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August 15, 2016 - How Far is Far?

How Far is Far? The blue blob in this Hubble image is the faint light from a galaxy so ancient and far away we’re seeing it as it looked when the Universe was less than 700 million years old—less than one-seventh the age of the Earth. We know this object, EGS-zs8-1, is the most distant galaxy yet discovered in part because of a high-school dropout, former observatory janitor, and eventual assistant to Edwin Hubble named Milton Humason. Born 125 years ago this week, Humason helped Hubble measure cosmic distances via the Doppler effect on light known as redshift. Over the course of his career at Mount Wilson, Humason determined the radial velocities of 620 galaxies (i.e., how quickly they appear to be moving away from our own), and helped Hubble calculate the approximate age of the Universe.

Image credit: NASA / ESA / P. Oesch and I. Momcheva (Yale University) / 3D-HST and HUDF09/XDF Teams

Weekly Calendar

August 15-21, 2016

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 15

Moon phase Tuesday 16

Mercury at greatest elongation (27° E)

1963: M2-F1 lifting body makes first glide flight after being towed aloft by a C-47

Moon phase Wednesday 17

1966: Pioneer 7 launched
1970: Venera 7 launched
2006: Voyager 1 is 100 AU from Earth

Moon phase Thursday 18

Full Moon 5:27 AM ET

1868: Total solar eclipse leads to discovery of helium
1877: Asaph Hall discovers Phobos
1960: Discoverer XIV launched, first successful US photo reconnaissance satellite
1993: First DC-X flight
1999: Cassini spacecraft flies by Earth

Moon phase Friday 19

Neptune 1.1° south of Moon

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

Moon phase Saturday 20

Pallas at opposition

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

Moon phase Sunday 21

Moon at perigee

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

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