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January 30, 2017 - Great Green Spider

Great Green Spider  The spider part of “The Spider and the Fly” nebulae, IC 417 abounds in star formation, as seen in this infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the ground-based Two Micron All Sky Survey. Located in the constellation Auriga, IC 417 lies about 10,000 light-years away. It is in the outer part of the Milky Way, almost exactly in the opposite direction from the galactic center. A cluster of young stars called “Stock 8” can be seen just above center. The light from this cluster carves out a bowl in the nearby dust clouds, seen here as green fluff. Along the sinuous tail in the center and to the bottom, groupings of red point sources are also young stars. In this image, infrared wavelengths, which are invisible to the unaided eye, have been assigned visible colors.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Weekly Calendar

January 30 - February 5, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 30

Neptune 0.2° south of Moon

1964: Ranger 6 launched

Moon phase Tuesday 31

Venus 4° north of Moon
Mars 2° north of Moon

1958: Explorer 1 launched
1961: Mercury Redstone 2 suborbital flight with chimpanzee Ham
1966: Luna 9 launched
1971: Apollo 14 launched
1985: ESA approves the Columbus program

Moon phase Wednesday 1

1956: Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) established
1959: First Titan I launch
2003: Space shuttle Columbia destroyed during reentry; 7 astronauts die

Moon phase Thursday 2

Groundhog Day

Uranus 3° north of Moon
Ceres 1° south of Moon

Moon phase Friday 3

First Qtr Moon 11:19 PM ET

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 Saturday 4

1906: Clyde Tombaugh born

Moon phase Sunday 5

Aldebaran 0.2° south of Moon

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

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