picture, Enter linuxastronomy.org website.

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.
February 2007 and beyond...

Uploading data for February in progress, please, be patient...

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.
February 9 ASOD Meeting ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California).
February 17 ASOD Star party ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California). Location: Coachella Valley Preserve.
March 9 ASOD Meeting ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California).
March 17 ASOD Star party ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California). Location: Coachella Valley Preserve.
April 13 ASOD Meeting ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California).
April 14 ASOD Star party ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California). Location: Coachella Valley Preserve.
April 15 ASOD Meeting ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California).

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:
January 2007 3 11 18
January 25
February 1 10 17
February 23
March 3 11 18
March 25
April 2 10 17
April 23

Date: what time: Events: Where: good chances of observation with: May last a few days:
Naked eyes Bino
. ... ... ... . . . .

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):
2003 February 1 The NASA space shuttle Columbia (en.wikipedia.org) disintegrated while reentry into Earth atmosphere.
1974 February 5 On that day, Mariner 10 (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov) came to 5768 km (about 3585 miles) of Venus. It took surprisingly good images of the planet using a near-ultraviolet wave-length filter.
Mariner 10 journey has not been without flaw. Several problems happened along its journey.
It was the first time a spacecraft used the gravity effect of one planet (Venus) to reach another (Mercury). It is sometimes calle the slingshot effect.

Mariner 10 crossed the Mercury orbit on Mars 29 1974. It did three encounter with the planet Mercury and took a lot of pictures of its surface.
Mars 29 1974 at an altitude of about 704 km (about 438 miles).
September 21, 1974 at an altitude of about 48'069 km (about 29'880 miles).
March 16, 1975 at an altitude of about 327 km (about 203 miles).
On March 24, 1975, the mission was terminated as the fuel to control the spacecraft was near empty.

Mariner 10 provided a lot of data about both planets, among them, it showed that Venus as a weak magnetic field and its atmosphere had a "Hadley-type" circulation, while Mercury has a small magnetic field and a reach iron core, with an atmosphere made mostly of Helium.

Mariner 10 (sse.jpl.nasa.gov).
Mariner 10 (www.jpl.nasa.gov).
The Voyage of Mariner 10, Mission to Venus and Mercury (history.nasa.gov).
Mariner 10 (en.wikipedia.org).

Image from NASA website (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).
1971 February 5 Apollo 14 (www.nasm.si.edu) landed on the moon.
The third stage of the Saturn-V rocket which has been used to bring the CSM (Command Service Module) and LM (Lunar Module) modules from Earth orbit to Lunar transfert orbit, hit the ground at about 174 km South-East of the predicted impact location at approximately 2.54 km/sec (about 1.58 miles/sec).

A seismometer left by the previous mission Apollo 12 (November 1969) recorded the impact, it detected impact vibrations for more than two hours. The Apollo 12 seismometer was located at Surveyor crater, about 177 km (110 miles) (www.nasm.si.edu) away to the West.

The Lunar Module (LM) landed at about 9 to 18 m from its planned landing point in the Fra Mauro formation.
Th astronauts did two lunar walks and used a lunar hand trailer to carry the equipment, called the Mobile Equipment Transporter(MET) (www.nasm.si.edu).

They performed a total of 9 hours 24 minutes (9:47 by other source) outside on the moon surface (in two walks), for a total stay of 33 hours on the lunar surface (totasl of inside the LM and outside of it). They traveled a distance of about 3.3 km (about 2 miles).
About 43.5kg (95.7 lbs) of lunar rock samples were collected.
They left the moon surface using the top part of the LM, it was used as an ascent stage, to reach the CSM.
The LM ascent stage was sent back to the moon and crashed intentionaly on the moon surface, once the astronauts have safely reached the CSM. The seismometers left by the Apollo 12 as well as the new one brought by Apollo 14 recorded the event.
Later the CSM separated into a CS (command module) and a (service module), the astronauts splashed into the mid-Pacific after a mission that lasted 216 hours and 40 minutes.

It seems the mission went well with few problems that have been solved on time. A bad problem was before going to the moon the CSM and LM had to try 6 times to be able to connect to each other. Then the LM computer had to be reprogrammed while going down on the moon surface. The Radar used for landing could not lock, it had to be cycled several times while approaching landing.

