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September 10, 2012 - The Stars in Their Courses

10 Sep 2012, 04:00 UTC
September 10, 2012 - The Stars in Their Courses
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The Week in SpaceSeptember 10-16, 2012 The Stars in Their Courses Sir James Jeans, born 135 years ago this week in England, is not a familiar name to many people today, but a few generations ago he was one of the most famous scientists alive. After a distinguished career as a mathematician, physicist, and astronomer, Jeans spent his later years as a tremendously successful popularizer of science for the general public. He gave lectures, made serialized “wireless” broadcasts, and wrote half a dozen best-selling books, among them The Stars in Their Courses, a 1931 primer on astronomy. At the time, new discoveries about the size and distance of galaxies, or “star cities” as Jeans called them, were revealing that the Milky Way is “only one of a vast number of similar systems,” like galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128), seen in this Hubble Telescope image.Image credit: NASA / ESA / the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration Weekly CalendarSeptember 10-16, 2012Holidays - Sky Events - Space History Monday 10Mercury in superior conjunction 1857: James Keeler born 1967: Surveyor 5 lands on Moon 1978: Venera 11 launched Tuesday 11 1877: James Jeans born1985: International Cometary Explorer satellite probes Comet Giacobini-Zinner (first comet flyby)1997: Mars ...

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