Astronomy Fact of the Day: March 2, 2021

Joining a local astronomy club is a great way to start an interest in backyard astronomy. There are several clubs in the Greater St. Louis area, one of which is the St. Louis Astronomical Society. Learn more about this astronomy club at their website here.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: March 1, 2021

On this date in 1962, an estimated 4 million people lined the streets of New York City for John Glenn Day, following Glenn’s successful orbiting of the Earth aboard the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7. During the festivities, Mayor Robert Wagner presented Glenn and Robert R. Gilruth the city’s Medal of Honor.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: February 28, 2021

Today is the 59th day for the calendar year 2021. The calendar we use is called the Gregorian calendar, which is a solar calendar. Solar calendars were developed to track the cycle of the seasons.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: February 27, 2021

In 1960 on this date, NASA launched the third ECHO test balloon to an altitude of 225 miles. Radio transmissions were reflected via the 100-foot-diameter inflatable sphere from Holmdel, New Jersey, to Round Hill, Massachusetts.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: February 26, 2021

Tomorrow morning is full moon for the month of February. The full moon in February is sometimes called the Full Snow Moon. Names like these came from a time when tracking the moon phases was a method of keeping time. These types of names were connected to seasonal changes in the world.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: February 25, 2021

On this date in 1960, the Soviet Air Force Cosmonaut Training Group 1 was officially selected. There were 3,000 applicants, but only 20 were selected. Of these, only 12 would eventually fly in space. Find a comprehensive article comparing the US’ Mercury 7 with the Soviet Cosmonaut Group 1 at NASA’s page here.    

Astronomy Fact of the Day: February 23, 2021

In 1965 on this date, the US Air Force launched the last Aerodynamic/elastic Structural Systems Environmental Test (ASSET) test vehicle from the Eastern Test Range. This was a suborbital test of a small-scale spaceplane model to test reentry materials for the X-20 Dynasoar program.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: February 21, 2021

On this date in 1961, the unmanned Mercury-Atlas 2 (MA-2) flight launched from Cape Canaveral; this flight was done to check maximum temperatures Mercury could encounter in the coming flights. For more information about the Mercury program, visit NASA’s pages here.