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In this month - March

25th March 1655

Titan, Saturn’s largest moon was discovered by Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens. Titan is considered the most Earth-like moon discovered so far and is the second largest moon in the solar system. The image above is through an infrared filter by Cassini, Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/University of Idaho

Cosmonauts including Alexei Leonov

18th March 1965

Russian cosmonaut, Alexei Leonov, was the first person to do a spacewalk. He was outside the Voskhod 2 spacecraft for 12 minutes and nine seconds connected to the craft by a 5.35-metre tether. At the end of the spacewalk he was barely able to get back inside the capsule as his spacesuit had inflated to the point where he could not re-enter the airlock. The image above shows Soviet cosmonauts (front row, from left): Vladimir Komarov (Voskhod 1), Yuri Gagarin (Vostok 1),Valentina Tereshkova (Vostok 6), Andrian Nikolayev (Vostok 3), Konstantin Feoktistov (Voskhod 1), Pavel Belyaev (Voskhod 2), second row: Alexey Leonov (Voskhod 2), Gherman Titov (Vostok 2), Valery Bykovsky (Vostok 5), Boris Yegorov (Voskhod 1), and Pavel Popovich (Vostok 4). Star City.

18th March 2011

The Messenger space probe entered orbit around Mercury becoming the first spacecraft to reach the planet. It successfully completed its primary mission in 2012. Following two mission extensions the spacecraft deorbited as planned impacting the surface of Mercury on 30th April 2015.


17th March 1837 Horace Tuttle.

American astronomer. He discovered and co-discovered numerous comets including 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, parent body of the Leonid meteor shower, and 109P/Swift-Tuttle, parent body of the Perseid meteor shower.

13th March 1855.

Percival Lowell. American astronomer. He fuelled speculation that there were canals on Mars. He founded the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona and formed the beginning of the effort that led to the discovery of Pluto 14 years after his death. Lowell’s search for a ninth planet, which he called Planet X, led to the discovery of Pluto.

4th March 1923

Sir Patrick Moore pictured above in 1960 presenting The Sky at Night for the BBC. English amateur astronomer. He attained prominent status as a writer, researcher, radio commentator and television presenter of astronomy. He was President of the British Astronomical Association and was a Life Member of the British Astronomical Association NSW Branch, now Sydney City Skywatchers. He was also co-founder and president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, author of over seventy books on astronomy, and presenter of the world's longest-running television series with the same original presenter, BBC's The Sky at Night.

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