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July 30, 2018 - Miss Mitchell’s Comet

Miss Mitchell’s Comet  Maria Mitchell, born 200 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 shows a different comet (Comet Lovejoy) that appeared in the skies over Santiago, Chile in 2012.

Image credit: Y. Beletsky (LCO) / ESO

Weekly Calendar

July 30 - August 5, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 30

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

Moon phase Tuesday 31

Neptune 3° north of Moon
Mars closest approach

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 Wednesday 1

Vesta appears stationary

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

Moon phase Thursday 2

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

Moon phase Friday 3

Uranus 5° north of Moon

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

Moon phase Saturday 4

Last Qtr Moon 2:18 PM ET
Juno 1.2° south of Moon

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

Moon phase Sunday 5

1930: Neil Armstrong born
1966: Final M2-F1 lifting body glide test
1969: Mariner 7 flies by Mars
: Juno spacecraft launched to Jupiter

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.