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February 11, 2019 - College Dropout Moves the World

College Dropout Moves the World  Born 455 years ago this week, Galileo Galilei studied medicine at the University of Pisa, but his real interest was mathematics. Bored by his other classes, he was frequently absent and ultimately left the university without a degree. A brilliant mathematician and theorist, Galileo became the first person to systematically observe the sky with a telescope, and in 1610 he discovered four moons orbiting Jupiter, a fact that shattered the theory of the Earth-centered universe and relegated Earth to its proper, albeit humbler, position as one of many planets that orbit the Sun. In this “family portrait” taken by Galileo’s namesake spacecraft, those four “Galilean” satellites are shown to scale with each other and with Jupiter. From top: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Weekly Calendar

February 11 - 17, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 11

1970: First Japanese satellite launched
1984: STS-41B Challenger makes first shuttle landing at KSC
1997: STS-82 Discovery launched
2000: STS-99 Endeavour launched
2010: Solar Dynamics Observatory launched

Moon phase Tuesday 12

First Qtr Moon 5:26 PM ET

1963: NASA selects contractor to build the Crawler Transporter
1974: Mars 5 enters orbit around Mars
2001: NEAR-Shoemaker lands on asteroid Eros

Moon phase Wednesday 13

Mars 1.1° north of Uranus

1852: Johan Dreyer born
1937Sigmund Jähn born, first German to fly in space

Moon phase Thursday 14

Valentine’s Day

1972: Luna 20 launched
1980: Solar Max launched
1990: Voyager 1 takes solar system "family portrait"
2000: NEAR-Shoemaker orbits asteroid Eros

Moon phase Friday 15

1564: Galileo Galilei born
1973: Pioneer 10 becomes first spacecraft to pass through the asteroid belt
2013Meteor explodes over Chelyabinsk, Russia injuring 1,500 people

Moon phase Saturday 16

1948: Gerard Kuiper discovers Miranda, moon of Uranus
1965: Saturn SA-9 launched

Moon phase Sunday 17

1959: Vanguard 2 launched
1965: Ranger 8 launched
1996: NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft launched
2007: THEMIS spacecraft launched
2009Dawn spacecraft flies by Mars

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