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Andromeda (And)
Aquila (Aql) (eagle)
Bootes (Boo) (herdsman)
Cancer (Cnc) (crab)
Canes Venatici
Canes Venatici (CVn) (hunting dogs)
Canis Major
Canis Major (CMa) (big dog)
Canis Minor
Canis Minor (CMi) (lesser dog)
Capricornus (Cap) (sea goat)
Cassiopeia (Cas)
Centaurus (Cen) (centaur)
Cepheus (Cep
Corona Borealis
Corona Borealis (CrB) (Northern Crown)
Cygnus (Cyg) (swan)
Draco (Dra) (dragon)
Hercules (Her)
Leo (Leo) (lion)
Lyra (Lyr) (Lyre)
Ophiucus (Oph) (serpent holder)
Orion (Ori)
Pegasus (Peg) (winged horse)
Perseus (Per)
Scorpius (Sco) (scorpion)
Sagitarius (Sgr) (archer)
Telescopium (Tel) (telescope)
Ursa Major
Ursa Major (Uma) (big dipper)
Ursa Minor
Ursa Minor (Umi) (little dipper)
Virgo (Vir) (virgin)
Sky Events.
December 2006 and beyond...

Future events or events in progress.
Events listed below, are mostly of general or scientific interest.
They are events people can often be part of them.
December 8 ASOD Meeting ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California).
December 15 RAS Star Party (Riverside Astronomy Society, Riverside California).
December 16 ASOD Star party ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California). Location: Coachella Valley Preserve.
January 12 ASOD Meeting ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California).
January 20 ASOD Star party ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California). Location: Coachella Valley Preserve.

Solar system
Object: Earth Moon. Date and Time standard: PST (Pacific Standard Time). Year: 2006-2007
Month: 1st quarter: full moon: latest quarter: new moon:
December 2006 4 12 20
December 27
January 2007 3 11 18
January 25

Date: what time: Events: Where: good chances of observation with: May last a few days:
Naked eyes Bino
10 dawn Trio of planets Mercury, Mars and Jupiter in less than 1 degree angle. The last time was on 1925 July 10. The next time it will appear will be on 2053 November 25.
This event will be visible on December 10 and 11, at around 5.40 am PST.

Assembly of three images from APOD (NASA-ESA), using the graphical program Gimp, on the linux operating system.
East South-East . x x x
13 night Geminid meteor shower (stardate.org).
The pick will be between December 13 and 14.
Geminid meteor shower (www.windows.ucar.edu).
Geminid Meteor Shower (www.theskyscrapers.org/).
East North-East x x x x
19 dawn Jupiter. Mars and Mercury will almost form a line.

Jupiter and Mars will be at about 4.0 degree apart.
Mars and Mercury at about 8 degree apart.
Mercury will be low in the sky, just above the horizont.
Antares will be at the perpendicular of the imginary line, about 4.4 degree apart of Mars.

Assembly of three images from APOD (NASA-ESA), using the graphical program Gimp, on the linux operating system.
East South-East . x x .
21 . Winter Begins. . . . . .
22 late night to dawn Ursids meteor shower.
Observing the Ursids (comets.amsmeteors.org).
East X X . X
25 late evening Planet Uranus should be visible on the bottom right of the moon. South South-West . x x .

Today in history. Some interesting events.
Historical events, as well as future historical events, such as spacecrafts journey.
Date: History events (sorted by year, month, day):
2006 December 21 Launch of a space mission COROT (smsc.cnes.fr) (COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits), which include a telescope. The telescope will be used to search for extrasolar planets.
This a a project led by the French space agency (CNES), with the European space agency as well as Brazil.
The satellite will be launch by a Soyouz rocket.
COROT (en.wikipedia).
2005 December 30 Pioneer 10 (en.wikipedia) was 89.7 AU (en.wikipedia) away from the Sun.
Voyager 1 (en.wikipedia) was about 100 AU from the Sun around 2006 August 12 , the furthest of any man-made object.
100 astronomical units is roughly equal to 14.96 billion km or 9.3 billion miles.
At this distance, the transmission of data between earth and the space probe, take about 13.8 hours each way.
Remark: Pioneer 10 and Voyagers spacecraft are not travelling in the same direction.
Voyager 1 travel at about 3.6 AU per year (2005 November), about 61800 km per hour or 38400 miles per hour, (17.2 km per second or 10.7 miles per second). As of 2006 September, it is located in the Ophiuchus constellation boundary.
Voyager 1 is about 1.016 AU further away from the Sun than Pioneer 10.

