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On this day in 1923 – October 5th – Edwin Hubble discovered a Cepheid variable in M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy).

Cepheid variable stars, based on the work of Henrietta Leavitt, can be used as distance indicators. Hubble was able to show that M31 was too far away to be an object in our own Galaxy.


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On this day in 1962 – October 5th – the European Southern Observatory (ESO) was founded.

It's a highly productive astronomical observatory, providing state-of-the-art research facilities to astronomers and astrophysicists of many countries.


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On this day in 1732 – October 6th – English astronomer Nevil Maskelyne was born in London.

He was the fifth Astronomer Royal of England, holding the post for 46 years. Maskelyne founded the Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris, the first nautical almanac to contain data dedicated to the convenient determination of longitude at sea.


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On this day in 1990 – October 6th – the joint ESA/NASA deep-space mission Ulysses was launched by the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Its elliptical heliocentric operational orbit took it high above the ecliptic plane to allow the charting of the unknown reaches of space above and below the poles of the Sun.


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On this day in 1885 – October 7th – Niels Bohr was born in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Bohr was the the physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.


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On this day in 1873 – October 8th – Danish chemist and astronomer Ejnar Hertzsprung was born in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is a classification system for explaining stellar types and stellar evolution. Hertzsprung and American astronomer Henry Norris Russell independently made the discoveries that created the diagram.


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October 1604 – a supernova was first seen that has been associated with Johannes Kepler who observed and documented it.

Kepler's supernova occurred about 20,000 light years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. It was so bright that at its peak it was visible during the day for over three weeks.


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On this day in 1873 – October 9th – German physicist and astronomer Karl Schwarzschild was born.

Although his best known research relates to general relativity, Schwarzschild worked on a wide range of subjects including celestial mechanics quantum mechanics, spectroscopy and instrumental astronomy.


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On this day in 1846 – October 10th – English businessman and amateur astronomer William Lassell discovered Triton, Neptune's largest moon.

Lassell discovered the moon just 17 days after German astronomer Johann Galle discovered Neptune, using Urbain LeVerrier's calculations.


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On this day in 1980 – October 10th – the Very Large Array (VLA) was dedicated.

Now known as the Karl G. Janksy Array, it's a prominent radio telescope facility in New Mexico. Jansky was a pioneer of radio astronomy.


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