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October 10, 2011 - Brewing up a New Moon

Brewing up a New Moon William Lassell made a fortune brewing beer in Liverpool during the mid-19th century. With his sizable profits, Lassell financed his real passion, astronomy. He built a 24-inch reflecting telescope, which at the time was the most powerful telescope in England. In September, 1846, he read about the discovery of the planet Neptune, and less than a month later (165 years ago this week), he turned his telescope toward Neptune and discovered a moon orbiting it. Triton is the largest moon of Neptune, slightly smaller than Earth’s Moon. It has one of the coldest surfaces known anywhere in the solar system, and it is only one of three worlds that possess a nitrogen-rich atmosphere (the other two are Earth, and Saturn’s moon Titan). This image of Triton’s frozen surface was taken by Voyager 2 in 1989.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

October 10-16, 2011

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 10

Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
Columbus Day

Uranus 6° south of Moon

1846: William Lassell discovers Triton, moon of Neptune
1980: Very Large Array dedicated
1983: Venera 15 orbits Venus
2007: ISS Expedition 16 crew launched

Moon phase Tuesday 11

Full Moon 10:06 PM ET

1968: Apollo 7 launched
1969: Soyuz 6, 7 & 8 in space at once
1994
: Magellan mission ends
2000: STS-92 Discovery launched
2005: Shenzhou 6 launched

Moon phase Wednesday 12

Moon at apogee

1964: Voskhod 1 launched, first three-person space flight
1977: Shuttle Enterprise’s first glide test without aerodynamic tailcone
2008: ISS Expedition 18 crew launched

Moon phase Thursday 13

Jupiter 5° south of Moon
Saturn in conjunction with Sun

1773: Charles Messier observes M-51
1933: British Interplanetary Society founded
1968: Apollo 7 first live TV broadcast from space
2004: ISS Expedition 10 crew launched

Moon phase Friday 14

1947: World’s first supersonic flight
1957: USAF announces X-20 Dyna-Soar project
1983: Venera 16 arrives in orbit around Venus

Moon phase Saturday 15

1829: Asaph Hall born
1997: Cassini-Huygens launched
2003: Shenzhou 5 launched, Yang Liwei becomes first Chinese astronaut

Moon phase Sunday 16

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