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Astronomy Picture of the Day
  • Apollo 17: A Stereo View from Lunar Orbit 
Gene Cernan, Apollo 17, NASA; Anaglyph by Patrick Vantuyne
Explanation: Get out your red/blue glasses and check out this awesome stereo view of another world. The scene was recorded by Apollo 17 mission commander Eugene Cernan on December 11, 1972, one orbit before descending to land on the Moon. The stereo anaglyph was assembled from two photographs (AS17-147-22465, AS17-147-22466) captured from his vantage point on board the Lunar Module Challenger as he and Dr. Harrison Schmitt flew over Apollo 17's landing site in the Taurus-Littrow Valley. The broad, sunlit face of the mountain dubbed South Massif rises near the center of the frame, above the dark floor of Taurus-Littrow to its left. Beyond the mountains, toward the lunar limb, lies the Moon's Mare Serenitatis. Piloted by Ron Evans, the Command Module America is visible in orbit in the foreground against the South Massif's peak.
This Day in History
  • Ireland grants a divorce for the first time in the country's history
    The Republic of Ireland legally grants a divorce for the first time following a 1995 referendum. The first divorce in Ireland, granted to a terminally ill man who wished to marry his new partner, was a harbinger of the decline of the Catholic Church’s power over the Republic. The Irish Constitution ...Continue reading
  • The execution of Gary Gilmore
    Gary Gilmore, convicted in a double murder, is shot to death by a firing squad in Utah, becoming the first person to be executed in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, in violation of the eighth Amendment to the Constitution, ...Continue reading
  • H-bomb lost in Spain
     B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 jet tanker over Spain’s Mediterranean coast, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares and one in the sea. It was not the first or last accident involving American nuclear bombs. As a means of maintaining first-strike capability ...Continue reading