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On this day in 1912 – June 28th – Australian radio astronomer Ruby Payne-Scott was born in Grafton, New South Wales.

Payne-Scott was a pioneer in radiophysics and radio astronomy, and was the first woman radio astronomer.


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On this day in 1995 – June 28th – the first docking between the Soviet space station Mir and the United States Space Shuttle took place.

Daniel Goldin, chief of NASA, called it the beginning of “a new era of friendship and cooperation” between the U.S. and Russia. It helped to pave the way for the creation of the International Space Station.


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On this day in 1868 – June 29th – George Ellery Hale, American solar astronomer, was born in Chicago, Illinois.

Hale was a key figure in the realization of three major telescopes, the 40-inch refractor at Yerkes Observatory, 60-inch Hale and 100-inch Hooker reflectors at Mount Wilson Observatory, and the 200-inch Hale reflector at Palomar Observatory.


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On this day in 1890 – June 30th – an asteroid impact leveled hundreds of miles of Siberian forest around Tunguska in Russia.

The event is classified as an impact. However, it's now thought to have been caused by an object that exploded above ground, as no impact crater has ever been found. Since 2015, June 30th has been designated International Asteroid Day.


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On this day in 1990 – June 30th – the joint ESA/NASA Ulysses mission came to an end after 18 years in service.

Ulysses was the first ever spacecraft to explore space above and below the Sun's poles. When it was launched it had a nominal lifetime of five years.


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On this day in 2001 – June 30th – NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anistotropy Probe (WMAP) was launched.

This spacecraft operated from 2001 to 2010. Across the sky it measured tiny temperature differences in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) - the radiant heat left over from the Big Bang.


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On this day in 1840 – July 1st – Irish astronomer, lecturer and astronomy popularizer, Robert Ball, was born in Dublin.

Ball was a university professor and the Royal Astronomer in Ireland. He was well known to the public for his books on astronomy, and for his public lectures. Between 1875 and 1910 he gave around 2500 lectures in towns and cities across Britain and Ireland.


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On this day in 1917 – July 1st – the 100" mirror for the Hooker telescope arrived at Mt Wilson Observatory.

This telescope was the biggest in the world for three decades. Edwin Hubble calculated the distance to Andromeda from a Cepheid variable he discovered there with the telescope. It showed Andromeda was a separate galaxy. Hubble and Milton Humason also observed the redshifts of a number of galaxies and found that they were moving away from us.


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On this day in 1985 – July 2nd – the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the Giotto probe to study Halley's Comet.

Giotto would be the first spacecraft ever to make close up observations of a comet.


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On this day in 1935 – July 3rd – geologist and Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt was born in Santa Rita, New Mexico.

Schmitt is the only scientist to have gone to the Moon.


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