March 1, 2010 - Ultraviolet Explorations

Ultraviolet Explorations Seen here during a dramatic night launch that occurred fifteen years ago this week, the space shuttle Endeavour embarks on a lengthy mission of astronomical investigation. STS-67 spent nearly seventeen days in orbit, during which time the crew conducted astronomical observations in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum using the Astro-2 payload. Astro-2 consisted of three different instruments, which made observations of hundreds of solar system objects, stars, nebulae, supernova remnants, galaxies, and extragalactic objects. Astro-2 complemented the work of the Astro-1 payload, flown on the STS-35 mission in December 1990. Because most ultraviolet radiation is absorbed by Earth’s ozone layer, space-based telescopes are the most effective instruments to study it.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

March 1-7, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 1

1927: George Abell born
1966: Venera 3 impacts on Venus
1982: Venera 13 returns first color photos from the surface of Venus
2002: STS-109 Columbia launched

Moon phase Tuesday 2

Saturn 8° north of Moon

1972: Pioneer 10 launched
1995: STS-67 Endeavour launched (Astro-2 mission)
2004: Rosetta cometary probe launched

Moon phase Wednesday 3

1959: Pioneer 4 launched
1969: Apollo 9 launched

Thursday 4

1979: Jupiter’s rings discovered
1994: STS-62 Columbia launched

Friday 5

1512: Gerardus Mercator born
1978: Landsat 3 launched
1979: Voyager 1 flies by Jupiter
1982: Venera 14 lands on Venus, returns color photos of Venus’s surface

Saturday 6

1787: Joseph Fraunhofer born
1986: Vega 1 flies by Halley’s Comet
2009: Kepler Observatory launched

Sunday 7

Last Quarter Moon 10:42 AM

1792: John Herschel born
1837: Henry Draper born
1962: OSO-1 launched
1969: Apollo 9 astronauts complete first solo flight of lunar module

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