Highlights from the Astronomy and Space Timeline

  1. 1054 Astronomers in China and Japan observe the explosion of the supernova which is still visible as the Crab Nebula
  2. 1905 Percival Lowell predicts the existence of an unknown planet, almost exactly where Pluto is discovered 25 years later
  3. 1926 British astrophysicist Arthur Eddington compares mass and luminosity in The Internal Constitution of the Stars
  4. 1957 The success of the USSR in launching Sputnik prompts the establishment of NASA in the USA
  5. 1961 Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to travel in space, orbiting the earth once in Vostok 1
  6. 1968 The US astronauts in Apollo 8 are the first humans to see (and photograph) the sight of the earth rising above the moon’s horizon
  7. 1971 In the Apollo 15 mission US astronauts David Scott and James Irwin drive the vehicle Rover-1 on the surface of the moon
  8. 1998 The first module is launched of the International Space Station, a cooperative venture by five space agencies (USA, Russia, Japan, Canada, Europe)

Throughout November we have been sharing space and astronomy related content from our books, journals, and online products. Here we have highlighted eight key dates from our Oxford Reference Astronomy and Space Timeline. Check out the complete timeline for a look through our astronomical history!

Image credits: 1) Crab Nebula, 2) Percival Lowell observing Venus, 3) Internal Constitution of Stars, 4) Illustration of the seal of NASA, 5) Yuri Gagarin, 6) View from the Apollo 11 spacecraft, 7) Apollo 15 Lunar Module pilot James B. Irwin loads up the “Rover”, 8) International Space Station.