Apollo by the Numbers (history.nasa.gov) a Statistical Reference.
Apollo Program Summary Report (history.nasa.gov), "pdf" files to download.
Apollo 14 Characteristics (history.nasa.gov).
Manned Spaceflight (history.nasa.gov).
The Apollo Spacecraft - A Chronology (www.hq.nasa.gov).
The Apollo Spacecraft - A Chronology (www.hq.nasa.gov).
Man Circles the Moon, the Eagle Lands, and Manned Lunar Exploration (www.hq.nasa.gov).
Man Circles the Moon, the Eagle Lands, and Manned Lunar Exploration (www.hq.nasa.gov).
Apollo 14, landing site (astrogeology.usgs.gov).
Apollo 14, Command and Service Module (CSM) (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).
Apollo 14, Lunar Module / ALSEP (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).
Apollo 14, Saturn V third stage (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).
Apollo 14 (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).
Apollo: Where are they now? (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov). Current locations of the Apollo Command Module Capsules (and Lunar Module crash sites).
The "Moon Trees" (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov). 400 - 500 trees seeds were brought into moon gravity into the CSM and brought back to Earth. After decontamination, to be planted on Earth. The canister holding the seeds bursted while in the decontamination proccess and the seeds got mixed, but they have still be planted. It seems no differences have been noted between these seeds and similars seeds that stayed on Earth.
Apollo Landing Site Coordinates (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).
Apollo 14 (en.wikipedia.org).
Apollo 14 images (www.nasm.si.edu) from the Smithsonian Institution.
Location of Selected Apollo Spacecraft & Hardware (www.nasm.si.edu) from the Smithsonian Institution.
Apollo 14 Landing Site (www.nasm.si.edu) from the Smithsonian Institution.
Apollo 14 (www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov) Kennedy Space Center.
Apollo 14 Mission (www.lpi.usra.edu) Lunar and Planetary Institute.

Image from "Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum" website (www.nasm.si.edu).
1970 February 11 The first Japanese satellite Ohsumi (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov) has been launched with a rocket launcher Lambda 4S-5.
Japan became the fourth country to launch a satellite using its own launcher.
Ohsumi was a small satellite of 24 kg (about 52.8 lbs) and about 75 cm (about 29.5") in diameter. It was a prism shape with 26 sides covered by 5184 solar cells. Its equipment electrical current consumption was about 10.3 W.

It carried 5 scientific experiments.
The experiments were about ionospheric observations of temperature and density, measurements of solar emission, and measurements of energetic particles.
It was supposed to reach a circular orbit of about 500 km (about 311 miles), unfortunately it reached an elliptical orbit with a perige of about 350 km (about 218 miles) and an apogee of about 5140 km (about 3195 miles). It had an inclination of 31 degree. It seems it decayed around 2003.
Ohsumi Orbit (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).

1966 February 3 Luna 9 (sse.jpl.nasa.gov) landed on the moon and sent back the first images taken from the lunar ground.

It was a 99 kg (about 218 lbs) hermetically sealed container. It had inside a heating element, a t.v. camera with rotating mirror to take panoramic pictures. It also had scientific equipment, a power source, a radio transmiter and a program timing device. They were a total of 8 hours and 5 minutes of radio transmission and three sessions of t.v. pictures were sent to Earth. The pictures were assembled later to form panoramas of the lunar surface.
They were a radiation detector, which measured a doasage of about 30 millirad per day.
Before Luna 9 soft landing, it was not known if a spacecraft could land on the surface without sinking into the lunar ground. It was a great discovery to find out, it was possible to land a spacecraft and keep it in a usable position.

It was the first deep space probe, built by the Lavochkin design bureau, it was already the twelfth attempt to land softly on the lunar surface. With this success the Lavochkin bureau was able to design and build all the lunar and interplanetary spacecraft.

It seems it is still unclear why the Russian did not release the images from the moon surface immediately. Instead it was people working at Jodrell Bank Observatory (en.wikipedia.org) in U.K. who found the signal and were tracking it. They noticed the signal looked similar to facsimile signal. In fact it was such signal, they immediately connected a facsimile machine and could see the first ever images taken from the lunar ground. As soon as they had pictures printed they let the world knows about it.

Luna Series (USSR) (sse.jpl.nasa.gov).
Luna 9 (sse.jpl.nasa.gov). With this mission, the Soviets accomplished another spectacular first in the space race, the first survivable landing of a humanmade object on another celestial body.
Luna 9 (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).

Jodrell Bank Observatory (www.jb.man.ac.uk) is part of the School of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Manchester..
Jodrell Bank's role in early space tracking activities - Part 1 (www.jb.man.ac.uk).
Jodrell Bank's role in early space tracking activities - Part 2 (www.jb.man.ac.uk).

Image from NASA website (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).
1962 February 20 () John Glen first North American to orbit the Earth on board of Friendship 7.
1960 February 24 () Susan Jocelyn Bell discovered the first Pulsar, while looking for quasar using a radio-telescope.
1946 February 14 The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer ENIAC (en.wikipedia.org) has been unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering, where it has been constructed.

It was not the first computer, they were others mechanical or electro-mechanical machines capable to do a few mathematical operations since the 19 century. However, it is in the 1930s that machines capable of advanced operation started to be developed. It was the first large scale project of a programmable computer.

