Pavo is a constellation in the southern sky with the Latin name for
peacock. It is one of twelve constellations conceived by Petrus Plancius
from the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de
Houtman. First appearing on a 35 cm (14 in) diameter celestial globe
published in 1598 in Amsterdam by Plancius and Jodocus Hondius, it was
depicted in Johann Bayer’s star atlas Uranometria of 1603. The
constellation’s brightest member, Alpha Pavonis, is also known as
Peacock and appears as a 1.91-magnitude blue-white star, but is actually
a spectroscopic binary. Delta Pavonis is a Sun-like star some 19.9 light
years distant. Six of the star systems in Pavo have been found to host
planets, including HD 181433 with a super-earth, and HD 172555 with
evidence of a major interplanetary collision in the past few thousand
years. The constellation contains NGC 6752, the third-brightest globular
cluster in the sky, and the spiral galaxy NGC 6744, which closely
resembles our Milky Way but is twice as large.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Representatives of the States General of the Netherlands signed
the Act of Abjuration, declaring the independence of the Dutch Low
Countries from King Philip II of Spain.
Boer mercenaries declared their independence from the Transvaal
Republic and established the Republic of Stellaland.
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial, dedicated to the Canadian
Expeditionary Force members killed during the First World War, was
unveiled near Vimy, Pas-de-Calais, France.
Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl led a group of approximately
160 rebels in an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada Barracks, thus
beginning the Cuban Revolution.
One day after similar bombings in Bangalore, 21 bombs exploded
in Ahmedabad, India, killing 56 people and injuring over 200 others.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
1. A game of skill which requires the bettor to guess under which of three
small cups (or thimbles) a pea-sized object has been placed after the
party operating the game rapidly rearranges them, providing opportunity
for sleight-of-hand trickery; a shell game.
2. One operating such a game.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The masses demand a fighting President, and that means you’ve
got to offend somebody, because the way I see it, a strong offense is
the best attack. So what can you offend? That’s an easy one. Offend
the other candidates, because they’ll be too busy talking to hear you,
and besides, they might not vote for you anyway.
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