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Moon and Saturn
12/2/2013 Before sunrise
Before dawn, look to the southeast to find the waning Crescent Moon and Saturn together.
12/2/2013 4:22 AM PST
Moon and Venus
12/5/2013 After sunset
Lookto the southwest after sunset to see a thin waxing Crescent Moon and Venus together.
First Quarter Moon
12/9/2013 7:13 AM PST
12/17/2013 1:29 AM PST
Moon and Jupiter
12/19/2013 All night
The just-past-Full Moon and Jupiter can be found together all night long, from sundown to sunup….
12/21/2013 9:07 AM PST
Moon and Mars
12/25/2013 After midnight
The Third Quarter Moon and Mars can be seen together anytime after they rise, after midnight.
Third Quarter Moon
12/25/2013 5:50 AM PST
First Soft Landing on Mars
12/2 - 1971
On this date in 1971, the USSR's Mars 3 achieved the first soft landing of an uncrewed vehicle on Mars, and transmitted the first radio signals from the surface of Mars.
First Spacecraft to Orbit Venus
12/4 - 1978
On this date in 1978, Pioneer Venus 1 became the first craft to orbit Venus.
Last Apollo Moon Landing
12/7 - 1972
Last humans to visit the Moon (in the 20th Century, at least) launched, Apollo 17, the sixth and last Apollo moonflight, US, 1972. Let's do it again.
Birthday of Annie Jump Cannon
12/11 - 1863
Among Annie Jump Cannon's long list of accomplishments in astronomy, she is known for having studied and catalogued a long list of variable stars, 300 of which she discovered. She also devised the lettering system for the classification of main sequence star types based on mass and temperature, the well known scale O B A F G K M, O standing for the most massive and hottest blue stars, M for the smallest, coolest, reddest stars.
Tycho Brahe Born
12/14 - 1546
Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) born on this date. Tycho, the last great pre-telescopic astronomer, made more accurate measurements of the positions of the stars and planets by a factor of 10 than had ever been made, and provided the data from which Johannes Kepler would discover his Laws of Planetary Motion.
First Soft Landing on Venus
12/15 - 1970
On this date in 1970, the USSR's Venera 7 achieved the first soft landing of an uncrewed vehicle on Venus, and transmitted the first radio signals from the surface of Venus.
Wilbur and Orville Fly!
12/17 - 1903
On this date in 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first powered, heavier-than-air flight on the Wright Flier.
First Voice Broadcast from Space
12/18 - 1958
On this date in 1958, the first voice broadcast from space was made from the Atlas Score: a pre-recorded Christmas message by President Eisenhower.
First Humans Orbit Moon
12/24 - 1968
On this date in 1968, the first humans orbit Moon in Apollo 8. Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr. and William Anders were the crew of Apollo 8.
Isaac Newton Born
12/25 - 1642
Isaac Newton (1642-1727) born on this date (Julian calendar, it would have been 5 Jan 1643, Gregorian). He discovered that white light is made up of the colors of the rainbow, invented calculus, and demonstrated that the motions of the planets are governed by the same laws of motion and gravity as the motions of things on Earth. His Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, the Mathematical Principals of Natural Philosophy, (the Principia) has been called the most important book on science ever written.
Johannes Kepler Born
12/27 - 1571
Johannes Kepler was born on this date in 1571. Kepler used Tycho Brahe's observations to discover Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion: 1. Planets orbit in elliptical paths with the Sun at one focus. 2. A line connecting the Sun to a planet sweeps out equal areas in equal times. 3. The cube of a planet's period of revolution around the Sun is proportional the square of its average distance from the Sun.