This Day In Astro History

Ulysses orbits the sun

October 6

1995 51 Pegasi is discovered to be the first major star apart from the Sun to have a planet orbiting around it.

1990 - Ulysses (ESA/NASA), a solar observatory, was launched by Space Shuttle STS-41 Discovery. In February 1992, it got a gravity boost from Jupiter to take it out of the plane of the ecliptic. It completed its main mission of surveying both of the Sun's poles. Its mission has been extended for another orbit so that it can survey the Sun's poles near the maximum of the sunspot cycle, too. In September 2000, the spacecraft will begin its second solar orbit, which will take it over both poles of the Sun. Always further from the Sun than the Earth it is expected to provide a much better understanding of the Sun's magnetic field and the solar wind.
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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