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!
Dec. 1, 1743-Birthday of chemist Martin Klaproth, who discovered uranium.
Dec. 2, 1929-At Chou-Kou-Tian, China, Chinese archaeologists discovered 700,000 year old skull of Homo erectus pekinensis, or Peking Man.
Dec. 3, 1795-Birthday of educator Rowland Hill, invented the postage stamp and introduced the first postal service in England.
Dec. 4, 1973-US spacecraft Pioneer 10 flew past Jupiter and sent back photos, 1st spacecraft to travel to the outer solar system.
Dec. 5, 1901-Birthday of physicist Werner Heisenberg, formulated the uncertainty principle.
Dec. 6, 1863-Birthday of chemist Charles Martin Hall, invented an inexpensive method for extracting aluminum from bauxite ore.
Dec. 7, 1905-Birthday of Gerard Kuiper, discovered Uranus's moon Miranda, Neptune's moon Nereid, predicted existence of the Kuiper Belt.
Dec. 8, 2000-NASA announced that photos of Mars showed widespread layers of sedimentary rocks, indicating Mars once had lakes, shallow seas.
Dec. 9, 1906-Birthday of electrical engineer Grace Murray Hopper, invented the computer compiler translates English words into binary code.
Dec. 10, 1901-The 1st Nobel prizes awarded, in accordance with the will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite.
Dec. 11, 1863-Birthday of astronomer Annie Jump Cannon, compiled the Henry Draper Catalogue, which listed the spectra of over 225,000 stars.
Dec. 12, 1927-Birthday of electrical engineer Robert Noyce, invented the integrated circuit or microchip.
Dec. 13, 1920-Albert Michelson & Francis Pease measured diameter of Betelgeuse, 1st measurement of the size of any star other than the Sun.
Dec. 14, 1962-US spacecraft Mariner 2 flew past Venus, discovered surface temp was over 800F. 1st successful flyby of another planet.
Dec. 15, 1852-Birthday of physicist Henri Becquerel, who discovered radioactivity.
Dec. 16, 1811-The most powerful earthquake in US history occurred near New Madrid, Missouri. Changed the course of the Mississippi River.
Dec. 17, 1903-At Kitty Hawk, NC, Orville & Wilbur Wright made first successful flight of an airplane, covered 120 feet, lasted 12 seconds.
Dec. 18, 1958-US launched world's 1st communications satellite called Project SCORE, broadcast 1st message from space.
Dec. 19, 1813-Birthday of chemist Thomas Andrews, who demonstrated that ozone is a form of oxygen.
Dec. 20, 1901-Birthday of physicist Robert Van de Graaff, who invented the Van de Graaff generator.
Dec. 21, 1773-Birthday of botanist Robert Brown, discovered that tiny particles suspended in a liquid are constantly in motion.
Dec. 22, 1938-Biologist Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer discovered a coelacanth in a recent catch of fish. Thought extinct for 65 million yrs.
Dec. 23, 1947-Physicists Walter Brattain and John Bardeen demonstrated the first transistor.
Dec. 24, 1906-Engineer Reginald Fessenden made 1st radio broadcast. Included music, singing, poetry reading. Previously just dots-dashes.
Dec. 25, 1642-Birthday of physicist/mathematician Isaac Newton, invented calculus, discovered the three laws of motion, the law of gravity.
Dec. 26, 1898-Chemists Marie & Pierre Curie announced their discovery of the element radium.
Dec. 27, 1571-Birthday of astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the three laws of planetary motion.
Dec. 28, 1612-Galileo became 1st to see Neptune through a telescope. Didn't realize it was a planet, wasn't discovered again until 1846.
Dec. 29, 1800-Birthday of inventor Charles Goodyear, invented vulcanization process, made rubber stable in both hot and cold temps.
Dec. 30, 1995-The Hubble Space Telescope completed photographing the Hubble Deep Field, a small bit of sky contains nearly 1,500 galaxies.
Dec. 31, 1887-Lick telescope installed on Mt. Hamilton near San Francisco, then the world's largest telescope, 1st placed on a mountain top.