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On this day in 1851 – January 19th – Dutch astronomer Jacobus Kapteyn was born in Barneveld, Netherlands.

Kapteyn was best known for his studies of the Milky Way. He was the first to discover evidence that galaxies rotate.


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On this day in 2006 – January 19th – NASA's New Horizons spacecraft was launched.

The spacecraft made a flyby of the Plutonian system in the summer of 2015, and on New Year's Day 2019, followed it up with a flyby of the Kuiper Belt object informally called Ultima Thule, but later renamed Arrokoth.


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On this day in 1573 – January 20th – German astronomer Simon Marius was born in Gunzenhausen, Germany.

Marius claimed he had seen Jupiter's moons before Galileo. Galileo's documentation was more extensive and published first, so he got the credit. However, the suggestions Marius made for naming the four large moons were eventually adopted.


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On this day in 1930 – January 20th – Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin was born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.

The second man to step onto the Moon has been not only an astronaut, but also an Air Force combat pilot, aerial gunnery instructor and flight commander. His doctoral thesis at MIT was on techniques for manned orbital rendezvous.


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On this day in 2014 – January 20th – ESA's Rosetta spacecraft awoke from a deep space hibernation of over thirty months.

Rosetta's historic mission saw her then catch up with a comet, go into orbit around it, put a lander on its surface, and follow the comet as it went around the Sun.


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What made it wake up?

I didn't read far enough: On January 20, 2014 Rosetta's “alarm clock” went off and initiated the procedures to become active again. There was much jubilation in the control center in Darmstadt, Germany – and around the world – when the signal came that showed Rosetta was awake again.

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What made it wake up?

Angie, Rosetta was the first mission that went into deep space relying on solar power, taking advantage of a new solar technology. But as the craft got farther and farther from the Sun, the power available was, of course, diminishing. Therefore only essential components were kept active, in order to keep power from being used up as they were waiting for Rosetta to reach the point where it would go for trajectory to intercept the comet.

ESA broadcast it all from the control center in Darmstadt. I watched, it was fascinating. Much holding of breath - and then the relief when Rosetta woke up, as programmed, was tremendous.


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On this day in 1908 – January 21st – Danish astronomer and astrophysicist Bengt Strömgren was born in Gothenburg, Sweden.

He applied quantum mechanics to understanding stars, produced pioneering work in the chemical composition of stars, and discovered vast shells of ionized hydrogen around stars, now known as Strömgren Spheres.


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Originally Posted by Mona - Astronomy
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first mission that went into deep space relying on solar power, taking advantage of a new solar technology. But as the craft got farther and farther from the Sun, the power available was, of course, diminishing.

LOL, Solar power without full sun doesn't work too well. I'm glad that the mission was successful. Study of space and archeology/anthropology keeps us all on our toes looking for new interpretation of great changes.

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On this day in 1592 – January 22nd – Pierre Gassendi was born in Champtercier, France.

He was a French philosopher, priest, astronomer, and scientific observer, experimentalist and chronicler. Gassendi was also the first person ever to see a planet transiting the Sun when he observed the 1631 transit of Mercury.


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