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June 8, 2020 - Radio Rings

Radio Rings   In 2005, the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft sent a series of radio signals through Saturn’s rings toward Earth. Ring particles of different sizes distorted the signals in distinct ways, allowing a high-resolution profile to be created of the distribution of matter within the rings. Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini, born 395 years ago this week, was the first person to spot a division within Saturn’s rings. In this image, taken by the spacecraft that bears his name, the Cassini Division is the largest single “gap” in the rings, about two-thirds of the way from the innermost ring to the outer edge.  Although it appears to be empty space when seen from Earth, the “gap” quickly resolves into a region filled with an astonishing number of ringlets when viewed from the proper angle by visiting spacecraft.

Image credit: NASA / JPL

Weekly Calendar

June 8 - 14, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 8

Jupiter 2° north of Moon
Saturn 3° north of Moon

1625: Giovanni Cassini born
1959: First X-15 unpowered glide test
1975: Venera 9 launched
2007: STS-117 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Tuesday 9

1812: Johann Gottfried Galle born

Moon phase Wednesday 10

1985: Vega 1 deploys lander and balloon on Venus
2003: Mars rover Spirit launched

Moon phase Thursday 11

2008: Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope launched
2013: Shenzhou 10 launched, China's fifth human spaceflight mission

Moon phase Friday 12

Mars 1.7° south of Neptune
Neptune 4° north of Moon
Mars 3° north of Moon

1967: Venera 4 launched

Moon phase Saturday 13

Last Qtr Moon 2:24 AM ET

1831: James Clerk Maxwell born
1974: National Space Society founded
1983: Pioneer 10 leaves solar system, begins traveling in interstellar space
2010: Hayabusa spacecraft returns first asteroid samples to Earth
2012: NuSTAR X-Ray telescope launched

Moon phase Sunday 14

Flag Day

Moon at apogee

1967: Mariner 5 launched
1975: Venera 10 launched
1985: Vega 2 deploys lander and balloon on Venus

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