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Astronomy

1908 – The Tunguska event

30 June

The Tunguska event was a large explosion that occurred near the Stony Tunguska River, in Yeniseysk Governorate (now Krasnoyarsk Krai), Russian Empire, on this day in 1908.

Continue reading “1908 – The Tunguska event”

15 Year Old Discovers Lost Mayan City

Inquisitive teen William Gadoury, has a deep fascination with ancient Maya, analysed 22 Mayan constellations and realised that the Mayans aligned their 117 cities with the positions of the stars.

Continue reading “15 Year Old Discovers Lost Mayan City”

2001 – Mars Odyssey is launched

7 April

2001 Mars Odyssey is a robotic spacecraft orbiting the planet Mars. The project was developed by NASA, and contracted out to Lockheed Martin, with an expected cost for the entire mission of US$297 million. Its mission is to use spectrometers and a thermal imager to detect evidence of past or present water and ice, as well as study the planet’s geology and radiation environment. Continue reading “2001 – Mars Odyssey is launched”

1968 – NASA launches Apollo 6

4 April

Apollo 6, launched on this day in 1968, was the second A type mission of the United States Apollo program, an unmanned test of the Saturn V launch vehicle. It was also the final unmanned Apollo test mission. Continue reading “1968 – NASA launches Apollo 6”

1997 – The Comet Hale–Bopp has its closest approach to Earth

22 March

Comet Hale–Bopp was perhaps the most widely observed comet of the 20th century and one of the brightest seen for many decades. It was visible to the naked eye for a record 18 months, twice as long as the previous record holder, the Great Comet of 1811. Continue reading “1997 – The Comet Hale–Bopp has its closest approach to Earth”

2008 – GRB 080319B: A cosmic burst that is the farthest object visible to the naked eye is briefly observed

19 March

GRB 080319B was a gamma-ray burst (GRB) detected by the Swift satellite at 06:12 UTC on this day in 2008. The burst set a new record for the farthest object that was observable with the naked eye: it had a peak visual apparent magnitude of 5.8 and remained visible to human eyes for approximately 30 seconds. The magnitude was brighter than 9.0 for approximately 60 seconds. Continue reading “2008 – GRB 080319B: A cosmic burst that is the farthest object visible to the naked eye is briefly observed”

1966 – Apollo program: Launch of AS-201, the first flight of the Saturn IB rocket

26 February

The Saturn IB (pronounced “one B”, also known as the Uprated Saturn I) was an American launch vehicle commissioned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the Apollo program. It replaced the S-IV second stage of the Saturn I with the much more powerful S-IVB, able to launch a partially fueled Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) or a fully fueled Lunar Module (LM) into low Earth orbit for early flight tests before the larger Saturn V needed for lunar flight was ready. Continue reading “1966 – Apollo program: Launch of AS-201, the first flight of the Saturn IB rocket”

Titan (the moon)

Titan (or Saturn VI) is the largest moon of Saturn. It is the only natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object other than Earth where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found. Continue reading “Titan (the moon)”

2005 – The Huygens probe lands on Saturn’s moon Titan

14 January

Huygens was an atmospheric entry probe that landed successfully on Saturn’s moon Titan in 2005. Built and operated by the European Space Agency(ESA), it was part of the Cassini–Huygens mission and became the first spacecraft ever to land on Titan. The probe was named after the Dutch 17th-century astronomer Christiaan Huygens, who discovered Titan in 1655. Continue reading “2005 – The Huygens probe lands on Saturn’s moon Titan”

1860 – The discovery of the planet Vulcan is announced at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris, France

Vulcan is a small hypothetical planet that was proposed to exist in an orbit between Mercury and the Sun. Attempting to explain peculiarities of Mercury’s orbit, the 19th-century French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier hypothesized that they were the result of another planet, which he named “Vulcan”. Continue reading “1860 – The discovery of the planet Vulcan is announced at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris, France”

1966 – Saturn’s moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker

18 December

Epimetheus is an inner satellite of Saturn. It is also known as Saturn XI. It is named after the mythological Epimetheus, brother of Prometheus. Continue reading “1966 – Saturn’s moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker”

1954 – In Sylacauga, Alabama, United States

30 November

The Sylacauga meteorite fell on this day in 1954, at 14:46 local time in Oak Grove, Alabama, near Sylacauga. It is commonly called the Hodges meteorite because a fragment of it struck Ann Elizabeth Hodges (1920–1972). Continue reading “1954 – In Sylacauga, Alabama, United States”

2001 – the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet

27 November

HD 209458 b (unofficially named Osiris) is an extrasolar planet that orbits the solar analogue HD 209458 in the constellation Pegasus, some 150 light-years from the Solar System. Continue reading “2001 – the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet”

1604 – Supernova 1604 first observed

9 October – On this day

Supernova 1604, also known as Kepler’s Supernova, Kepler’s Nova or Kepler’s Star, was a supernova that occurred in the Milky Way, in the constellation Ophiuchus. Continue reading “1604 – Supernova 1604 first observed”

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