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  • Elizabeth Cocking

In this month - May 2018

Comet Halley by W. Liller. NASA NSSSDC Photo gallery

19 May 1910 Earth passes through the tail of Comet Halley. Despite the superstitious

belief of impending doom no catastrophes occurred. The Comet appears

every 75-76 years, the last time was in 1986, the next approach will be in

July 2061. The photo above of Comet 1P/Halley as taken March 8, 1986 by W. Liller, Easter Island, part of the International Halley Watch (IHW) Large Scale Phenomena Network (NASA, NSSSDC photo gallery)

01 May 1949 Neptune’s moon Nereid discovered. Discovered by Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper. It is the third largest moon of Neptune and is named after the nereids of Greek mythology who were the attendants of the god Neptune. It has one of the most eccentric orbits of any moon of our solar system.

20 May 1964 The Cosmic microwave background is discovered by American radio astronomers Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias. At one stage, in trying to identify the odd buzzing sound coming from all parts of the sky, they thought it may have been pigeon droppings in the antenna !

Ruby Payne-Scott - Photograph courtesy ATNF CSIRO aechives


28 May 1912 Ruby Payne-Scott born (Pictured above). Australian pioneer radio astronomer. She was the

first female radio astronomer.

11 May 1918 Richard Feynman born. American theoretical physicist known for his work in quantum mechanics.

28 May 1930 Frank Drake born. American astronomer and astrophysicist. Famous for his work in SETI (Search for Extra Intelligence) and for developing the Drake Equation which seeks to establish the variables needed for intelligent civilizations in the universe.

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