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March 9, 2020 - Double Martian Birthday

Double Martian Birthday  Born 185 years ago this week, Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiapparelli became famous for his telescopic observations of Mars in 1877. He discerned numerous linear surface patterns that he called “canali,” a word that means “channels” in Italian but was widely mistranslated as “canals.” Canals are artificial structures, and that is just what American astronomer Percival Lowell (born 165 years ago this week) believed he saw the more he observed and mapped Mars. He popularized a belief in the “Canals of Mars” and their presumed builders that would last for nearly a century. Years of surface explorations by the Curiosity rover have convinced scientists that water did indeed once exist —though in a natural state—on Mars. This image shows sedimentary deposits within Gale Crater.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Weekly Calendar

March 9 - 15, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 9

Mercury stationary
Venus 2° north of Uranus
Full Moon 1:48 PM ET

1564: David Fabricius born
1934: Yuri Gagarin born, first human in space
1961: Sputnik 9 launched
1986: Vega 2 flies by Halley’s Comet

Moon phase Tuesday 10

Moon at perigee

1820: Royal Astronomical Society founded
1977: Rings discovered around Uranus
2006: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrives at Mars

Moon phase Wednesday 11

1811: Urbain Le Verrier born
1965: Pioneer 5 launched
2008: STS-123 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Thursday 12

1835: Simon Newcomb born
1981: Victor Savinykh becomes 100th person to travel in space, Soyuz T-4 mission
2015: Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission launched

Moon phase Friday 13

1781: William Herschel discovers Uranus
1855: Percival Lowell born
1989: STS-29 Discovery launched

Moon phase Saturday 14

1835: Giovanni Schiaparelli born
1879: Albert Einstein born
1934: Gene Cernan born
1986: Giotto flies by Halley’s Comet
1995: Soyuz TM-21 launched, first Russian mission with American on board
2016: ExoMars launched
2019: Soyuz MS-12 launched carrying ISS Expedition 59/60 crew

Moon phase Sunday 15

1713: Nicolas de Lacaille born
1932: Alan Bean born
1975: Helios 1 launched
2009: STS-119 Discovery launched

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