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November 23, 2009 - Stellar Jewel Box

Stellar Jewel Box Thousands of sparkling young stars are nestled within the giant nebula NGC 3603, one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. NGC 3603 is a prominent star-forming region about 20,000 light-years away. This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a young star cluster surrounded by a vast region of dust and gas. Most of the bright stars are hot, blue stars whose ultraviolet radiation and violent winds have blown out an enormous cavity in the gas and dust enveloping the cluster. This image provides a snapshot in time of many stars with differing masses but similar ages inside the young cluster. Astronomers can thus compare clusters of different ages with one another to determine how properties such as temperature and brightness change as stars get older.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Weekly Calendar

November 23-29, 2009

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 23

Jupiter 4° south of Moon

1977: Meteosat 1 launched
1983: 149-day Salyut 7 mission ends
2002: STS-113 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Tuesday 24

First Quarter Moon 4:39 pm
Neptune 3° south of Moon

1947: First Aerobee rocket launch
1991
: STS-44 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Wednesday 25

1970: First powered flight of M2-F3 lifting body

Moon phase Thursday 26

Thanksgiving Day

Uranus 6° south of Moon

1965: France becomes third nation to launch a satellite
1975: Final X-24B lifting body flight
1985: STS-61B Atlantis launched
1989: Kvant 2 module launched

Moon phase Friday 27

1885: First photo of a meteor shower
1971
: Mars 2 probe becomes first artificial object to hit Mars
1997: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission launched

Moon phase Saturday 28

1964: Mariner 4 launched
1983: STS-9 Columbia launched

Moon phase Sunday 29

First Sunday in Advent

1967: First Australian satellite launched

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