An astronomical unit is a unit of length equal to the mean distance between the Earth and Sun. The currently accepted value of the AU is 149 597 870 691 ± 30 metres (about 150 million kilometres or 93 million miles).
The correct unit symbol is "ua" as definted by the "Bureau International des Poids et Mesures", however the unit symbol has been redefined by some english speaking organisation or countries.
AU or au or a.u. can be found to represent the same unit.
The International Astronomical Union recommends "au", while the international standard ISO 31-1 seems to recommend "AU" (to be verified).

Pioneer program (en.wikipedia).
Pioneer Project Home Page (spaceprojects.arc.nasa.gov).
NSSDC Master Catalog Display: Spacecraft. Pioneer 10 (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).
NASA History Office. Pioneer Odyssey (history.nasa.gov). Pioneer Odyssey is an oline book.
Location of the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft (en.wikipedia) relative to the Solar System as of October 2006.
Voyager 1 (en.wikipedia).
Voyager 1 (voyager.jpl.nasa.gov): 'The Spacecraft That Could' Hits New Milestone (August 15, 2006).
Voyager 1, spacecraft lifetime (voyager.jpl.nasa.gov).
Voyager Mission Operations Status Report (voyager.jpl.nasa.gov).
1999 December 3 Failed landing of the Mars Polar Lander (en.wikipedia). Contact was lost just before touching the ground.
1998 December 11 Launch of Mars Climate Orbiter (en.wikipedia). A navigation error destroyed the space craft on the approaching landing. the error was a confusion between imperial units (pound-seconds) and metric units (newton-seconds).
1995 December 30 Launch of the The Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Mission (heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov). Part of the Explorer program. This is one of the oldest scientific program at the NASA.
This satellite try to observe the world of fast moving and high energy objects, such as black holes, neutron stars, X-ray pulsars and bursts of X-rays that have a short life.

The 'R' in RXTE stands for Bruno Rossi (heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov). Professor Bruno Rossi (and his colleagues) discovered the first non-solar source of X-rays (Scorpius X-1).

RXTE at a Glance (heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov)
Learning Center (heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov)
The Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Project (xte.mit.edu). Home Page for the All-Sky Monitor (ASM). information on, and data from, the ASM aboard the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer .
Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) (en.wikipedia).
Complete Missions Listing (explorers.gsfc.nasa.gov) maintained by NSSDC (National Space Science Data Center).
1993 December 2 Launch of space shuttle mission STS-61 (en.wikipedia).
This mission was probably one of the most sophisticate mission for a space shuttle crew. It lasted about 11 days, crew members repaired the Hubble space telescope in five "outdoor" missions (EVA).
1979 December 24 First launch of Ariane 1 (en.wikipedia).
Ariane 1 was a 3-stage launcher, derived from missile an existing technology.

This event will be described in deep in a futur edition of "Sky Events"
1974 December 4 Pioneer 11 (en.wikipedia) passed about 34,000 km (21,100 m) away of Jupiter's cloud tops and obtained dramatic images of the Great Red Spot.
1973 December 3 Pioneer 10 (en.wikipedia) sent back the first close-up images of Jupiter.
1966 December 6 UN created a space treaty. It became applied in 1967 October 10. ().
1960 December 4 Explorer mission S-56 failed to achieve orbit.
Explorer program (en.wikipedia)
1957 December 6 Failed launch of Vanguard TV3 (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).
Vanguard TV3 was supposed to be the response to the (humiliating) Sputnik launch by the Russian. The launch was broadcasted on most of the U.S. TV stations in direct. A reason was to re-boost the moral of a country that lost the first step of the space race.

