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November 9, 2015 - Close Encounter of the Ringed Kind

Close Encounter of the Ringed Kind  Three years after its launch from Earth, and just 18 months after having visited Jupiter, Voyager 1 made a daring flyby of Saturn. That encounter, which took place thirty-five years ago this week, gave astronomers their most detailed views ever of the great ringed planet. In this view, taken just before closest approach, two of Saturn’s moons, Tethys (left) and Dione, appear near the rings, which are casting a shadow on the planet. Voyager 1’s trajectory, designed to send the spacecraft closely past the large moon Titan and behind Saturn’s rings, bent the spacecraft’s path out of the plane of the solar system. Although Voyager 1’s planetary mission ended at Saturn, it is now transmitting data from interstellar space, having traveled farther than any object in human history.

Image credit: NASA / JPL

Weekly Calendar

November 9-15, 2015

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 9

1934: Carl Sagan born
1967: Surveyor 6 lands on Moon
1967: Apollo 4 launched, first Saturn V launch

Moon phase Tuesday 10

1970: Luna 17 launched

Moon phase Wednesday 11

Remembrance Day (Canada)
Veteran’s Day

New Moon 12:47 PM ET

1875: Vesto Slipher born
1966: Gemini XII launched
1982: STS-5 Columbia launched

Moon phase Thursday 12

Saturn 3° south of Moon

1833: Great Leonid Meteor Shower
1980: Voyager 1 flies past Saturn
1981: STS-2 Columbia launched
2014: Philae probe becomes first spacecraft to land on a comet

Moon phase Friday 13

1971: Mariner 9 becomes first spacecraft to orbit Mars
1978: Einstein Observatory (HEAO-2) launched

Moon phase Saturday 14

1969: Apollo 12 launched, second lunar landing mission
2008: STS-126 Endeavour launched
2011: Soyuz TMA-22 launched carrying ISS Expedition 29/30 crew

Moon phase Sunday 15

1738: William Herschel born
1973: First powered flight of X-24B lifting body
1988: Green Bank 300-foot radio telescope collapses
1988: Soviet Shuttle Buran launched

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