Astronomy Fact of the Day: March 2, 2021

Joining a local astronomy club is a great way to start an interest in backyard astronomy. There are several clubs in the Greater St. Louis area, one of which is the St. Louis Astronomical Society. Learn more about this astronomy club at their website here.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: March 1, 2021

On this date in 1962, an estimated 4 million people lined the streets of New York City for John Glenn Day, following Glenn’s successful orbiting of the Earth aboard the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7. During the festivities, Mayor Robert Wagner presented Glenn and Robert R. Gilruth the city’s Medal of Honor.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: February 28, 2021

Today is the 59th day for the calendar year 2021. The calendar we use is called the Gregorian calendar, which is a solar calendar. Solar calendars were developed to track the cycle of the seasons.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: February 27, 2021

In 1960 on this date, NASA launched the third ECHO test balloon to an altitude of 225 miles. Radio transmissions were reflected via the 100-foot-diameter inflatable sphere from Holmdel, New Jersey, to Round Hill, Massachusetts.

Night Sky Update: February 26 – March 6, 2021

This is the Saint Louis Science Center’s NIGHT SKY UPDATE for the week of Friday, February 26, 2021. Information updated weekly or as needed. Times given as local St. Louis time which is Central Standard Time (CST). For definitions of terminology used in the night sky update, click the highlighted text. If relying on times… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: February 26, 2021

Tomorrow morning is full moon for the month of February. The full moon in February is sometimes called the Full Snow Moon. Names like these came from a time when tracking the moon phases was a method of keeping time. These types of names were connected to seasonal changes in the world.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: February 25, 2021

On this date in 1960, the Soviet Air Force Cosmonaut Training Group 1 was officially selected. There were 3,000 applicants, but only 20 were selected. Of these, only 12 would eventually fly in space. Find a comprehensive article comparing the US’ Mercury 7 with the Soviet Cosmonaut Group 1 at NASA’s page here.    

Keel-Billed Toucan – Collected from Belize

One of the most colorful of all the toucans, the keel-billed toucan is best known for its oversized bill and vibrant feathers. Even though it looks heavy, its banana-shaped, brightly colored beak is actually very light. It is hollow and made of protein supported by thin rod-like bones. When they sleep, toucans turn their head… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: February 23, 2021

In 1965 on this date, the US Air Force launched the last Aerodynamic/elastic Structural Systems Environmental Test (ASSET) test vehicle from the Eastern Test Range. This was a suborbital test of a small-scale spaceplane model to test reentry materials for the X-20 Dynasoar program.