December 27, 2010 - Hubble Rides Space Mountain

Hubble Rides Space Mountain Although Space Mountain may be one of the most popular attractions at every Disney amusement park, the lines are much shorter if you want to enjoy another space mountain recently imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. This turbulent cosmic pinnacle is a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being slowly eaten away by the intense radiation from nearby stars. The chaotic mountain, part of the Carina Nebula some 7,500 light-years away, is also being eaten away from within as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from some of the towering peaks. Scorching radiation and streams of charged particles from super-hot newborn stars nearby are shaping and compressing the pillar, causing new stars to form within it.

Image credit: NASA / ESA / M. Livio / Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Weekly Calendar

December 27, 2010 - January 2, 2011

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 27

Last Quarter Moon 11:18 PM ET
Pluto in conjunction with Sun

1571: Johannes Kepler born
1984: Meteorite ALH 84001 discovered

Moon phase Tuesday 28

Saturn 8° north of Moon

1882: Arthur Eddington born

Moon phase Wednesday 29

1980: STS-1 leaves Vehicle Assembly Building and rolls out to launch pad

Moon phase Thursday 30

Mercury appears stationary

1957: Wernher von Braun proposes the Saturn-class launch vehicle

Moon phase Friday 31

New Year's Eve

Venus 7° north of Moon

1864: Robert Aitken born
2004: Cassini makes first flyby of Iapetus

Moon phase Saturday 1

New Year's Day

1801: Giuseppe Piazzi discovers asteroid Ceres

Moon phase Sunday 2

Jupiter 0.6° south of Uranus
Mercury 4° north of Moon

1900: Leslie Peltier born
1920: Isaac Asimov born
1959: Luna 1 is first spacecraft to leave Earth’s gravitational field
1972: Mariner 9 begins mapping Mars
2004: Stardust encounters Comet Wild 2

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