Astronomy Fact of the Day: August 2, 2021

August 2, 2021 Saturn is at opposition today. This means the ringed planet will appear opposite the Sun in the sky. As a result, Saturn will appear its brightest for the year. Look for Saturn rising in the southeast after sunset. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Astronomy Fact of the Day: August 1, 2021

August 1, 2021 This day in 1980 marks the death of James S. McDonnell. An American engineer, he was the president of McDonnell Aircraft from 1939 to 1972. His innovative fighter designs, including the F-4 Phantom and F-15 Eagle, became the premier US fighters after 1960. McDonnell Aircraft, later McDonnell-Douglas, was also the prime contractor… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: July 31, 2021

July 31, 2021 Looking to the southeast around 5 am you will see three stars in a row together. These stars form the belt of Orion the Hunter! Fans of Orion can rejoice, he is back in the sky. Image Credit: Stellarium

Night Sky Update: July 30 – August 7, 2021

This is the Saint Louis Science Center’s NIGHT SKY UPDATE for the week of Friday, July 30, 2021. Information updated weekly or as needed. Times given as local St. Louis time, which is Central Daylight Time (CDT). 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: July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021 By 10:00pm, one of the gems of the Fall sky will be visible in the northeast. Messier 31, or the Andromeda Galaxy, will be high enough to see. Best viewed in the Fall, Messier 31 is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy. The “W” shape of Cassiopeia’s stars… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: July 29, 2021

On this date in 1901, Florence Lowe “Pancho” Barnes was born. An American barnstormer, air racer and Hollywood stunt flier, she pioneered new air routes into Mexico. In the 1930s, she opened a desert flying dude ranch which later became a legendary watering hole for Edwards AFB test pilots.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: July 27, 2021

In 1934 on this date, Wernher Von Braun received his doctoral degree in Germany. His published doctoral thesis, “About Combustion Tests,” was completed in very little time. His actual thesis was later revealed to be a classified Army document. This dissertation, entitled “Construction, Theoretical, and Experimental Solution to the Problem of the Liquid Propellant Rocket”,… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: July 25, 2021

On this date in 1973, the Soviet Union launched Mars 5, a probe intended to enter Martian orbit and comprehensively photograph the surface. Due to computer chip failures, the orbiter operated only a few days and returned atmospheric data and images of just a small portion of the southern Martian hemisphere.