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May 14, 2012 - Monkey Nebula

Monkey Nebula NGC 2467 is an active stellar nursery in the southern constellation of Puppis (the Stern). With an age of a few million years at most, it is a very active stellar nursery where new stars are born continuously from large clouds of dust and gas. This image, looking like a colorful cosmic ghost or a gigantic celestial Mandrill’s face, contains the open clusters Haffner 18 (center) and Haffner 19 (middle right, inside the larger pink “eye” of the Mandrill), as well as vast areas of ionized gas. The bright star at the center of the largest pink region on the bottom of the image is HD 64315, a massive young star that is helping to shape the structure of the whole nebular region. This image was taken with the Wide-Field Imager on the 2.2-meter (86-inch) MPG/ESO telescope located at La Silla, in Chile.

Image credit: European Southern Observatory

Weekly Calendar

May 14-20, 2012

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Monday 14

1973: Skylab launched
2009: Herschel and Planck space observatories launched
2010: STS-132 Atlantis launched

Tuesday 15

Pallas 0.8° north of Moon
Venus appears stationary

1958: Sputnik 3 launched
1963: Faith 7 launched, last Mercury program flight
1997: STS-84 Atlantis launched, sixth Mir docking mission
2012: Soyuz TMA-04M launched carrying ISS Expedition 31/32 crew

Wednesday 16

Uranus 6° south of Moon

2011: STS-134 Endeavour launched, final shuttle mission

Thursday 17

Ascension Day

1836: Norman Lockyer born

Friday 18

1969: Apollo 10 launched
1984: Viking 1 lander given to National Air & Space Museum
1996: First test flight of DC-XA rocket
2009
: 23rd and final spacewalk to service the Hubble Space Telescope

Saturday 19

Moon at apogee
Juno at opposition

1965: Apollo A-003 launched
1996: STS-77 Endeavour launched
2000: STS-101 Atlantis launched

Sunday 20

New Moon 7:47 PM ET

1978: Pioneer-Venus 1 launched
1995: Spektr module launched to Mir space station

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