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November 13, 2017 - Jagged Little Shore

Jagged Little Shore  This enhanced color view from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft zooms in on the southeastern shore of Pluto’s great ice plains, where at lower right the plains border rugged, dark highlands informally named Krun Macula. Krun Macula—Krun is the lord of the underworld in the Mandaean religion, and a macula is a dark feature on a planetary surface—is believed to get its dark red color from tholins, complex molecules found across Pluto. Krun Macula rises 2.5 km (1.5 mi) above the surrounding Sputnik Planum and is scarred by clusters of connected, roughly circular pits that typically reach between 8 and 13 km (5 and 8 mi) across, and up to 2.5 km (1.5 mi) deep. Scientists think these pits may have formed through surface collapse, although what prompted such collapses is a mystery.

Image credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute

Weekly Calendar

November 13-19, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 13

Venus 0.3° north of Jupiter

1971: Mariner 9 becomes first spacecraft to orbit Mars
1978: Einstein Observatory (HEAO-2) launched

Moon phase Tuesday 14

Mars 3° south of Moon

1969: Apollo 12 launched, second lunar landing mission
2008: STS-126 Endeavour launched
2011: Soyuz TMA-22 launched carrying ISS Expedition 29/30 crew

Moon phase Wednesday 15

1738: William Herschel born
1973: First powered flight of X-24B lifting body
1988: Green Bank 300-foot radio telescope collapses
1988: Soviet Shuttle Buran launched

Moon phase Thursday 16

Vesta 0.4° north of Moon
Jupiter 4° south of Moon

1962: Saturn SA-3 launched
1973: Skylab 4 crew launched on 84-day mission
1974: Interstellar message broadcast from Arecibo radio telescope
2009: STS-129 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Friday 17

Leonid meteor shower

1970: Luna 17 lands on Moon; Lunokhod 1 rover becomes first wheeled vehicle on Moon
2016: Soyuz MS-03 launched carrying ISS Expedition 50/51 crew

Moon phase Saturday 18

New Moon 6:42 AM ET
Leonid meteor shower

1923: Alan Shepard born
1989: Cosmic Background Explorer launched
2013: MAVEN spacecraft launched to Mars

Moon phase Sunday 19

1969: Apollo 12 makes second lunar landing
1996: STS-80 Columbia launched
1997: STS-87 Columbia launched
2005: Hayabusa spacecraft makes first liftoff from an asteroid

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