Calendar Of Science

Every month, Pacific Science Center publishes a Calendar of Science, a compendium of science facts to add a little knowledge to your daily routine. So, read on and discover a few things you may not have known. If you would like to receive a daily dose of science, subscribe to Calendar of Science on Twitter. We've also set up a Google Calendar to which you may subscribe. Have a comment or question? Please drop us a line. Remember, life's boring without discovery!


Oct 1, 1958-The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) began operations.
Oct 2, 1852-Birthday of chemist William Ramsay, who discovered the inert gases argon, krypton, neon, and xenon.
Oct 3, 1906-At the 2nd international conference on wireless telegraphy in Berlin, the letters SOS adopted as international distress signal.
Oct 4, 1957-Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite to orbit the Earth.
Oct 5, 1882-Birthday of engineer Robert Goddard, who built the first liquid-fuel rocket.
Oct 6, 1995-Astronomers Michel Mayor, Didier Queloz announced discovery the 1st planet of a sun-like star outside our solar system.
Oct 7, 1959-The far side of the moon was photographed for the first time by the Russian spacecraft Luna 3.
Oct 8, 1873-Birthday of Ejnar Hertzsprung, discovered a high correlation between the color of a star and its intrinsic brightness.
Oct 9, 1873-Birthday of Karl Schwarzschild, calculated the radius within which an object would have to be compressed to become a black hole.
Oct 10, 1980-The Very Large Array of 27 radio telescopes near Socorro, New Mexico, began operations.
Oct 11, 1758-Birthday of astronomer Heinrich Olbers, who discovered the asteroids Pallas and Vesta.
Oct 12, 1964-Soviet Union launched Voskhod 1, with three aboard. 1st spacecraft to carry more than one, 1st flight without space suits.
Oct 13, 1884-The prime meridian or zero degree of longitude established as a line passing through Greenwich, England.
Oct 14, 1947-U.S. Air Force captain Chuck Yeager became the first person to fly a plane faster than the speed of sound.
Oct 15, 1608-Birthday of physicist Evangelista Torricelli, who invented the barometer.
Oct 16, 1908-Birthday of anthropologist Robert Ardrey, who wrote The Territorial Imperative and African Genesis.
Oct 17, 1820-Birthday of Edouard Roche, calculated the distance within which a satellite of a planet would be torn apart by tidal forces.
Oct 18, 1799-Birthday of chemist Christian Schönbein, who discovered ozone.
Oct 19, 1605-Birthday of Thomas Browne, who wrote Commonly Held False Beliefs, in which he invented the words electricity, computer.
Oct 20, 1891-Birthday of physicist James Chadwick, who discovered the neutron.
Oct 21, 1923-The world’s first planetarium opened to the public at the German Museum in Munich.
Oct 22, 1938-Inventor Chester Carlson made the first Xerox copy, using lycopodium powder on waxed paper.
Oct 23, 1977-Paleontologist Elso Barghoorn announced the discovery of 3.2 billion year old fossilized bacteria in South African rocks.
Oct 24, 1632-Birthday of biologist Anton van Leeuwenhoek, who discovered bacteria.
Oct 25, 1884-Birthday of Motonori Matuyama, discovered the earth’s magnetic poles have reversed direction many times in the geologic past.
Oct 26, 1366-Nucleus of Comet Tempel-Tuttle passed 2 million miles from Earth, closest recorded approach to Earth by a periodic comet.
Oct 27, 1891-Philip Downing received a patent for a mail box with a hinged door that closed to protect the mail, still in use today.
Oct 28, 1914-Birthday of Jonas Salk, developed the first safe and effective vaccine against polio.
Oct 29, 1831-Birthday of Othniel Marsh, discovered over a thousand fossils, including Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops.
Oct 30, 1938-Orson Welles broadcast a radio dramatization of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds about a Martian attack on the United States.
Oct 31, 1930-Birthday of astronaut Michael Collins, who piloted the Apollo 11 command module.