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On This Date in History - February 9

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Ray Structure - Halley's Comet

Ray Structure - Halley's Comet

NASA/JPL

Daily Extra :

Astronomy & Space Word of The Day

Ammonia : A colorless gas made of nitrogen and hydrogen. It has a sharp smell. It can be mixed with water and used for household cleaning.

Who Was Born Today?:

1954: Ulrich Walter, German FR, cosmonaut
1960: Peggy A. Whitson, Mt Ayr Iowa, PhD/astronaut

Who Died Today?:

1811: Nevil Maskelyne, 5th Astronomer Royal of England (1765-1811)

Today in History:

1497: Nicolaus Copernicus observed the Moon eclipse the star Aldebaran.

1986: Halley's Comet reaches 30th perihelion (closest approach to Sun)

1990: Galileo flies by Venus

1994: Clementine, a US Lunar Orbiter (launched January 25, 1994), spent 70 days (between February 6 and May 5, 1994) in lunar orbit. The official name for Clementine is Deep Space Probe Science Experiment (DSPSE). It was a Department of Defense program used to test new space technology. Clementine was a new design using lightweight structure and propellant systems. Its four cameras mapped the surface of the Moon at 125-250 meters/pixel resolution. Clementine also used a laser to gather altimeter data which will make it possible to generate the first lunar topographic map.

1995: Bernard Harris became the first African American astronaut to take a spacewalk.

Featured Astronomy Image of the Week

Check out the former Astronomy Picture of the Day. See what surprises await you this week.

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