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January 16, 2017 - Ghostly Bubble

Ghostly Bubble  This extraordinary bubble, glowing like the ghost of a star in the haunting darkness of space, may appear supernatural and mysterious, but it is a familiar astronomical object: a planetary nebula, the remnants of a dying star. This is the best view of the little-known object ESO 378-1 yet obtained and was captured by European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. Nicknamed the Southern Owl Nebula, this shimmering orb has a diameter of almost four light-years, and is located in the constellation Hydra. Its nickname relates to its visual cousin in the northern hemisphere, the Owl Nebula. Like all planetary nebulae, ESO 378-1 is a relatively short-lived phenomenon, lasting only a few tens of thousands of years, compared to a typical stellar lifetime of several billion years.

Image credit: ESO

Weekly Calendar

January 16-22 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 16

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

1969: First docking of two human spacecraft (Soyuz 5 and Soyuz 4)
2003: STS-107 Columbia launched

Moon phase Tuesday 17

Vesta at opposition

1985: 1,037th and final Aerobee sounding rocket launched

Moon phase Wednesday 18

2002: Gemini South Observatory dedicated

Moon phase Thursday 19

Jupiter 3° S of Moon
Mercury at greatest elong (24° W)
Last Qtr Moon 5:14 PM ET

1747: Johann Bode born
1851: Jacobus Kapteyn born
1965: Gemini II launched
2006: New Horizons launched

Moon phase Friday 20

Jupiter 4° north of Spica

1573: Simon Marius born
1930: Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin born
1966: Apollo A-004 launched, first flight test of CSM hardware
1978: Progress 1 launched

Moon phase Saturday 21

Moon at apogee

Moon phase Sunday 22

1968: Apollo 5 launched
1978: First automatic resupply ship docking (Progress 1)
1992: STS-42 Discovery launched
1998: STS-89 Endeavour launched
2003: Pioneer 10’s last signal to Earth

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