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December 9th in Astronomy and Space Science
Astronomical Event1874A transit of Venus is visible from most of North America, the Atlantic Ocean, and western Europe. This was the first predicted transit since the invention of the camera, so there was hope that detailed timings could be obtained to help determine the Earth-Sun distance. However, measurements from different astronomers varied widely resulting in no usable consensus.
Unmanned Spaceflight1978US launches the Pioneer 13 spacecraft. Also designated Pioneer-Venus 2, it goes into orbit of Venus and releases a set of four probes into the atmosphere.
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