This Day In Astro History

Voyager 1 closest approach to Jupiter
1979 - Voyager 1 (USA) closest approach to Jupiter when it flew within 206,700 kilometers (128,400 miles) of the planet's cloud tops. Volcanic activity was discovered on Io on the 8th.

March 5

1982 Soviet probes Venera 14 landed on Venus.

1979 - Soviet probes Venera 11, Venera 12 and the American solar satellite Helios II all are hit by "off the scale" gamma rays leading to the discovery of soft gamma repeaters. The first ferocious blast of gamma-rays from enigmatic objects called magnetars was observed. Ever since, scientists have been unraveling what happened - and discovering radical new members of the cosmos. A pulsar-strength magnetic field - at the star's surface - would kill you instantly by rearranging all the atoms and molecules in your body. Anything over about 1 billion gauss  - a billion times the strength of Earth's magnetic field - would kill you. (NASA)

1958 - Explorer 2 is launched by a Jupiter-C rocket but fails to reach orbit.

1616 Nicolaus Copernicus's book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium is banned by the Catholic Church.

1512 - Gerardus Mercator's birthday, famed mapmaker.
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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