This Day In Astro History

NOAA images of the transit.

June 8

2004 - The first Transit of Venus in modern history takes place, the previous one being in 1882 the next one in 2012.

1975 - Venera 9 (USSR) launched. Orbiter and lander mission to Venus. It arrived on October 22, 1975. The lander transmitted the first black and white pictures of the surface.

1625 - Giovanni Cassini's birthday, the most notable observer following Galileo. An Italian who headed the Paris Observatory for many years, Cassini was the first to observe seasonal changes on Mars and measure this planet's parallax (or distance), setting the scale of the solar system for the first time. He was the first to describe the bands and spots on Jupiter, and studied the Jovian moons' orbits. He discovered four moons of Saturn, but is best remembered for first seeing the division (now named after him) between the A and B rings.
Giovanni Cassini
Giovanni Cassini
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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