

Debehogne worked at the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Uccle where he specialized in the astrometry of comets and minor planets. The Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) credited him with over 700 discoveries of minor planets.

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On this day in 1864 – December 31st – Robert Grant Aitken was born in Jackson, California.

Aitken was an American astronomer of international repute. He was best known for his systematic study of double stars, and served for ten years as chair of the double star committee of the International Astronomical Union.

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