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  • Elizabeth Cocking

In this month - November

Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, Photo T.Stevenson

28 November 1967

The first pulsar is discovered by Jocelyn Bell (Image above taken 19 July 2018). Working as a research student at Cambridge University she discovered a signal that was pulsing with great regularity. She dubbed it "Little Green Man 1". The discovery was recognised in 1974 with the Nobel Prize in Physics however as she was only a research student

she was excluded from receiving the prize, her supervisors getting the medal.

29 November 1967

Australia’s first satellite – WRESAT 1 – is launched. The launch made Australia the seventh nation to have a satellite launched, and the third nation to launch one from its own territory, after the Soviet Union and the United States. Weighing 45 kg it circled the Earth on a nearly polar course, until it re-entered the atmosphere

after 642 revolutions on 10 January 1968, over the Atlantic Ocean. The battery-operated satellite sent data during

its first 73 orbits of the Earth.

16 November 1974

A message is sent into interstellar space from the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico to the globular star cluster

M13, 25,000 light years away. Taking 25,000 years to reach its destination and 25,000 years for any reply don’t

wait around for an answer! In fact M13 won’t even be in that location when the message arrives!

Carl Sagan. Image credit: NASA/Cosmos Studios


08 November 1656

Edmund Halley. English astronomer. He was the first to calculate the orbit of a comet and predicted its return in

1758. The comet is named after him – Halleys Comet – and returns every 75-76 years. Among his other notable

achievements, he was the second Astronomer Royal, a position he held from 1720 until his death in 1742.

20 November 1889

Edwin Hubble. American astronomer. Hubble discovered that many objects previously thought to be clouds of dust and gas were actually galaxies beyond the Milky Way. Hubble’s Law states that the farther away another galaxy is, the faster it is moving away from us. Hubble also gave us the system we use for classifying galaxies The Hubble Space Telescope is named after him

09 November 1934 Carl Sagan. American astronomer and cosmologist. Famous for his work in communicating and popularizing astronomy. His best known scientific contribution is research on extraterrestrial life. He narrated and co-wrote the award-winning television series Cosmos. The image featured in this blog is of Carl Sagan. Image credit: NASA/Cosmos Studios

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