Astronomy Fact of the Day: July 11, 2020

This month, the United Arab Emirates plans to launch its first Mars orbiter, the Hope Mars Mission. It will launch from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on a Japanese H-2A rocket. More information about the mission may be found through’s pages here.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: July 10, 2020

It has long been known that activity on the Sun affects Earth’s ionosphere. Some of these effects can disrupt and damage communication and satellites. It is also known that earthquakes and tsunamis can have similar effects. Recent studies are showing that they may have greater effects than originally thought. Learn more through Space Weather’s article… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: July 9, 2020

On this date in 1954, the X-15 rocket research aircraft program was born. Manufactured by North American Aviation, Inc., three rocket-powered X-15s flew a total of 199 times before the end of the program and would help develop invaluable in-formation and research to support US air and spaceflight efforts. For more information about the X-15,… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: July 8, 2020

At -4.5 magnitude, Venus is at its brightest for the current morning apparition. Venus is brightest when it is nearest to Earth. This is also when Venus exhibits a crescent phase. Look for Venus in the east around 4:30am.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: July 7, 2020

In 1907 on this date, Robert A. Heinlein was born. He was a leading American writer of technical science fiction, inspiring many engineers that would later make space travel a reality. Major corporations, the military, and nuclear power were key aspects of the colonization of space in his stories.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: July 5, 2020

On this date in 1960, the US House of Representatives Committee on Science and Astronautics eagerly recommended a high-priority manned expedition to the Moon, following the impassioned State of the Union speech given by President Kennedy. In its recommendation, the Committee stated that “NASA’s 10-year program is a good program, as far as it goes,… Continue reading

Night Sky Update: July 3 – July 11 2020

This is the Saint Louis Science Center’s NIGHT SKY UPDATE for the week of Friday, July 3, 2020. Information updated weekly or as needed. Times given as local St. Louis time (CDT).  For definitions of terminology used in the night sky update, click the highlighted text. Star parties at the Saint Louis Science Center have… Continue reading