The rocket lift off about 4 feet (1.2 m) or about 2 second of "flight". The rocket lost thrust and went back onto its launching pad. The fuel tank had been damaged and the whole rocket exploded, also badly damaging the launch pad. The Vanguard satellite has been separated and fell away off the launch pad. It has been damaged beyond repair, meanwhile its beacon was sending signal (like if it was in orbit).

The satellite was a small aluminium sphere (similar shape as sputnik, but smaller) of 1.36 kg or about 3 lb, it had a diameter of 15.2 cm or about 6 inches. It had two transmitters, a battery operated 10 mW transmitting at 108 MHz and solar cell operated 5 mW transmitting at 108.3 MHz.

The exact cause of the accident has never been precisely determined, however, it seems probable it was a fuel leak that caused it.

The Vanguard rocket launched successfully 3 satellites out of 11 attempts.

Vanguard, A History (www.hq.nasa.gov).
Project Vanguard (en.wikipedia).
Vanguard TV3 (en.wikipedia).
1942 December 2 Manhattan project (en.wikipedia) a team led by Enrico Fermi (en.wikipedia). initiated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction (en.wikipedia). in an experimental reactor named Chicago Pile-1 (en.wikipedia).
1639 December 4 Astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks (en.wikipedia) (sometimes spelled Horrocks) seems to be the first to witness a Venus transit, which was based on his calculations.
Astronomer William Crabtree (en.wikipedia) also observed the transit using Jeremiah Horrocks calculations.
Kepler predicted Venus transit since the transit of 1631 December 7, but did not see it.
It was on December 4, using the Gregorian calendar (en.wikipedia) (our calendar system).
It was November 24, Julian calendar (en.wikipedia). It was the calendar in used at that time in England.
Transit of Venus (en.wikipedia).
Transit de Vénus (fr.wikipedia) (french).
1546 December 14 Birthday of Tycho Brahe. (). He was Born at Knudstrup in Danemark.
He was one of an influential astronomer of the visual observation. The first telescopes started to be used a few years after his death.

(the writing of this event is in progress).

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Astronomy picture of the day Astronomy picture of the day. NASA

Hubble picture of the day
Hubble space telescope, picture of the day (image and video).
ESA European Space Agency.

OSEI picture of the day
Picture from the OSEI (Operational Significant Event Imagery). These images usually represent environment change events.

Earth motion
for Coachella Valley.
seismology for Coachella Valleyseismology for Coachella Valley (Southern California).

Light pollution prevention start at home.

The night sky in the World. Satellite monitoring of the artificial night sky brightness and the stellar visibility.
IDAInternational Dark-Sky Association.

Auroral Activity Northern HemisphereAuroral Activity (Northern Hemisphere). NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) continually monitor the power flux carried by the protons and electrons that produce aurora in the atmosphere.
Auroral Activity Southern HemisphereAuroral Activity Southern Hemisphere.

GOES Solar X-ray Imager, provide full-disk images of the Sun once a minute in the 0.6-6 nm range with 5 arcsec pixels. It allow real-time prediction of solar-terrestrial disturbances.
more info.

SOHO Pick of the Week SOHO Pick of the Week. Courtesy of SOHO/EIT and SOHO/LASCO consortium. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.
latest SOHO imageslatest SOHO images171.
latest SOHO imageslatest SOHO images284.

CosmicopiaMore about Cosmic Rays (educational).

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About the Author

I am simply a Linux enthusiast with an interest in science.

I like to build hardware projects and connect them to computers, to do data acquisitions and other things. I also like to make telescopes or make existing telescopes more convenient to use.

This page will hopefully help me to learn something. I am happy if I can share it with the reader.

I belong to the following astronomy societies: RAS. ASOD and linuxastronomy.org, which is a virtual group of linux enthusiast, experimenting with astronomy.

Suggestions or corrections with for goal to make this site better are welcome.