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

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.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: July 24, 2021

In 1969 on this date, in the early morning hours, 8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes, and 18 seconds after leaving Kennedy Space Center, Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia plopped down into the Pacific Ocean about 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) south of Johnston Island. Later, the astronauts changed into clean flight suits and entered… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: July 22, 2021

Jupiter’s largest moon is Ganymede. It was discovered in 1610 by Galileo. Ganymede is larger than the planet Mercury and it is the only moon that has a magnetic field like the Earth’s. It is also one of the moons thought to have a subsurface ocean that is estimated to be about 60 miles thick.