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40th anniversary of the first fully successful soft landing on Mars’ surface, by the Viking 1 spacecraft. First images from Mars’ surface, here.
Today is the 47th anniversary of humanity’s historic first steps on the moon. The story in pictures, here.
Anniversary of 3rd-ever image of Earth from the outer solar system, acquired by the great Cassini spacecraft, as we Earth citizens cast our thoughts spaceward.
On June 30, 1908, an explosion over Siberia killed reindeer and flattened trees. But no crater was ever found. It may have been a small asteroid.
It was the first meteorite in the Egyptian record. Years after the event, scientists concluded through various tests that it came all the way from Mars.
On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy gave a stirring speech to a joint session of Congress declaring his intention to land humans on the moon with a decade.
On May 6, 1968 – more than a year before his famous first moonwalk – Neil Armstrong narrowly escaped disaster while training in the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle.
Visualize a vast reservoir of icy comets on the outskirts of our solar system. That’s what Jan Oort did in 1950, and why the Oort Cloud bears his name.
The Southern Hemisphere has seen magnificent comets in recent years. But the last widely seen comet for the Northern Hemisphere was Hale-Bopp in 1996-97.
While capping off the science of previous centuries, Albert Einstein changed our notions of space, time and matter … and launched modern physics.
He was a Russian Soviet pilot and the first human to travel to space, in 1961. Later, he became one of the world’s true heroes …
Awesome images of Supernova 1987A, a colossal stellar explosion. Plus insights gained from study in the years since then.
On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. He made three turns around the planet before returning safely.
Copernicus broke open the medieval idea of an enclosed, Earth-centered universe. He set the stage for all of modern astronomy.
Happy 452nd birthday to one of the first modern scientists, Galileo. With the aid of an early telescope, he helped remove Earth from the center of the universe.
During the Great Meteor Procession of February 9, 1913, bright meteors were seen to cross the sky on stately, nearly identical paths.
This is the 110th anniversary of Clyde Tombaugh’s birth. He was a farm boy who loved astronomy and ultimately discovered Pluto. Planets X and Pluto, here.
Because shuttle launches had become routine after 24 successful missions, those watching found the explosion difficult to believe until NASA confirmed the accident.
Like all Antarctic journeys in the early 1900s, the search for magnetic south was grueling. The outcome was unclear, but the effort is still remembered.
Isaac Newton was born on January 4, 1643. His insights laid a foundation for our modern understanding of celestial motion, light and gravity.
Mercury-Regulus conjunction on July 30
Earth’s shadow, sea and land