Celestial events in the skies for the week of July 25-30, 2017 as compiled for The Loafer by Mark D. Marquette.
The last week of July—wow, that went by fast! And there’s the crescent Moon again waxing across the evening skies drawing heads upward. Jupiter, right, and Saturn, left, bookend the Milky Way when you look south. It’s a beautiful time of year to stargaze under dark skies and all the night sounds of Summer. And this week in space history, Apollo 15 was launched for the fourth Moon landing.
Tuesday, July 25
On this 1984 date in space history Russian Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space outside the Mir Space Station. An American woman, Kathlyn Sullivan, followed three months later in October 1984 on Space Shuttle Challenger.
Wednesday, July 26
The Moon makes its monthly reappearance in evening sky as a beautiful crescent. Moving eastward almost 13 degrees a day, more of the lunar surface is revealed. The daylight line moving left across the lunar surface is called the terminator—which on Earth is our evening or morning twilight.
Thursday, July 27
On this 1972 date in space history, Apollo 15 was half-way to the Moon after a launch July 26th to attempt the fourth landing expedition. In the belly of the moon ship “Falcon” was the first car on an alien world, the Lunar Rover. Destination on the Moon was an ancient lava river called Hadley Rille, while the mother ship Endeavor orbited 60 miles high.
Friday, July 28
On this 1973 date in space history, the second three-man expedition to America’s space station Skylab was launched on a 59-day mission. This was the longest space mission at the time, filled with biomedical experiments to observe how the human body adapts to weightlessness.
Saturday, July 29
The Summer Triangle straddles the Milky Way high overhead. The star to the north is Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, directly overhead is Vega in Lyra the Harp and to the south is Altair in Aquila the Eagle.
Sunday, July 30
On this 1971 date in space history, Apollo 15 landed on the Moon beside an ancient lava river. Moonwalkers David Scott and James Irwin deployed the first Lunar Rover, giving them a range of than 7 miles in one direction away from their moon ship, Falcon.