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August 1, 2011 - Clash of the Titans

Clash of the Titans This stunning Hubble Space Telescope image of Stephan’s Quintet is really a group of four interacting galaxies about 290 million light-years away, plus a fifth galaxy (upper left) that is about seven times closer but happens to be in our line of sight. NGC 7319, at top right, is a barred spiral galaxy with arms that trail in a near semi-circle. Below NGC 7319 lie the interacting galaxies NGC 7813A and NGC 7318B. Encircling the galaxies are young, bright blue star clusters and pinkish clouds of glowing hydrogen where infant stars are being born. At the lower left is NGC 7317, a normal-looking elliptical galaxy that is less affected by the interactions of the others in the group. NGC 7320, at upper left, is “only” 40 million light-years away—close enough for Hubble to resolve individual stars.

Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Weekly Calendar

August 1-7, 2011

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 1

Mercury 1.5° north of Moon

1818: Maria Mitchell born
1967: Lunar Orbiter V launched
1968: Saturn V production ends
1973: First X-24B lifting body glide test

Moon phase Tuesday 2

Mercury appears stationary
Moon at perigee

1971: Apollo 15 lunar module Falcon leaves Moon in first televised lunar liftoff
1991: STS-43 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Wednesday 3

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

Moon phase Thursday 4

Saturn 8° north of Moon

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

Moon phase Friday 5

Vesta at opposition

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 Saturday 6

First Quarter Moon 7:08 AM ET

1961: Vostok 2 launched, first full-day human space mission, Gherman Titov first person to sleep in space

Moon phase Sunday 7

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

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