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Astronomy Picture of the Day
  • Mercury Meets Crescent Venus 
Image Credit & Copyright: Marco Meniero @marco_meniero 
Explanation: That's not a bright star and crescent Moon caught between branches of a eucalyptus tree. It's Venus in a crescent phase and Mercury. Near the western horizon after sunset, the two inner planets closely shared this telescopic field of view on May 22, seen from a balcony in Civitavecchia, Italy. Venus, the very bright celestial beacon, is wandering lower into the evening twilight. It grows larger in apparent size and shows a thinner crescent as it heads toward its inferior conjunction, positioned between Earth and Sun on June 3. Mercury, in a fuller phase, is climbing in the western sky though, reaching its maximum angular distance from the Sun on June 4 Still, this remarkably close pairing with brilliant Venus made Mercury, usually lost in bright twilight skies, easier to spot from planet Earth.
This Day in History
  • Wisconsin enters the Union
    Following approval of statehood by the territory’s citizens, Wisconsin enters the Union as the 30th state. In 1634, French explorer Jean Nicolet landed at Green Bay, becoming the first European to visit the lake-heavy northern region that would later become Wisconsin. In 1763, at the conclusion of ...Continue reading
  • Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reach Everest summit
    At 11:30 a.m. on May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa of Nepal, become the first explorers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which at 29,035 feet above sea level is the highest point on earth. The two, part of a British expedition, made their final assault on ...Continue reading
  • Future President John F. Kennedy is born
    One of America’s best-loved presidents, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, is born into a politically and socially prominent family in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. He was the first American president to be born in the 20th century. In 1935, Kennedy enrolled at Harvard University and received a ...Continue reading