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On this day in 1840 – March 23rd – American polymath John William Draper produced the first detailed photograph of the Moon.

It was the first astronomy photograph taken in North America.
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On this day in 2001 – March 23rd – the Soviet/Russian space station Mir was deorbited.

Mir was the first space station assembled in orbit and the first continuously inhabited long-term orbital research station.
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On this day in 1893 – March 24th – German astronomer Walter Baade was born in Preußisch Oldendorf, Germany.

Baade, who worked at Mt Wilson Observatory in California for many years, defined two distinct populations of stars, and his discovery that there are two types of Cepheid variable star meant that his recalculation of the known universe doubled the size calculated by Hubble.
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On this day in 1665 – March 25th – Christiaan Huygens discovered Saturn's moon Titan.

The European Space Agency (ESA) Titan lander was named after Huygens, who was a prominent 17th century Dutch mathematician and scientist.
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On this day in 1883 – March 25th – American astronomer Earl Carl Slipher was born in Mulberry, Indiana.

As did his older brother Vesto, Earl Slipher worked at Lowell Observatory throughout his career. He was a noted planetary astronomer and a pioneer in planetary photography. The lunar crater Slipher on the Moon's far side honors both brothers.
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On this day in 1928 – March 25th – Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell was born in Cleveland, Ohio.

Lovell flew on Gemini 7 and Gemini 12. As a member of the crew of Apollo 8, he was one of the first three humans to orbit the Apollo 8, and Apollo 13. As the commander of Apollo 13, he was part of one of the most dramatic missions in NASA history.
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On this day in 1773 – March 26th – self-educated American mathematician and astronomer, Nathaniel Bowditch, was born in Salem, Massachusetts.

His greatest contribution to science was his translation of Laplace’s five-volume Mécanique Céleste [Celestial Mechanics]. It earned him an international reputation and was of great importance in the development of astronomy in the United States.
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On this day in 1972 – March 27th – the Soviet probe Venera 8 was launched.

Venera 8 made the first completely successful landing on Venus, and sent data from the surface for fifty minutes before succumbing to the intense pressure and searing temperature.
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On this day in 1802 – March 28th – Heinrich Olbers, German physician and astronomer, discovered Pallas.

Pallas was the second asteroid to be discovered, and it was counted as a planet at the time, as Ceres had been.
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On this day in 1807 – March 29th – Heinrich Olbers, German physician and astronomer, discovered Vesta.

Olbers discovered Vesta almost exactly five years to the day after his discovery of Pallas. Vesta was the third asteroid to be discovered, and it was also counted as a planet at the time. Like Ceres, it's been visited by NASA's Dawn mission.
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