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On this day in 1880 – September 30th – Henry Draper took the first photograph of a nebula, the Orion Nebula.

Draper was an American physician, professor of medicine, keen astronomer and pioneer of astrophotography. Stars with HD numbers are listed in the Henry Draper Catalog compiled by Harvard College Observatory and funded by Draper's widow, Anna Draper.


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On this day in 1891 – September 30th – Soviet scientist, mathematician, astronomer and geophysicist Otto Yulyevich Schmidt was born in Mogilev, Russian Empire (now Belarus).

A graduate of Kiev University in 1913, Schmidt was to become professor of geophysics at the Institute of Earth Physics in Moscow where he specialized in the study of lunar surface.


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On this day in 2016 – September 30th – ESA's Rosetta mission ended with a controlled descent to the surface of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.


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On this day in 1845 – October 1st – English astronomer William Henry Mahoney Christie was born in Woolwich, London.

He served as Chief Assistant to George Biddell Airy at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich from 1870 to 1881, replacing Airy in 1881 to become the eighth Astronomer Royal of England. He remained in office until his retirement from the post in 1910.


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On this day in 1897 – October 1st – the 40-inch refracting telescope was dedicated at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, USA.

From 1897-1909 it was the world's largest telescope. It's still the world's largest refracting telescope, and is commonly known as the Yerkes "Great Refractor".


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On this day in 1958 – October 1st – NASA was founded.


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On this day in 1935 – October 3rd – Apollo 16 astronaut Charles "Charlie" Duke was born in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Duke was the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 16 and the tenth and youngest person to walk upon the surface of the Moon.


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On this day in 1957 – October 4th – the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1.

Sputnik was the world's first successful artificial satellite.


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On this day in 1959 – October 4th – the Soviet Union launched Luna 3.

The spacecraft captured humanity's first-ever view of the far side of the Moon.


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On this day in 1882 – October 5th – Robert Goddard was born in Worcester, Massachusetts..

Goddard was an American engineer, professor, physicist, and inventor who is credited with creating and building the world's first liquid-fuelled rocket. Although he received little public support in his lifetime, he's now considered one of the founding fathers of modern rocketry.


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