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January 8, 2018 - Cosmic Winter Wonderland

Cosmic Winter Wonderland  Although there are no seasons in space, this cosmic vista invokes thoughts of a frosty winter landscape. It is, in fact, a region called NGC 6357, where radiation from hot, young stars is energizing the cooler gas in the cloud that surrounds them. Located in our galaxy about 5,500 light years from Earth, NGC 6357 contains at least three clusters of young stars, including many hot, massive, luminous stars. The X-ray data (purple) reveal hundreds of point sources, which are the young stars, as well as diffuse X-ray emission from hot gas. Also visible are bubbles, or cavities, that have been created by radiation and material blowing away from the surfaces of massive stars, plus supernova explosions. Infrared data is shown in orange, and optical wavelengths appear as blue.

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/PSU/L.Townsley et al; Optical: UKIRT; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Weekly Calendar

January 8 - 14, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 8

Last Qtr Moon 5:25 PM

1587: Johann Fabricius born
1942: Stephen Hawking born
1973: Luna 21 & Lunokhod 2 launched
1987: Challenger debris buried

Moon phase Tuesday 9

Venus in superior conjunction
Pluto in conjunction with Sun

1839: Thomas Henderson publishes distance to Alpha Centauri
1968: Surveyor 7 lands on Moon
1990: STS-32 Columbia launched

Moon phase Wednesday 10

1946: U.S. Army bounces radar signal off the Moon
1969: Venera 6 launched

Moon phase Thursday 11

Jupiter 4° south of Moon
Mars 5° south of Moon
Vesta 0.4° north of Moon

1787: William Herschel discovers Uranian moons Oberon and Titania
1978: First triple docking: Soyuz 26, Soyuz 27, Salyut 6
1996: STS-72 Endeavour launched
1998: Lunar Prospector arrives at Moon

Moon phase Friday 12

1907: Sergei Korolev born
: STS-61C Columbia launched
1997: STS-81 Atlantis launched
2005: Deep Impact spacecraft launched

Moon phase Saturday 13

Mercury 0.6° south of Saturn

1610: Galileo discovers Ganymede, moon of Jupiter
1978: NASA selects first women astronauts
1993: STS-54 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Sunday 14

Moon at apogee
Saturn 3° south of Moon

1975: Earth Resources Technology Satellite is renamed Landsat
2005: Huygens probe lands on Titan
2008: MESSENGER spacecraft makes its first flyby of Mercury

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