On this date in 1974 the U.S. probe named Mariner 10 flew by Venus. This unmanned spacecraft sent the first close up images of Venus back to Earth.
On this date in 1906 Clyde Tombaugh was born in Illinois. He discovered Pluto in 1930. Pluto was once considered a planet but is now classified as a “dwarf planet”.
On this date in 1966 the Soviet spacecraft named Luna 9 made history by being the first unmanned probe to make a soft landing on the moon. Luna 9 landed in an area called the Ocean of Storms.
It is the season for atmospheric optics. These are displays in the sky caused by light passing through different shaped ice crystals.
Since January had two full moons and 2018 is not a leap year, there will not be a full moon this month due to the lunar cycle being 29.5 days long. This happens about 4 times a century.
Today’s full moon is the second for the month making it a blue moon. One definition for the term blue moon states that if there are two full moons in a month, the second is a blue moon.
This is the Saint Louis Science Center’s NIGHT SKY UPDATE for the week of Tuesday, January 30. All times are given as local St. Louis time (Central Standard Time). For definitions of terminology used in the night sky update, click the highlighted text. Information updated weekly or as needed. Join us for our next star… Continue reading
A total lunar eclipse will happen around 6:50am tomorrow morning. Be sure to get up early to see the first total lunar eclipse for St. Louis in two years.
The largest body in the asteroid belt is Ceres. Like Pluto, Ceres is now called a dwarf planet. It contains about 54% of the mass in the asteroid belt.
32 years ago Space Shuttle astronauts aboard the STS-51-L mission perished as a critical failure of two O-ring seals lead to ascent failure. Each year NASA holds a day of remembrance for Apollo 1, STS-51-L, and STS-107.