May 26 – EXOSAT

The European X-Ray Satellite (EXOSAT) was launched on May 26th 1983, and was operational until April 9th 1986, studying x-ray binaries, active galactic nuclei, and other x-ray sources.  Personally I think the best thing about it was its bizarre orbit (from 120,000 mile apogee to 300 mile perigee), but there were other highlights of the three years, including the discovery of quasi periodic oscillations in LMXRBs and x-ray pulsars.  I can sense that you are just dying to know what LMXRB stands for.  It’s Low Mass X Ray Binary (low mass generally means lower in mass than the Sun).


1969  –  Apollo 10 splashdown.

Recovery of the Apollo 10 capsule

Recovery of the Apollo 10 capsule


1826  –  Birth, in Chelsea, of Richard Christopher Carrington, recipient of the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.  His work included the demonstration of the existence of solar flares, and their influence on our planet. He now lends his name to the numbering system for sunspot cycles.


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