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April 22, 2013 - Galaxy by GALEX

Galaxy by GALEX Ten years ago this week, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) ultraviolet space telescope was launched into orbit aboard a Pegasus rocket, which was carried aloft under the belly of a modified L-1011 airliner. After reaching 12,192 meters (40,000 feet), the Pegasus detached, fired its engine, and four minutes later GALEX was in orbit. GALEX measures the history of star formation in the universe, going back as far as ten billion years. One objective is to observe hundreds of thousands of galaxies and determine how far away each galaxy is from Earth and how fast stars are forming in each galaxy. In this GALEX image of galaxy M81, hot young stars appear as bluish-white wisps swirling around the galaxy’s core. The golden glow at M81’s center comes from a population of older stars.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Huchra (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

Weekly Calendar

April 22-28, 2013

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Monday 22

2010: X-37B spacecraft launched

Tuesday 23

1858: Max Planck born
1962: Ranger 4 launched
1963: M2-F1 lifting body first free flight
1996: Priroda module launched to Mir space station

Wednesday 24

Spica 0.004° south of Moon

1970: China becomes fifth nation to launch its own satellite
1990: STS-31 Discovery launched

Thursday 25

Full Moon 3:57 PM ET
Saturn 4° north of Moon

1962: Second Block I Saturn C-1 (SA-2) launched
1990: Hubble Space Telescope deployed
2003: ISS Expedition Seven crew launched on Soyuz TMA-2

Moon phase Friday 26

1920: Shapley-Curtis debate on the nature and distance of spiral nebulae
: STS-55 Columbia launched

Saturday 27

Moon at perigee

Sunday 28

Saturn at opposition

1900: Jan Oort born
1906: Bart Bok born
Eugene Shoemaker born
STS-39 Discovery launched
Soyuz TM-32 launched; Dennis Tito becomes first space tourist
GALEX launched
CloudSat and CALIPSO launched

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