The gegenschein is an oval patch of faint light directly opposite the sun in the night sky. It is so faint that it can only be seen in the absence of moonlight and is lost in the light of the Milky Way except in the spring and fall. It is thought to be caused by sunlight reflecting off dust particles in space that may be part of Earth's tail of dust and gas. Danish astronomer Theodor Brorsen published an account of the phenomenon in 1854, about 50 years after it was observed and named by whom?
Back in the day
The Bastille was a 14th-century fortress and a notorious state prison in Paris. In 1789, an angry mob stormed the prison, freeing the political prisoners held in the edifice that had come to symbolize the French monarchy's oppression of the people. The assault launched the French Revolution. Although the building itself was razed a year later, the Bastille became a symbol of French independence, and July 14th became a national holiday. How many prisoners were in the Bastille when it was stormed?
Born on a day like today
Wister was an American author who is best remembered for his contributions to western fiction. A well-to-do Harvard graduate, he suffered from ill health and summered in the American West, where he gained much inspiration for his writings. His popular 1902 novel The Virginian is regarded as the first western. It tells the tale of a cattle rancher who depends on a harsh code of ethics, and it helped establish the cowboy as an American folk hero. To whom is the book dedicated?