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September 27, 2010 - Like Father, Like Son

Like Father, Like Son Being a pioneer in the field of astrophoto­graphy seems to run in the Draper family. John William Draper took the first photograph of the Moon in 1840 using the early daguerreotype process. His son, Henry Draper, while having a successful career as a physician, dedicated himself to astronomical imaging: in 1874 he led the U.S. expedition to photograph the transit of Venus; in 1872 he photographed the first stellar spectrum (of Vega); in 1881 he took the first wide-angle photograph of a comet’s tail; and 130 years ago this week he took the first crude image of the Orion Nebula. This stunning modern narrow-band image of the Orion Nebula was captured by Antonio Fernandez, another physician-turned-astrophotographer, with a ten-inch telescope in Madrid, Spain.

Image credit: Antonio Fernandez / www.afernandez.net

Weekly Calendar

September 27 - October 3, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 27

1814: Daniel Kirkwood born
2007: Dawn spacecraft launched

Moon phase Tuesday 28

Moon phase Wednesday 29

Venus 6° south of Mars

1977: Salyut 6 space station launched
1988: STS-26 Discovery launched, first shuttle flight since Challenger disaster
2001: First satellite launch from Alaska
2009: MESSENGER makes its third and final flyby of Mercury

Moon phase Thursday 30

Last Quarter Moon 11:52 PM ET
Saturn in conjunction with Sun

1880: Henry Draper takes first photograph of Orion Nebula
1994: STS-68 Endeavour launched
1995: Daily communication with Pioneer 11 ends
2005Soyuz TMA-7 launched carrying ISS Expedition 12 crew
2009Soyuz TMA-16 launched carrying ISS Expedition 21/22 crew

Moon phase Friday 1

1897: 40-inch refractor dedicated at Yerkes Observatory
1958: NASA founded
1962: 300-foot radio telescope at Green Bank goes into operation
2010: Chang’e-2 lunar spacecraft launched

Moon phase Saturday 2

Moon phase Sunday 3

1935: Charlie Duke born
1942: First V2 rocket launched
1962: Mercury Sigma 7 launched
1967: X-15A-2 flies at mach 6.7
1985: STS-51J Atlantis launched

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