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Died, Simon Marius, German astronomer

Simon Marius (10 January 1573 (Julian calendar then in effect, 20 January Gregorian) - 5 January 1625 (Gregorian calendar then in effect, 26 December 1624 Julian)) was a German astronomer. In 1614, Marius published his work Mundus Iovialis describing the planet Jupiter and its moons in which he claimed to have discovered the planet's four major moons some days before Galileo. This led to a dispute with Galileo, who accused Marius, not only of being a liar, but also of having copied his own work so that his Mundus Iovialis was nothing but plagiarism. It is considered possible that Marius discovered the moons independently, but at least some days later than Galileo. Regardless of priority, the mythological names by which the satellites are known (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) are those given them by Marius. Simon Marius also claimed to be the discoverer of the Andromeda Galaxy, which was already known to Arab astronomers of the Middle Ages.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, DeWitt B. Brace, astronomer, inventor (spectrophotometer)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Julio Garavito Armero, Colombian astronomer (celestial mechanics)

Julio Garavito Armero (5 January 1865 - 11 March 1920) was a Colombian astronomer. He was a child prodigy in science and mathematics, and obtained degrees in mathematics and civil engineering. As an astronomer at the Observatorio Astronomico Nacional (National Astronomical Observatory) in Columbia, his researches included calculating the latitude of Bogota, studies about the comets which passed the Earth between 1901 and 1910 (such as Comet Halley), and the 1916 solar eclipse (seen in the majority of Colombia). The most widely important aspects of his studies were about celestial mechanics, Lunar fluctuations and their influence in weather, floods, polar ice, and Earth's orbital acceleration.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

The first successful auroral photograph was made, a black and white image captured by German physicist Martin Brendel.
ref: scied.ucar.edu

Born, Jeannette Ridlon Piccard, first US woman free balloon pilot, held the women's altitude record for nearly three decades
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Jupiter's eighth largest satellite Elara (named in 1975, previously known as Jupiter VII) was discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine at Lick Observatory.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #1011 Laodamia.

K Reinmuth discovered asteroid #1162 Larissa.

Died, Pavel P. Parenago, Soviet astronomer
ref: en.wikipedia.org

USSR's Sputnik 25 re-entered the atmosphere after its escape stage failed to send it to the Moon for a soft landing.

Sputnik 25, launched 4 January 1963, was an attempted Lunar soft landing, with the purpose of returning data on the mechanical characteristics of the Lunar surface, the hazards presented by the topology such as craters, rocks, and other obstructions, and radiation, in preparation for future manned landings. The 1500 kg spacecraft consisted of a cylindrical section containing maneuvering and landing rockets and fuel, orientation devices and radio transmitters and a spherical top containing a 100 kg "lander," which was planned to be ejected onto the surface after the main body touched down, carrying a camera and devices to measure radiation.

The spacecraft was injected into Earth orbit successfully by the SL-6/A-2-e launcher but failed to escape orbit for its trip to the Moon. Its orbit decayed on 5 January 1963 after one day.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1969 06:28:00 GMT
USSR launched Venera 5 toward Venus.

Venera 5 was launched 5 January 1969 towards Venus to obtain atmospheric data. The spacecraft was very similar to Venera 4 although it was of a stronger design. When the atmosphere of Venus was approached, a capsule weighing 405 kg and containing scientific instruments was jettisoned from the main spacecraft. During satellite descent towards the surface of Venus, a parachute opened to slow the entry rate. For 53 minutes on 16 May 1969, while the capsule was suspended from the parachute, data from the Venusian atmosphere were returned. The spacecraft also carried a medallion bearing the coat of arms of the USSR and a bas-relief of V.I. Lenin to the night side of Venus.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

United States President Richard Nixon ordered the development of a space shuttle program.
ref: history.nasa.gov

Died, age 87, Harold C. Urey, US chemist (Deuterium, Nobel 1934 "for his discovery of heavy hydrogen")
ref: www.nobelprize.org

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