February 10, 2014 - College Dropout Moves the World

College Dropout Moves the World Born 450 years ago this week, Galileo Galilei entered the University of Pisa to study medicine. His real interest, however, was mathematics; he was bored by his other classes, was frequently absent, and ultimately left the University without a degree. A brilliant mathematician and theorist, Galileo became the first person to observe the sky with a telescope, and in 1610 he discovered four moons orbiting Jupiter, a fact that shattered the theory of the Earth-centered universe and relegated Earth to its proper, albeit humbler, position as one of many planets that orbit the Sun. Shown here is volcanic Io, the innermost of the four Jovian moons Galileo discovered. This image was taken in 1996 by the Galileo spacecraft, which spent eight years studying Jupiter and its moons.

Image credit: NASA / JPL / Ames Research Center

Weekly Calendar

February 10-16, 2014

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 10

1990: Galileo spacecraft passes by Venus on its way to Jupiter
1992: First Atlas II launch

Moon phase Tuesday 11

Jupiter 5° north of Moon

1970: First Japanese satellite launched
1984: STS-41B Challenger makes first shuttle landing at KSC
1997: STS-82 Discovery launched
2000: STS-99 Endeavour launched
2010: Solar Dynamics Observatory launched

Moon phase Wednesday 12

Moon at apogee

1963: NASA selects contractor to build the Crawler Transporter
1974: Mars 5 enters orbit around Mars
2001: NEAR-Shoemaker lands on asteroid Eros

Moon phase Thursday 13

1852: Johan Dreyer born
1937Sigmund Jähn born, first German to fly in space

Moon phase Friday 14

Valentine’s Day

Full Moon 6:53 PM ET

1972: Luna 20 launched
1980: Solar Max launched
1990: Voyager 1 takes solar system "family portrait"
2000: NEAR-Shoemaker orbits asteroid Eros

Moon phase Saturday 15

Venus at greatest illuminated extent
Mercury in inferior conjunction

1564: Galileo Galilei born
1973: Pioneer 10 becomes first spacecraft to pass through the asteroid belt
2013Meteor explodes over Chelyabinsk, Russia injuring 1,500 people

Moon phase Sunday 16

1948: Gerard Kuiper discovers Miranda, moon of Uranus
1965: Saturn SA-9 launched

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