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August 3, 2020 - Ghost, Busted

Ghost, Busted  Powerful gushers of energy from seething stars can sculpt eerie-looking figures with long flowing veils of gas and dust. One striking example is “the Ghost of Cassiopeia,” officially known as IC 63, located 550 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen. The nebula’s ethereal glow is hardly an unexplained paranormal phenomenon: it’s simply hydrogen that is being bombarded with ultraviolet radiation from the nearby, blue-giant star Gamma Cassiopeiae (not seen here), causing it to glow in red light. The blue color is from light reflected off of the nebula’s dust. The Ghost Nebula is part of a much larger nebulous region surrounding Gamma Cassiopeiae that measures approximately two degrees on the sky — roughly four times as wide as the full Moon.

Image credit: NASA / ESA / STScI

Weekly Calendar

August 3 - 9, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 3

Full Moon 11:59 AM ET

2004: MESSENGER spacecraft launched to Mercury
2005: First in-flight space shuttle repair

Moon phase Tuesday 4

1967: NASA announces sixth astronaut class
1984: First Ariane 3 launched
2007: Phoenix Mars Lander launched

Moon phase Wednesday 5

1930: Neil Armstrong born
1966: Final M2-F1 lifting body glide test
1969: Mariner 7 flies by Mars
2011
: Juno spacecraft launched to Jupiter

Moon phase Thursday 6

Neptune 4° north of Moon

1961: Vostok 2 launched, first full-day human space mission, Gherman Titov first person to sleep in space
2012: Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity lands on Mars

Moon phase Friday 7

1959: Explorer 6 launched
1969: Zond 7 launched
1980: Viking 1 orbiter ceases operation
1997: STS-85 Discovery launched

Moon phase Saturday 8

1978: Pioneer-Venus 2 launched
1989: Hipparcos observatory launched
1989: STS-28 Columbia launched
2001: Genesis spacecraft launched
2007: STS-118 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Sunday 9

Mars 0.8° north of Moon
Moon at apogee

1965: First static test of SIV-B stage
1976: Luna 24 launched

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.