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February 3, 2020 - To See the Unseen

To See the Unseen  Twelve million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major, galaxy M81 was one of the first objects studied by the Spitzer Space Telescope, NASA’s fourth Great Observatory. Launched in 2003 and slated for retirement this year, Spitzer is a sibling of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Spitzer has unprecedented resolution at invisible infrared wavelengths, revealing detail hidden from view in traditional visible light images. This Spitzer image shows several key components of this “nearby” galaxy: old stars (clustered in the white central bulge of the galaxy), interstellar dust (the main constituent of the spiral arms), and regions of new star formation (the bright, clumpy areas along the leading edge of the spiral arms).

Image credit: Credit: NASA / JPL / Caltech / Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Weekly Calendar

February 3 - 9, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 3

1966: Luna 9 lands on Moon
1984: STS-41B Challenger launched
STS-60 Discovery launched
1995: STS-63 Discovery launched; Eileen Collins first woman shuttle pilot
: Astronauts aboard the ISS launch SuitSat satellite

Moon phase Tuesday 4

1906: Clyde Tombaugh born

Moon phase Wednesday 5

1965: First test of Apollo Service Propulsion System engine
1967: Lunar Orbiter III launched
1971: Apollo 14 lands on Moon
1974: Mariner 10 uses gravity of Venus to adjust trajectory toward Mercury

Moon phase Thursday 6

1971: Alan Shepard hits first golf balls on Moon
2018: First Falcon Heavy launch

Moon phase Friday 7

1984: Bruce McCandless makes first untethered spacewalk during STS-41B
1999: Stardust comet probe launched
2001: STS-98 Atlantis launched
2008: STS-122 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Saturday 8

1828: Jules Verne born
1974: 84-day Skylab 4 mission ends, last crew to occupy Skylab
2010: STS-130 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Sunday 9

Full Moon 2:33 AM ET

1971: Apollo 14 returns from Moon; last post-mission quarantine

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