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August 10th in Astronomy and Space Science
Unmanned Spaceflight1990The Magellen spacecraft enters orbit around Venus. Since the planet's thick cloud blanket prevents direct observation of the surface, Magellen uses a high resolution radar to map surface details with a resolution of 100 m (328 feet). It maps 99% of the surface over the next four years.
Astronomical Event1995The Earth passes through the plane of Saturn's rings. During a ring crossing, the glare from the rings is nearly eliminated allowing the observation of dim objects near Saturn. 13 of Saturn's 18 known moons were discovered during ring plane crossings. Three possible new moons were discovered during this crossing, but some may be observations of existing moons or temporary clumps of ring material. Subsequent observations will be needed to confirm these moons.
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