The Z3 (en.wikipedia.org) programmable computer of Konrad Zuse (en.wikipedia.org), beat the ENIAC by about 5 years. The Z3 used relay while the ENIAC used vacum tubes.

Both machines were Turing-complete (en.wikipedia.org), meanwhile it was only in 1998 that it has been found the Z3 qualified for it.
The ENIAC was a big, secret and expensive project, its cost reached about $500'000. It was a decimal machine. Its goal was military, it was to calculate artillery firing tables for the U.S. Army's Ballistics Research Laboratory. Hoever the first problem to calculate has been part of the design of the hydrogen bomb.

The Z3 was a one engineer project, made of scrap telephone relays. The purpose of the machine was to make less borring repetitives calculations, the engineer had to work with in its daily work. Later, a request for federal funding for an electronic successor was denied as "strategically unimportant".

The Z3 use binary numbers and his much closer to today computers than the ENIAC which used decimal numbers.
Others computers came more or less around that time, however, they were often not as general purpose machines as the ENIAC and Z3.

The ENIAC Museum Online (www.seas.upenn.edu) Celebrating 60 Years of Computing 1946-2006.
ENIAC simulation (page.mi.fu-berlin.de), developed at the Free University of Berlin.
(www.myhpi.de). This tutorial describes how to program the ENIAC Java simulator developed by Till Zoppke available at the Free University (FU) of Berlin (several images).
How the ENIAC took a Square Root (www4.wittenberg.edu).
Programming the ENIAC (www.columbia.edu), several images.
Presper Eckert Interview (americanhistory.si.edu). J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly were the principle designers..
ENIAC specifications (ed-thelen.org). A Survey of Domestic Electronic Digital Computing Systems.
ENIAC-on-a-Chip (www.ese.upenn.edu), Moore School of Electrical Engineering. This has been a project at Moore school of engineering for the 50 years of ENIAC.
A preliminary test (partial) chip (www.ese.upenn.edu). A small test chip containing two main modules: accumulator and the cycling unit.
final chip (www.ese.upenn.edu), containning all the part of the ENIAC into a 5x8mm chip (about 0.2"x0.31"), into a 3 layer i.c. using CMOS technology. It containt around 174,569 transistors.

1934 February 15 Birthday of the Swiss computer scientist Niklaus E. Wirth (en.wikipedia.org).
He is best known for designing several programming languages, among them: "Euler, Algol W, Pascal, Modula, Modula-2, and Oberon".
1930 February 18 () Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto on that day.
1906 February 4 Clyde Tombaugh () was born. He discovered Pluto at age 24.
1898 February 14 Fritz Zwiky () was born.
1897 February 27 () Bernard Lyot, was born. He his the father of the Coronagraph (o-a ?) in 1930.
1889 February 7 Astronomy Society of the Pacific () was created.
1852 February 8 J.L.E. Dreyer () was born in Danemark. He created the "NGC", or "New General Catalog".
The catalog has been published in 1878
1842 February 26 Birthday of () Nicolas Camille flammarion.

This is a work in progress, a full page will be added at a later time.

He was one of the founder and the first president of the "Société Astronomique de France".

He suggested name for Neptune and Jupiter moons, names that have been approved a few decades later, they are Triton (en.wikipedia.org) for Neptune and Amalthea (en.wikipedia.org) for Jupiter.
Camille flammarion wrote more than 50 books, including science fiction and astronomy books. In 1880 he wrote "Astronomie populaire", which has been one of his most successful book. It was translated into English as "Popular Astronomy" in 1894.

A crater on the Moon and one on Mars are named after him.
He came up with the idea, we may not be alone in the universe.
In 1877 he found Charles Messier catalog and personal notes in an antique bookshop. He studied Messier catalog and was able to match a few object, with others catalogs, such as M102 with Dreyer's NGC 5866, or M104 with NGC 4594. He was also able to clarify a few hard to understand notes and objects in Messier catalog.
1786 February 16 () Francois Arago was born.
1564 February 15 Birthday of Galilei Galileo (en.wikipedia.org).

1473 February 19 Birthday of Nicolaus Copernicus (en.wikipedia.org) (Nicolas Copernicus).

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This page as well as the whole site is Copyright© , 2001 - 2006 Eugene Clement

Astronomy picture of the day (M104, sombrero galaxy) Astronomy picture of the day (M104, sombrero galaxy). NASA

Hubble picture of the day, (cat eye nebula)
Hubble space telescope, picture of the day (images and videos), (cat eye nebula).
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).

Our Sponsor

People at Alembic have helped us in many ways, at first as sponsors, then as volunteers as well. They are so dedicated, I would not be surprised if their guitars run linux. ;-)

Alembic guitar

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.