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November 6, 2017 - New Star Shatters the Sphere

New Star Shatters the Sphere  Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe observed a new, brilliant star in the constellation Cassiopeia 445 years ago this week. His measurements, which showed it to be a distant star and not a local phenomenon, were disturbing because the “sphere” of stars that surrounded Earth was considered to be divine, perfect, and immutable. We know today that Tycho’s “new star” was a supernova, a dying star that ejected its matter into space in a violent explosion. Over four centuries later, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory’s image of the supernova remnant shows an expanding bubble of multimillion-degree debris (green and red) inside a more rapidly moving shell of extremely high-energy electrons (filamentary blue). The stellar debris is expanding at 10 million km (6 million mi) per hour.

Image credit: NASA / CXC / GSFC / B.Williams et al

Weekly Calendar

November 6-12, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 6

1572: Tycho Brahe records bright new star (supernova SN 1572) in Cassiopeia
: Lunar Orbiter II launched

Moon phase Tuesday 7

Election Day

1963: First flight test of Apollo Launch Escape System
1967: Surveyor 6 launched
1996: Mars Global Surveyor launched
2013: Soyuz TMA-11M launched carrying ISS Expedition 38/39 crew

Moon phase Wednesday 8

1656: Edmund Halley born
1984: STS-51A Discovery launched
1995: STS-74 Atlantis launched
2005: ESA’s Venus Express launched

Moon phase Thursday 9

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

Moon phase Friday 10

Last Qtr Moon 3:37 PM ET

1970: Luna 17 launched

Moon phase Saturday 11

Remembrance Day (Canada)
Veteran’s Day

Regulus 0.4° south of Moon

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

Moon phase Sunday 12

Mercury 2° north of Antares

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

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