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August 19, 2013 - Hatching in the Hunter’s Head

Hatching in the Hunter’s Head This colorful Spitzer Space Telescope image shows infant stars “hatching” in a dust cloud in the constellation Orion the Hunter. Astronomers suspect that shock waves from a supernova explosion in Orion’s head three million years ago may have initiated this newfound birth. This area is located approximately 1,300 light-years away and sits on the right side of Orion’s head. Wisps of green are organic molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, formed anytime carbon-based materials are burned incompletely. Tints of orange-red are dust particles warmed by the newly-forming stars. The reddish-pink dots are very young stars embedded in a cocoon of cosmic gas and dust. Blue spots in the image are background stars in the Milky Way along our line of sight.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / D. Barrado y Navascués (LAEFF-INTA)

Weekly Calendar

August 19-25, 2013

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 19

Mars 6° south of Pollux

1646: John Flamsteed born
1891: Milton Humason born
1982: Soyuz T-7 launched, Svetlana Savitskaya is second woman in space

Moon phase Tuesday 20

Full Moon 9:45 PM ET

1953: First Redstone rocket launched
1960: Sputnik 5 launched
1975: Viking 1 launched
1977: Voyager 2 launched

Moon phase Wednesday 21

Neptune 6° south of Moon

1965: Gemini V launched
1972: OAO-3 launched
2002: First Atlas V rocket launched

Moon phase Thursday 22

1963: X-15 sets world altitude record for a winged craft (354,000 feet)
1976: Luna 24 returns soil samples from Moon

Moon phase Friday 23

 

Moon phase Saturday 24

Uranus 3° south of Moon
Mercury in superior conjunction

Moon phase Sunday 25

1965: President Johnson approves full-scale development of Manned Orbital Laboratory
1966: Apollo-Saturn 202 launched
1981: Voyager 2 flies past Saturn
1989: Voyager 2 flies past Neptune
2003: Spitzer Space Telescope launched

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