Astronomy Fact of the Day: October 17, 2021

October 17, 2021 Today in 1956, Dr. Mae Carol Jemison, the first African American woman to fly in space, was born. Jemison holds a degree in chemical engineering and a Doctor of Medicine. She also became the first real-life astronaut to appear in an episode of Star Trek. For more information on Dr. Jemison, visit… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: October 16, 2021

October 16, 2021 Tonight after sunset, you can find the planet Venus above the western horizon. It is currently found in the constellation Scorpius just north of the bright red supergiant star Antares. The pair will make a fine sight through binoculars about 30 minutes after sunset. Venus, the star Antares and the constellation Scorpius… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: October 15, 2021

October 15, 2021 Today in 1997, NASA’s Cassini-Huygens mission began a seven-year journey to the ringed planet Saturn. For more than a decade, the Cassini spacecraft shared the wonders of Saturn and its icy moons, while the Huygens probe became the first mission to land on a moon in the outer solar system. Credit –… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: October 13, 2021

October 13, 2021 Today in 1959, NASA launched Explorer 7 to measure solar X-ray and Lyman-alpha flux, trapped energetic particles, and heavy primary cosmic rays. Secondary objectives included collecting data on micrometeoroid penetration and molecular sputtering and studying the Earth-atmosphere heat balance. NASA’s Explorer 7 aboard a Juno II rocket on the launch pad. Credit… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: October 12, 2021

October 12, 2021 First quarter moon occurs tonight at 10:25 pm. You will find the Moon due south by sunset in the constellation Sagittarius. This constellation can be identified by finding a teapot shape of stars. First quarter moon seen in the constellation Sagittarius. Also visible are the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. Sky simulation… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: October 11, 2021

October 11, 2021 Today in 1958, NASA launched their first spacecraft, Pioneer 1. Exactly one decade later on this date in 1968, NASA successfully launched the first crewed flight of the Apollo program, Apollo 7. Apollo 7 was the first time a three person American crew launched, and the first live television broadcast from space.… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: October 10, 2021

October 10, 2021 Tonight at 8 pm the bright star directly overhead is called Vega. This bright A-class star is only 25 light years away in the constellation Lyra. Vega rotates every 12.5 hours and has been discovered to have a belt of debris around it. It will also become the North Star in roughly… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: October 9, 2021

October 9, 2021 Today in 2009, NASA’s Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) was intentionally crashed into a permanently shadowed region of Cabeus crater near the Moon’s south pole. This impact created a plume of material from the bottom of the crater containing frozen water which had not seen sunlight in billions of years.… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: October 8, 2021

October 8, 2021 Tonight is the peak of the Draconid Meteor Shower. The Draconids are a variable meteor shower cause by comet 21P/ Giacobini-Zinner. Most years the Draconids, will not produce many meteors but it does periodically have outburst years with visible rates up to 1000 meteors per hour. This typically happens when the source… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: October 7, 2021

October 7, 2021 Today in 1906, James E. Webb was born. As NASA Administrator from 1961 to 1968, Webb helped NASA achieve the goal of landing humans on the Moon by 1970. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), named in his honor, is scheduled to launch in late 2021. For more information on the James… Continue reading