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September 17, 2018 - Sister Acts

Sister Acts  In 1772, twenty-two-year-old Caroline Lucretia Herschel left her native Germany to join her brother William in England, hoping to avoid a traditional life of dreary domestic servitude. Herschel helped her brother, an amateur astronomer, record his numerous observations, but soon she learned advanced mathematics and optics, and she became an accomplished observer in her own right. Among her many discoveries were eight comets and over a dozen “nebulae,” including NGC 253 (above), which she observed 235 years ago this week. NGC 253 is actually a spiral galaxy 10 million light-years away in the constellation Sculptor. Caroline, who never married, lived until the ripe old age of 98. Both the lunar crater “C. Herschel” and the asteroid “281 Lucretia” were named in honor of her accomplishments.

Image credit: ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/ R. Gendler, U. G. Jørgensen, J. Skottfelt, K. Harpsøe

Weekly Calendar

September 17 - 23, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 17

Saturn 2° south 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 Tuesday 18

Yom Kippur begins at sunset

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 Wednesday 19

Moon at apogee

Moon phase Thursday 20

Mars 5° south of Moon
Mercury in superior conjunction

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 Friday 21

Venus at greatest illuminated extent

1866: H. G. Wells born
1874
: Gustav Holst born
1974: Mariner 10 flies by Mercury for second time
2003: Galileo mission ends

Moon phase Saturday 22

Equinox 9:54 PM ET

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

Moon phase Sunday 23

Neptune 2° north of Moon

1783: Caroline Herschel discovers NGC 253
1846: J. G. Galle discovers Neptune
1962: “The Jetsons” premieres
1977: Third glide test of space shuttle Enterprise

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