This Day In Astro History


Brian Marsden
Brian Marsden

cobe

Alan Shepard
Alan Shepard, Happy Birthday!

November 18

2010 - Death of Brian Marsden at age 73 of bone disease, a British Astronomer, director of the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams from 1969-1999 and director of the Minor Planet Center at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. (Obituary) He was the go-to guy for anything out there that moved. "It is probably a good idea to search, at some level, for asteroids that come to the Earth's general vicinity. But merely counting the asteroids found is not sufficient. It is desirable to follow up each discovery to examine whether it can or can not be a threat during the next century or so."

1999 - 4:08 UT.  Using video cameras observers David Palmer, Brian Cudnick and Pedro Sada record Leonids impacting the Moon. The event becomes the first lunar cosmic impact ever confirmed. The only other cosmic impact observed from Earth was the remanents of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 which slammed into Jupiter in 1994.

1989 - NASA launches COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) The instruments aboard performed a complete scan of the celestial sphere every six months. Instrument operations were terminated 1993-12-23. As of January 1994, engineering operations were to conclude that month, after which operation of the spacecraft would be transferred to Wallops for use as a test satellite.

1923 - Birthday, Alan Shepard, American astronaut who became the second person and the first American to fly in space.  He also commanded Apollo 14 becoming the fifth person to walk on the Moon. He died of leukemia in 1998.
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It is my conclusion that human evolution and the motions of matter in space are intrinsically linked. The observation and understanding of the complexity of biological history on Earth cannot be complete without the tandem observation and understanding of a dynamic greater cosmos. - SpaceGene