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June 18, 2012 - All Eyes on Carina

All Eyes on Carina Eta Carinae is one of the most massive and brightest stars in the Milky Way, about 100 times as massive and a million times as bright as the Sun. This famed variable hypergiant star (upper center) is surrounded by the Carina Nebula. This composite image combines visible data from the Digital Sky Survey (in blue), near-infrared data from the Two Micron All-Sky Survey (in green), and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope (in red). Areas that appear blue are not obscured by dust, while areas that appear red are hidden behind dark clouds of dust in visible light. A study combining X-ray and infrared observations has revealed a new population of massive stars lurking within, suggesting that the Carina Nebula will produce twice as many supernova explosions as earlier supposed.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / M. Povich (Penn State Univeristy)

Weekly Calendar

June 18-24, 2012

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 18

1799: William Lassell born
1983: STS-7 Challenger launched; Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space
2009: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) launched

Moon phase Tuesday 19

New Moon 11:02 AM ET

1999: QuikSCAT launched

Moon phase Wednesday 20

Summer Solstice 7:09 PM ET

1985: NASA announces cola wars will take place on shuttle mission STS-51F
1996: STS-78 Columbia launched

Moon phase Thursday 21

Mercury 5° south of Pollux
Mercury 6° north of Moon

1993: STS-57 Endeavour launched
2004: SpaceShipOne launched, first privately-funded human space flight

Moon phase Friday 22

1675: Royal Greenwich Observatory founded
1973: 28-day Skylab 2 mission ends
2000: NASA announces evidence of present-day liquid water on Mars

Moon phase Saturday 23

Moon phase Sunday 24

St. Jean Baptiste Day (Québec)

1999: FUSE spacecraft launched

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