Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet on May 19, 1910

On May 19, 1910, the Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet. Prior to the date, using spectroscopy, astronomers detected cyanogen, a very deadly poison in the comet’s tail. This caused panic. French astronomer Camille Flammarion (26 February 1842 – 3 June 1925) even claimed that life on Earth would end because of this.

Neptune’s Moon Nereid was discovered on May 1, 1949

On May 1, 1949, Neptune’s Moon Nereid was discovered by the Dutch astronomer and planetary scientist Gerard Kuiper, who is the eponymous namesake of the Kuiper belt. Nereid is also named Neptune II because it is the second moon of Neptune to be discovered. It is also the last satellite of Neptune to be discovered …

Halley’s Comet made the closest approach to Earth on April 11, 1986

On April 11, 1986, with about 63 million kilometers (39 million miles), Halley’s Comet made its closest approach to Earth on its outbound journey (while moving away from the Sun).

The first moon in orbit around an asteroid (243 Ida) was discovered on March 26, 1994

On March 26, 1994, a photo was released showing the first moon discovered be in orbit around an asteroid, 243 Ida. Today’s (March 26) story of what happened this day in Science, Technology, Astronomy, and Space Exploration history.

Christiaan Huygens discovered Titan on March 25, 1655

On March 25, 1655, the Dutch mathematician, physicist, astronomer, and inventor Christiaan Huygens discovered Titan, Saturn’s largest moon and the second-largest natural satellite in the Solar System (after Jupiter’s Ganymede). Today’s (March 25) story of what happened this day in Science, Technology, Astronomy, and Space Exploration history.

Cassini discovered Saturn’s moons Tethys and Dione on March 21, 1864

On March 21, 1864, the Italian mathematician, astronomer, and engineer Giovanni Domenico Cassini (8 June 1625 – 14 September 1712) discovered Saturn’s moons Tethys and Dione. Cassini used a refractor telescope with an aperture of 108 mm to make this observation. Today’s (March 21) story of what happened this day in Science, Technology, Astronomy, and Space …

A large solar storm can knock out the internet and electricity. Here’s how

On September 1 and 2, 1859, telegraph systems around the world failed catastrophically. The operators of the telegraphs reported receiving electrical shocks, telegraph paper catching fire, and being able to operate equipment with batteries disconnected. During the evenings, the aurora borealis, more commonly known as the northern lights, could be seen as far south as …

Giotto spacecraft made the closest approach to Halley’s Comet on March 13, 1986

On March 13, 1986, European Space Agency’s (ESA) Giotto spacecraft made the closest approach to Halley’s Comet at a distance of 596 kilometers (370 miles). Today’s (March 13) story of what happened this day in Science, Technology, Astronomy, and Space Exploration history.