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August 31, 2020 - Galactic Brawl Leaves a Bruise

Galactic Brawl Leaves a Bruise  The collision of two galaxies resulted in a merged star system with an unusual appearance and bizarre internal motions. M64, nicknamed the “Black Eye” galaxy because of the dark band of absorbing dust in front of its bright nucleus, lies somewhere between 17 and 24 million light-years away. Unlike most spiral galaxies, the interstellar gas in the outer regions of M64 rotates in the opposite direction from the gas and stars in the inner regions. New star formation (signified by pink gas clouds and hot blue stars in this Hubble image) is taking place where the oppositely rotating gases collide, are compressed, and contract. Astronomers believe that the oppositely rotating gas arose when M64 absorbed a small satellite galaxy that collided with it about one billion years ago.

Image credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

Weekly Calendar

August 31 - September 6, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 31

Moon phase Tuesday 1

Venus 9° south of Pollux

1964: First Titan IIIA launched
1979: Pioneer 11 becomes first spacecraft to fly past Saturn

Moon phase Wednesday 2

Full Moon 1:22 AM ET
Pallas stationary
Neptune 4° north of Moon

2015Soyuz TMA-18M launched carrying ISS Expedition 45/46 crew

Moon phase Thursday 3

1970: NASA cancels last two planned lunar landings
1976: Viking 2 lands on Mars
2006: SMART-1 spacecraft intentionally crashed into Moon

Moon phase Friday 4

Moon phase Saturday 5

1964: OGO-1 launched
1977: Voyager 1 launched

Moon phase Sunday 6

Mars 0.03° south of Moon
Moon at apogee

1947: First rocket launch (V-2) from an aircraft carrier
1983: STS-8 Challenger makes first shuttle night landing
2013: LADEE lunar orbiter launched

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