It’s the Anniversary of the First Manned Mission to the Moon

(Photo credit: NASA)

Today marks the anniversary of the first manned mission to the moon. Forty-three years ago today Saturn 5 launch vehicle carried three very famous men up into space, who succeeded in landing on the moon on July 20th. Strangely they landed a little after 4pm and stayed in the Lunar Lander for 6 hours before they went out on the surface where they spent only 2.5 hours before heading back to Earth. The American flag is still visible to spacecraft orbiting the moon, as well as, tracks from the vehicles and footprints, which will be preserved for a very long time. The moon has effected us for centuries giving meaning to many of our holidays as they are tied to a lunar calendar. One such holiday is Ramadan and the month long observance will begin on July 20th. Also, we are making great strides forward in counting how many planets we are finding in our solar system. A telescope being used is the 200-Inch Hail reflector in Mt Palomar, CA near San Diego. An oldie, but goody that has been helping scientists for decades. And don’t miss what’s in the night sky this week including a challenge to see the Hercules Cluster directly over head at 10 pm, which you can see with a pair of binoculars. All this and more on this week’s Sky Talk.[audio: st20120716.mp3]

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