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July 29, 2013 - Miss Mitchell Finds a Comet

Miss Mitchell Finds a Comet Maria Mitchell, born 195 years ago this week, is widely recognized as the first American woman astronomer. Mitchell was raised by parents who believed all of their ten children should be highly educated and aspire to greatness, regardless of gender. Her father in particular, an astronomer himself, recognized Mitchell’s talent for science and encouraged her endlessly. Mitchell’s discovery of a comet in 1847, known as “Miss Mitchell’s Comet,” earned her worldwide fame, and she later became a professor of astronomy at Vassar College. Today, about twenty-five percent of all professional astronomers worldwide are women, and their ranks are growing. This image of a different comet (Comet Lovejoy) was taken from the unique vantage point of the International Space Station.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

July 29 - August 4, 2013

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 29

Last Quarter Moon 1:43 PM ET
Delta Aquarid meteor shower

1985: STS-51F Challenger launched

Moon phase Tuesday 30

Mercury at greatest elongation (20° W)

1965: SA-10 launched, last Saturn 1 vehicle
1971: Apollo 15 lands on Moon

Moon phase Wednesday 31

1969: Mariner 6 flies by Mars
1971: First vehicle driven on Moon by Apollo 15 astronauts Scott & Irwin
1992: STS-46 Atlantis launched
1999: Lunar Prospector mission ends

Moon phase Thursday 1

1818: Maria Mitchell born
1967: Lunar Orbiter V launched
1968: Saturn V production ends
1973: First X-24B lifting body glide test

Moon phase Friday 2

1971: Apollo 15 lunar module Falcon leaves Moon in first televised lunar liftoff
1991: STS-43 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Saturday 3

Moon at apogee
Jupiter 4° north of Moon
Juno at opposition

2004: MESSENGER spacecraft launched to Mercury
2005: First in-flight space shuttle repair

Moon phase Sunday 4

Mars 5° north of Moon
Mercury 7° south of Pollux

1967: NASA announces sixth astronaut class
1984: First Ariane 3 launched
2007: Phoenix Mars Lander launched

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