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July 22, 2019 - Biggest Eye on the Sky

Biggest Eye on the Sky  The world’s largest single-aperture optical telescope is the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), a reflecting telescope consisting of 36 hexagonal mirrors that work in unison to create a single 10.4 meter (409 inch) aperture. Located at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco, GTC was formally dedicated at a ceremony held ten years ago this week. GTC is operated by the Spanish Government, the Autonomous Community of the Canaries, Mexico, and the University of Florida. Because it is located at an altitude of 2,400 meters (7,800 ft), GTC enjoys clear skies nearly 300 nights per year. This GTC image shows the Fireworks Galaxy, NGC 6946, a nearly face-on spiral galaxy located about 10 million light-years away.

Image credit: Gran Telescopio Canarias

Weekly Calendar

July 22 - 28, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 22

1784: Friedrich Bessel born
1994: Last fragment of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts Jupiter

Moon phase Tuesday 23

1928: Vera Rubin born
1972:
Landsat 1 launched
1999: STS-93 Columbia launched, deploys Chandra X-Ray Observatory

Moon phase Wednesday 24

Last Qtr Moon 9:18 PM ET

1950: First rocket launched from Cape Canaveral
1969: Apollo 11 crew returns to Earth
1975: Apollo-Soyuz crew returns to Earth, last US splashdown
2009: Canaries Great Telescope dedicated

Moon phase Thursday 25

Uranus 5° north of Moon

1978: Viking 2 orbiter ceases operation
1984: Svetlana Savitskaya becomes first woman to walk in space
2000: Zvezda Service Module docks with International Space Station

Moon phase Friday 26

1958: Explorer IV launched
1971: Apollo 15 launched, fourth lunar landing mission, first mission to use lunar rover
2005: STS-114 Discovery launched

Moon phase Saturday 27

Moon phase Sunday 28

Delta Aquarid meteor shower

1851: First photo of total solar eclipse
1964: Ranger 7 lunar probe launched
1973: Skylab 3 crew launched on 59-day mission
2017: Soyuz MS-05 launched carrying ISS Expedition 52/53 crew

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