From today's featured article
Ulf Merbold (born 1941) is a German physicist and astronaut. After growing up in East Germany, he studied physics at the University of Stuttgart in West Germany. In 1977, he applied to become one of the first astronauts of the European Space Agency (ESA), and started astronaut training with NASA in 1978. On November 28, 1983, Merbold became the first West German in space and the first non-American to fly on a NASA spacecraft when he flew aboard Space Shuttle Columbia as a payload specialist of the STS-9 mission. He participated in two further space flights, the STS-42 NASA mission in 1992 and a Euromir mission to the Russian space station Mir in 1994. In total, he spent 49 days in space, where most of his work was related to performing experiments in materials science and the life sciences. Merbold also provided ground support for other ESA missions and served as head of the German Aerospace Center's astronaut office. He worked for ESA until his retirement in 2004. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that Luca Salsi (pictured) performed leading roles in two operas in a row at the Metropolitan Opera, stepping in on 30 minutes' notice in Verdi's Ernani and singing as planned in Lucia di Lammermoor?
- ... that Japanese actor Kouhei Higuchi prepared for his role on the television drama adaptation of My Personal Weatherman by learning from a weather forecaster?
- ... that Erin Swenson was the first mainstream Protestant minister known to have undergone gender transition while in ordained office?
- ... that an ancient wildcat species is known only from a part of the jaw of a single animal discovered in Poland?
- ... that when historian of cartography Leo Bagrow was granted Swedish citizenship in 1952, he had been stateless for 34 years?
- ... that rural women in Burundi greet each other with an intricate musical ritual called akazehe?
- ... that Margarita Ortega left her husband to fight in the Mexican Revolution?
- ... that the "Mayor of Picklesburgh" is decided by a pickle juice drinking competition?
In the news
- In Canadian football, the Montreal Alouettes defeat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to win the Grey Cup (MVP Cody Fajardo pictured).
- Javier Milei is elected President of Argentina.
- The Cricket World Cup concludes with Australia defeating India in the final.
- Joseph Boakai is elected President of Liberia in a runoff, defeating incumbent president George Weah.
On this day
- 1443 – Having deserted the Ottoman army, Skanderbeg (pictured) arrived in the Albanian city of Krujë and, using a forged letter from Sultan Murad II to the governor of Krujë, became lord of the city.
- 1895 – The Chicago Times-Herald race, the first automobile race in the U.S., was held in Chicago.
- 1903 – SS Petriana struck a reef near Point Nepean, leading to Australia's first major oil spill and a debate over the White Australia policy.
- 1966 – In a military coup, Michel Micombero abolished the Burundian monarchy and declared the country a republic with himself as president.
- 2016 – LaMia Flight 2933 crashed near Medellín, Colombia, killing 71 people, many of whom were players from Chapecoense Football Club.
Today's featured picture
Hyles gallii, also known as the bedstraw hawk-moth, is a moth of the family Sphingidae. The species was first described by S. A. von Rottemburg in 1775 and is found in North America, in Europe to the Arctic Circle, in Central Asia, and in Japan. This image shows a late-stage H. gallii caterpillar in Keila, Estonia. Caterpillars of the species can reach a length of 70 to 80 millimetres (2.8 to 3.1 in), with variable colouring. One type is olive green with cream spots and a reddish-brown head, while another is almost entirely black.
Photograph credit: Ivar Leidus