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August 22, 2016 - A Grand Passing of Saturn

A Grand Passing of Saturn  On August 20, 1977, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket, its twin Voyager 1 lifting off two weeks later. Both spacecraft were destined for the outer reaches of the solar system, embarking on a “Grand Tour” of the giant gas and ice worlds Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Four years later, and thirty-five years ago this week, Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Saturn. Arriving nine months after Voyager 1, Voyager 2 flew closer and captured more detailed images than Voyager 1, observing the planet’s atmosphere (shown in this false color image), rings, and shepherd moons. Voyager 2 is now traveling toward the edge of the solar system at a rate of about 495 million km (307.5 million mi) per year.

Image credit: NASA / JPL

Weekly Calendar

August 22-28, 2016

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 22

Uranus 3° north of Moon

1963: X-15 sets world altitude record for a winged craft (354,000 feet)
1976: Luna 24 returns soil samples from Moon

Moon phase Tuseday 23

1966: Lunar Orbiter I returns first image of Earth from Moon

Moon phase Wednesday 24

Last Qtr Moon 11:41 PM ET
Mars 1.8° north of Antares

Moon phase Thursday 25

Aldebaran 0.2° south of Moon
Mars 4° south of Saturn

1965: President Johnson approves full-scale development of Manned Orbital Laboratory
1966: Apollo-Saturn 202 launched
1981: Voyager 2 flies past Saturn
1989: Voyager 2 flies past Neptune
2003: Spitzer Space Telescope launched

Moon phase Friday 26

Jupiter in conjunction with Sun

Moon phase Saturday 27

Mercury 5° south of Venus
Venus 0.07° north of Jupiter

1962: Mariner 2 launched
1984: Teacher In Space program announced
1985: STS-51I Discovery launched

Moon phase Sunday 28

1789: William Herschel discovers Enceladus, moon of Saturn
1993: Galileo spacecraft flies by asteroid Ida
2009: STS-128 Discovery launched

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