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September 16, 2019 - Holst, Bringer of Music

Holst, Bringer of Music  Born 145 years ago this week, English composer Gustav Holst holds a special place in the hearts, and ears, of astronomers. Although he wrote almost 200 orchestral suites, operas, ballets, concertos, choral hymns, and songs, his signature piece is indisputably the seven-movement orchestral suite, The Planets, first performed publicly in 1918. Each movement corresponds to a planet and its associated mythological and astrological characteristics: Mars, the Bringer of War; Venus, the Bringer of Peace; Mercury, the Winged Messenger; Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity; Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age; Uranus, the Magician; and Neptune, the Mystic. The menacing shadow in this image belongs not to an aggressive Martian ready to wage war, but rather to the Mars rover Opportunity.

Image credit: NASA/JPL

Weekly Calendar

September 16 - 22, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 16

1848: First observation of Hyperion, moon of Saturn
1996: STS-79 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Tuesday 17

Uranus 4° north of Moon

1789: William Herschel discovers Mimas
1857: Konstantin Tsiolkovsky born
1930: Ed Mitchell born
1959: First powered flight of X-15
1976: First rollout of space shuttle Enterprise

Moon phase Wednesday 18

Saturn appears stationary

1964: Saturn SA-7 launched
1977: Voyager 1 takes photo of Earth and Moon together in space
2006: Anousheh Ansari becomes first woman space tourist
2013: Cygnus 1 supply ship launched to ISS

Moon phase Thursday 19

Moon phase Friday 20

1945: Wernher von Braun arrives in United States
1966: Surveyor 2 launched
1970: Luna 16 lands on Moon
1979: HEAO-3 launched
1988: Israel launches its first satellite

Moon phase Saturday 21

Last Qtr Moon 10:41 PM ET

1866: H. G. Wells born
: Gustav Holst born
1974: Mariner 10 flies by Mercury for second time
2003: Galileo mission ends
2018: HIBOU and OWL "hoppers" deployed to asteroid Ryugu

Moon phase Sunday 22

1990: Pioneer 10 reaches 50 AU from Sun
2006: Hinode spacecraft launched
2014: MAVEN spacecraft enters orbit around Mars

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