Make your own free website on Tripod.com

News Astro Events History Tips Info Base Reviews Bookstore Links Home
Astro Info Base

December in History

December 13, 1795 - A meteorite weighing 56 pounds fell in Wold Cottage, Yorkshire, England.

December 7, 1798 - A strong shower of Andromedid meteors was seen. The actual hourly meteor rate is not known.

December 7, 1838 - A strong shower of Andromedid meteors was seen. The actual hourly meteor rate is not known.

December 3, 1917 - Four meteorites, weighing 22-1/4, 2-1/2, 2-3/8, and 2-1/4 pounds, fell in Strathmore, Perthshire, Scotland. One of the four crashed through the roof of a house.

December 22, 1945 - A strong Ursid meteor shower was seen with the peak rate of around 100 per hour. It was later determined that the strong display was due to a swarm, or  concentration of dust, on the opposite side of the orbit of the parent comet P/Tuttle.

December 6, 1957 - Following a third successful test flight, the Vanguard team attempted a satellite launch. A few seconds after liftoff, when Vanguard had risen about four feet, its engines lost thrust and the rocket and its beeping payload fell back upon the launch pad and exploded in a flaming fireball that further seared American confidence in their national space program.

December 4, 1965 - A Titan rocket launched the U.S. spacecraft Gemini 6 with astronauts Frank Borman and James A. Lovell. The flight lasted 330 hours 35 minutes. The crew returned safely to Earth.

December 15, 1965 - A Titan rocket launched the U.S. spacecraft Gemini 7 with astronauts Walter M. Schirra and Thomas Stafford. The flight lasted 25 hours 51 minutes. The crew returned safely to Earth.

December 16, 1965 - The U.S. spacecraft Pioneer 6 was launched into solar orbit. Pioneer 6 performed an early scientific study of the Sun from interplanetary space.

December 24, 1965 - Meteorites fell over a wide area in the village of Barwell in Leicestershire, England. A total of 50 kilograms of material was recovered. Because the meteorites landed in an elliptical pattern, it was suggested that the meteorites were fragments of a larger body which broke up as it fell.

December 7, 1968 - The U.S. satellite OAO 2 (Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2) was launched into Earth orbit. OAO 2 observed the Sun, stars, planets, and nebulae in the ultraviolet spectrum, which does not reach the Earth's surface.

December 10, 1974 - A Titan-Centaur rocket launched the U.S. spacecraft Helios 1 toward the Sun. Helios 1 approached the Sun to within the outer solar corona and took density, temperature, velocity, and magnetic field measurements.

December 1, 1994 - Western Europe's 70th Ariane rocket crashed into the Atlantic Ocean with the $150 million PanAmsat-3 telecoms satellite after launch from Kourou, French Guiana.


J. M. Thomas, last updated November 15, 1999.

Be sure to visit the Base Bookstore, an affiliate of

News Astro Events History Tips Info Base Reviews Bookstore Links Home