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June 24, 2019 - Telescope Visionary

Telescope Visionary  Lyman Spitzer, Jr., a world-renowned theoretical astrophysicist, developed the concept of a telescope in space. In 1946—eleven years before the Space Age began—Spitzer proposed the development of a large, space-based observatory that would not be hindered by Earth’s atmospheric distortion and would be able to observe a broad range of wavelengths. This lofty vision ultimately became the Hubble Space Telescope. Spitzer, born 105 years ago this week, researched star formation and plasma physics. He died in 1997 and was honored in 2003 by having the orbiting Space Infrared Telescope Facility renamed in his honor. This Spitzer Space Telescope image of the “Mountains of Creation” shows towering pillars of dust that are aglow with the light of embryonic stars within.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/L. Allen (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

Weekly Calendar

June 24 - 30, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 24

St. Jean Baptiste Day (Québec)

1999: FUSE spacecraft launched

Moon phase Tuesday 25

Last Qtr Moon 5:46 AM ET

1894: Hermann Oberth born
1992: STS-50 Columbia launched
1997: Progress spacecraft collides with Mir Spektr module
1999: Gemini North telescope dedicated

Moon phase Wednesday 26

1730: Charles Messier born
1914: Lyman Spitzer, Jr born
1963: Syncom 2 satellite launched
1984: First space shuttle launch pad abort (STS-41D)

Moon phase Thursday 27

Uranus 5° north of Moon

1982: STS-4 Columbia launched
1995: STS-71 Atlantis launched
1997: NEAR-Shoemaker probe flies by asteroid Mathilde
2013: IRIS spacecraft launched
2018: Hayabusa2 spacecraft arrives at asteroid Ryugu

Moon phase Friday 28

 

Moon phase Saturday 29

1868: George Ellery Hale born
1961: Transit 4A launched, first nuclear-powered satellite
1971: Soyuz 11 crew dies during reentry

Moon phase Sunday 30

1908: Tunguska impact levels hundreds of miles of Siberian forest
2001: WMAP spacecraft launched

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