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July 1, 2019 - Remains of an Ancient Explosion

Remains of an Ancient Explosion  Nine hundred sixty-five years ago this week, a star in the constellation Taurus glowed as bright as the full Moon for several days. Chinese astronomers recorded the suddenly appearing star, which we now know to be a pulsar in the heart of the Crab Nebula. The Crab Nebula, the remains of that supernova explosion, is a highly energetic object, powered by the central pulsar, which spins at a remarkable rate of 30 times per second, even though it has the mass equivalent of the Sun crammed into a spinning ball of neutrons just 20 km (12 mi) across. The Crab derived its name from its appearance in a drawing made by Lord Rosse in 1844. With modern imaging techniques and large aperture telescopes, the complex filamentary structure of this object becomes clear.

Image credit: Göran Nilsson & The Liverpool Telescope, (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Weekly Calendar

July 1 - 7, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 1

Canada Day (Canada)

1917: 100” mirror arrives at Mt. Wilson Observatory
1972: Wernher von Braun retires from NASA
1997: STS-94 Columbia launched

Moon phase Tuesday 2

New Moon 3:16 PM ET
Total Solar Eclipse (Eastern Oceania, South America)

1985: European Space Agency launches Giotto probe to study Halley’s Comet

Moon phase Wednesday 3

1935: Harrison Schmitt born

Moon phase Thursday 4

Independence Day

Mars 0.09° south of Moon
Mercury 3° south of Moon
Earth at aphelion

1054: Crab Nebula supernova observed
1868: Henrietta Swan Leavitt born
1997: Mars Pathfinder lands on Mars
2005: Deep Impact probe collides with comet Tempel 1
2006
: STS-121 Discovery launched
2016: Juno spacecraft begins orbiting Jupiter

Moon phase Friday 5

Moon at perigee

1966: Apollo-Saturn 203 launched
1982: Space Shuttle Challenger arrives at Kennedy Space Center for first time

Moon phase Saturday 6

1687: Isaac Newton publishes his Principia

Moon phase Sunday 7

Mercury appears stationary
Mercury 4° south of Mars

1995: Final test flight of DC-X rocket
1998: First satellite launch from a submarine
2003: Mars rover Opportunity launched
2016Soyuz MS-01 launched carrying ISS Expedition 48/49 crew

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