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April 29, 2019 - Change of Seasons

Change of Seasons  Cassini captured one of its last full views of Saturn and its rings in October 2016. The Saturn system was Cassini’s home from 2004 until 2017, when it executed a controlled entry into the planet to avoid possibly contaminating the moons Enceladus and Titan, which scientists believe may have conditions conducive to life. Cassini orbited Saturn for nearly a half of a Saturnian year. Its extended stay permitted observations of the long-term variability of the planet, its moons, rings, and magnetosphere—observations not possible from short, fly-by style missions. When Cassini arrived at Saturn, the planet’s northern hemisphere, seen here at top, was in darkness, just beginning to emerge from winter. At journey’s end, the entire north pole was bathed in the continuous sunlight of summer.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute

Weekly Calendar

April 29 - May 5, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Monday 29

Saturn appears stationary

1985: STS-51B Challenger launched

Tuesday 30

Neptune 3° north of Moon

2017: Soyuz MS-04 launched carrying ISS Expedition 51/52 crew

Wednesday 1

1949: Gerard Kuiper discovers Nereid, moon of Neptune
1996: Comet Hyakutake closest approach to Sun

Thursday 2

Venus 4° north of Moon
Vesta 0.2° south of Moon

Friday 3

Mercury 3° north of Moon

2003: ISS Expedition Six crew returns to Earth after 161 days in orbit

Saturday 4

New Moon 6:46 PM ET

1967: Lunar Orbiter IV launched
1989: STS-30 Atlantis launched, releases Magellan spacecraft
2002: Aqua satellite launched

Sunday 5

Cinco de Mayo

Eta Aquarid meteor shower

1961: Freedom 7 suborbital flight; Alan Shepard is first American in space

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