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November 27, 2017 - The Mouth of the Beast

The Mouth of the Beast  Like the gaping mouth of a gigantic celestial creature, the cometary globule CG4 glows menacingly in this image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope. In 1976, several elongated comet-like objects were discovered on pictures taken with the UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia. Because of their appearance, they became known as cometary globules even though they have nothing in common with comets. The exact nature of cometary globules remains a mystery, but theories suggest that they may have been spherical nebulae that acquired their new unusual form because of the effects of nearby supernova explosions, or perhaps they were shaped by stellar winds and ionizing radiation from nearby hot stars. CG4 is located about 1,300 light-years away in the constellation Puppis.

Image credit: European Southern Observatory

Weekly Calendar

November 27 - December 3, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 27

Neptune 1.2° north of Moon
Mars 3° north of Spica

1885: First photo of a meteor shower
: Mars 2 probe becomes first artificial object to hit Mars
1997: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission launched

Moon phase Tuesday 28

Mercury 3° south of Saturn

1964: Mariner 4 launched
1983: STS-9 Columbia launched
2017: Voyager 1 fired backup thruster for first time in 37 years

Moon phase Wednesday 29

1967: First Australian satellite launched

Moon phase Thursday 30

Uranus 4° north of Moon

1954: Elizabeth Hodges bruised by a ten-pound meteorite in Alabama
2000: STS-97 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Friday 1

1957: Ballistic shape of Mercury spacecraft proposed by Max Faget
2013: Chang'e-3 spacecraft launched to Moon

Moon phase Saturday 2

1974: Pioneer 11 closest approach to Jupiter during flyby
1988: STS-27 Atlantis launched
1990: STS-35 Columbia launched on Astro-1 mission
1992: STS-53 Discovery launched
1993: STS-61 Endeavour launched
1995: SOHO launched

Moon phase Sunday 3

First Sunday in Advent

Mercury appears stationary
Aldebaran 0.8° S of Moon
Full Moon 10:47 AM ET

1973: Pioneer 10 closest approach to Jupiter during flyby
2014: Hayabusa 2 launched on asteroid sample return mission

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