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March 19, 2018 - Discoveries, Near and Far

Discoveries, Near and Far  Astronomer Walter Baade, born 125 years ago this week, made discoveries not only on a galactic scale, but also much closer to home. Baade was the first person to photograph individual stars in the central region of the Andromeda galaxy, and his photos revealed a population of older, redder stars, quite different from the young, bright blue stars in the spiral arms observed by Edwin Hubble. Baade applied Hubble’s calculations to these dimmer, older stars and determined that Andromeda—and many other galaxies—was about twice as far away as previously thought. In addition, Baade discovered the first minor planet of the Centaur class, whose members cross the orbit of the giant planets. Saturn’s moon Phoebe, shown here, is thought to be a captured Centaur.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Weekly Calendar

March 19 - 25, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 19

Uranus 5° north of Moon

1970: First powered flight of X-24A lifting body

Moon phase Tuesday 20

Equinox 12:15 PM ET
Ceres appears stationary

Moon phase Wednesday 21

1866: Antonia Maury born
: Ranger 9 launched

Moon phase Thursday 22

Mercury appears stationary
Aldebaran 0.9° south of Moon

1982: STS-3 Columbia launched
1996: STS-76 Atlantis launched
1997: Comet Hale-Bopp closest approach to Earth

Moon phase Friday 23

1749: Pierre Laplace born
: John William Draper takes first photograph of Moon
1912: Wernher von Braun born
1965: Gemini III launched
2001: Mir space station reenters atmosphere

Moon phase Saturday 24

First Qtr Moon 11:35 AM ET

1893: Walter Baade born
1992: STS-45 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Sunday 25

1655: Christiaan Huygens discovers Titan, moon of Saturn
1996: Comet Hyakutake closest approach to Earth
2000: IMAGE spacecraft launched

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