The first US satellite, Explorer 1, was launched on this date in 1958. This was the first mission to detect the Van Allen Radiation Belts. Learn more about Explorer 1.
Tonight around 11pm you will find the star Arcturus rising in the east. This red giant star is the 4th brightest in the sky and is a member of the constellation Boötes. Learn more about Boötes the constellation.
Tonight in the south at 7pm you will find star Rigel in Orion next to the star Beta Eridani. This is the start of the constellation Eridanus the River which fills most of the southern sky at this time. Learn more about Rigel, Orion’s brightest star. Image: Orion with Rigel at bottom right, at optical… Continue reading
Tragically on this date in 1986 the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded during liftoff. We remember astronauts; Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka, Ronald E. McNair, Gregory B. Jarvis and Christa McAuliffe. Learn more Space Shuttle Challenger.
We remember Apollo 1 astronauts Virgil I. Grissom, Ed White, and Roger B. Chaffee, who lost their lives in a fire during a launch pad test on this date in 1967. Learn more the Apollo 1 pad fire.
Tonight if you look west at 9pm you can find the planet Mars in the constellation Pisces. We will see Mars in the west until September when it reaches superior conjunction. Learn some facts about Mars.
On this date in 1983 NASA launched the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). Among its many achievements this international mission was able to reveal the core of the Milky Way galaxy. Learn more about IRAS Image: Infrared all-sky survey by IRAS
The first flyby of Uranus, by the US spacecraft Voyager 2, occurred on this date in 1986. After 41 years of space travel, Voyager 2 has left the solar system. Learn more about Voyager 2
Tonight if you look east at 10pm you will find the waning gibbous moon in the constellation Leo the Lion. This constellation is part of the rising spring sky. Make a moon phases calculator and calendar.
On this date in 1968 Apollo 5 was launched. This mission successfully tested in Earth orbit the Lunar Module’s ascent and descent propulsion systems. Learn more about Apollo 5.