10 Things for the Week of March 2-8
28 February 2014
The Olympics may have finished already, but we have rings in this week's edition of 10 Things, besides several launch anniversaries and more.
P.S. The above picture is Jupiter -- and yes, that is a ring.
1. LONG JOURNEY
This Sunday, March 2nd is the 10th anniversary of the launch of Rosetta -- comet chaser. After being "awakened" from hibernation in January 2014, Rosetta is on its way to rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. SEUSS
Craters on the planet Mercury are named for famous deceased artists, musicians and authors. Dr. Seuss, who would have been 100 on Sunday, March 2nd, has a crater on Mercury named for him.
"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." -- Dr. Seuss, from "Happy Birthday to You!"
3. MOON MONDAY
On Monday, March 3rd, it's been 55 years since the launch of Pioneer 4. Pioneer 4 was the first successful U.S. mission to make a moon flyby. Although it was unable to take the planned images, Pioneer 4 was the first U.S. spacecraft to escape Earth's gravity.
4. SUPER MISSION
Wednesday, March 5th is the 35th anniversary (1979) of the Voyager 1 Jupiter flyby. At Jupiter, Voyager 1 discovered Jupiter's ring, two new moons and the active volcanoes on Jupiter's moon, Io.
Before Voyager 1, there was Pioneer 10. Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to cross the asteroid belt and the first spacecraft to fly by the gas giant of our solar system: Jupiter. And the anniversary of Pioneer 10's launch to the outer solar system is this Sunday too -- it's been 42 years.
6. BIG FIND
Saturday (March 8th) marks the 37th anniversary (1977) of the discovery of the rings of Uranus. However, some cite that it is possible that William Herschel, who discovered the planet Uranus, two of its moons and two moons of Saturn, discovered a ring of Uranus back in 1797. Even though this unconfirmed finding was documented in a paper, the rings were not officially discovered until 1977 during an occultation experiment.
7. FAMILIAL CONNECTIONS
Friday, March 7th is the 222nd birthday of John Herschel (1792 - 1871). John Herschel, son of William Herschel, made several contributions to the world of astronomy himself. It was John who suggested that the moons of Saturn be named for the Titans in Greek mythology.
8. WOMEN'S DAY
Saturday, March 8 it's Women's Day. Check out the women that have contributed to the space program in our people section.
9. SPRING FORWARD
On Saturday, March 8th, you may want to set your clock ahead one hour in the later evening/night. The next day (Sunday, March 9th) is daylight saving time.
10. PLANET FINDER
And searching for planets in solar systems beyond our own ... It has now been five years since Kepler launched to do just that.
Read More by The Authors