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October 18, 2010 - Chandra Centennial

Chandra Centennial Originally called the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility, NASA’s third “Great Observatory” was renamed to honor Indian Nobel laureate Subrahman­yan Chandra­sekhar prior to its 1999 launch. Known to the world as Chandra (which means “moon” or “luminous” in Sanskrit), he was born 100 years ago this week and was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. Chandrasekhar made fundamental contributions to the study of stellar evolution, black holes, and other high-energy phenomena that the Chandra X-ray observatory was designed to explore. In this Chandra-Hubble composite image, X-ray data (in blue) shows that the central star of the Cat’s Eye planetary nebula is surrounded by a delicately-structured cloud of multimillion-degree gas.

Image credit: X-ray: NASA / CXC / SAO; Optical: NASA / STScI

Weekly Calendar

October 18-24, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 18

Moon at apogee

1967: Venera 4 makes first direct studies of Venus’s atmosphere
1989: STS-34 Atlantis launched
1993: STS-58 Columbia launched
2003: ISS Expedition 8 crew launched

Moon phase Tuesday 19

1910: Subramanyan Chandrasekhar born
1967: Mariner 5 flies past Venus
2005: Final Titan IV rocket launched

Moon phase Wednesday 20

Jupiter 7° south of Moon
Uranus 6° south of Moon

1970: Zond 8 launched
1995: STS-73 Columbia launched

Moon phase Thursday 21

Orionid meteor shower

1923: First public planetarium show, Deutsches Museum in Munich
1998: Hubble Heritage Project website launched
2008: Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe launched

Moon phase Friday 22

Full Moon 9:36 PM
Orionid meteor shower

2136 BC: First record of solar eclipse
1905: Karl Jansky born
1966: Luna 12 launched
1975: Venera 9 orbits Venus
1992: STS-52 Columbia launched

Moon phase Saturday 23

1968: First powered flight of the HL-10 lifting body
2007: STS-120 Discovery launched

Moon phase Sunday 24

United Nations Day

1851: William Lassell discovers Uranus moons Umbriel & Ariel
1968: 199th and final X-15 flight
1998: Deep Space 1 launched
2001: Mars Odyssey arrives at Mars
2007: Chang'e-1 lunar spacecraft launched

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