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August 20, 2018 - Infrared Anniversary

Infrared Anniversary  Fifteen years ago this week, NASA launched the fourth and final member of its Great Observatories, which aimed to assemble a complement of four cutting-edge telescopes that are sensitive to radiation across different parts of the spectrum. The first Great Observatory was the Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990 to study visible and near-ultraviolet light. It was followed in 1992 by the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and in 1999 by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The Spitzer Space Telescope, launched this week in 2003, captures infrared radiation, which allows it to see through dust that often obscures visible wavelengths.  This Spitzer infrared image reveals the Coyote Head Nebula, a star-forming region tucked away behind a veil of dust that blocks our view in visible light.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Weekly Calendar

August 20 - 26, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 20

1953: First Redstone rocket launched
1960: Sputnik 5 launched
1975: Viking 1 launched
1977: Voyager 2 launched

Moon phase Tuesday 21

Saturn 2° south of Moon

1965: Gemini V launched
1972: OAO-3 launched
2002: First Atlas V rocket launched

Moon phase Wednesday 22

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

Moon phase Thursday 23

Moon at apogee
Mars 7° south of Moon

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

Moon phase Friday 24

Moon phase Saturday 25

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 Sunday 26

Full Moon 7:56 AM ET
Mercury at greatest elongation (18° W)

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