April 25, 2011 - Birthday Globule

Birthday Globule One of the most prominent astronomers of the last century was born 105 years ago this week in the Netherlands. Bart Bok worked at Harvard University and directed both the Mt. Stromolo Observatory in Australia and the Steward Observatory in Arizona. Along with his wife, astronomer Priscilla Fairfield Bok, he studied the structure and evolution of star clusters and the galaxy, mapping the spiral arms of the Milky Way. He became best known for his work on small dark nebulae now known as Bok Globules. These condensing interstellar clouds of gas and dust are the future birthplaces of stars and star clusters. The Caterpillar, in this Hubble image, is a Bok Globule in the Carina Nebula, some 7,500 light-years away. Its glowing edge is the effect of radiation from energetic nearby stars.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / N. Smith (UC Berkeley) / The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Weekly Calendar

April 25 - May 1, 2011

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Monday 25

Easter Monday (Canada)

1962: Second Block I Saturn C-1 (SA-2) launched
1990: Hubble Space Telescope deployed
2003: ISS Expedition Seven crew launched on Soyuz TMA-2

Tuesday 26

1920: Shapley-Curtis debate on the nature and distance of spiral nebulae
1993: STS-55 Columbia launched

Wednesday 27

Neptune 6° south of Moon

Thursday 28

1900: Jan Oort born
1906: Bart Bok born
Eugene Shoemaker born
STS-39 Discovery launched
Soyuz TM-32 launched; Dennis Tito becomes first space tourist
GALEX launched
CloudSat and CALIPSO launched

Friday 29

Juno appears stationary
Moon at apogee

1985: STS-51B Challenger launched

Saturday 30

Uranus 6° south of Moon
Venus 7° south of Moon

Sunday 1

Mars 0.4° north of Jupiter
Mars 6° south of Moon
Jupiter 6° south of Moon

1949: Gerard Kuiper discovers Nereid, moon of Neptune
1996: Comet Hyakutake closest approach to Sun

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