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May 29, 2017 - Stars of LaSilla

Stars of LaSilla  A long exposure has captured the setting stars in a moonlit sky, resulting in colorful star trails above the La Silla telescope domes in the southern outskirts of the Atacama Desert, Chile. The trails are notably distorted at the horizon, similar to the way the Moon or Sun appear distorted when near the horizon. In both cases, light rays are being refracted in the atmosphere. The European Southern Observatory’s site at La Silla has telescopes that observe at optical and infrared wavelengths. The largest optical telescope has a mirror with a diameter of 3.6 meters (12 ft). The high altitude of La Silla (2,400 meters, or 7,800 ft), the dark sky, and the clear air above it (reducing atmospheric distortions of incoming light), make the site an ideal location for astronomical observations.

Image credit: ESO / B. Tafreshi (twanight.org)

Weekly Calendar

May 29 - June 4, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 29

Memorial Day

1919: Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity tested during total solar eclipse
2009: ISS Expedition 20 begins

Moon phase Tuesday 30

1934: Alexi Leonov born
1966: Surveyor 1 launched
1971: Mariner 9 probe launched

Moon phase Wednesday 31

Regulus 0.3° north of Moon

1975: European Space Agency formed
1990: Kristall module launched to Mir space station
2008: STS-124 Discovery launched

Moon phase Thursday 1

First Qtr Moon 8:42 AM ET

Moon phase Friday 2

Venus 1.8° south of Uranus

1930: Charles “Pete” Conrad born
1966: Surveyor 1 lands on Moon
1970: First glide test of M2-F3 lifting body
1998: STS-91 Discovery launched
2003: Mars Express / Beagle 2 launched

Moon phase Saturday 3

Venus at greatest elongation (46° W)
Jupiter 2° south of Moon

1948: 200-inch Hale telescope dedicated
1965
: Gemini IV launched; Ed White takes America’s first space walk
1966
: Gemini IX launched

Moon phase Sunday 4

Whit Sunday - Pentecost

1971: Last X-24A lifting body flight
1974: Construction begins on space shuttle Enterprise
2000: Compton Gamma Ray Observatory reenters atmosphere

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