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This Week in Astronomy History | March 22-28

23 Mar 2021, 20:15 UTC
This Week in Astronomy History | March 22-28
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March 22, 1997: Comet Halle-Bopp makes its closest approach to Earth
Comet Hale-Bopp | NASA
Comet Halle-Bopp, one of the brightest comets ever recorded, and made its closest approach to Earth on March 22, 1997. It was visible to the naked eye for approximately eighteen months, making it the most-viewed comet in history. It was first identified by Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp, two amateur astronomers. Though Hale and Bopp were located in different states and did not collaborate on their discovery, they spotted the comet at nearly the exact same time. Because of this coincidence, both men are credited for the discovery and share its namesake.
March 24, 1840: First photograph of the full Moon taken
Daguerreotype of the Moon from March 1840, attributed to Dr. John William Draper | Prof. Baryd Still, NYU Archives
The first detailed photograph of the full Moon was taken by English scientist, chemist, and historian John William Draper on the evening of March 24, 1840. The image was a daguerreotype, meaning it was made by a process of exposing a sheet of silver-plated copper inside a camera, then developing the image by fuming it with mercury vapor. Draper made his own improvements to ...

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