This day in science












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  9. Carl Sagan‘s birthday
    1. 1861, Robert Innes born. Robert Innes was a Scottish astronomer who discovered Proxima Centauri (1915), the closest star to earth after the Sun.
    2. In 1983, U.S. student Fred Cohen presented to a security seminar the results of his test – the first documented virus, created as an experiment in computer security.
    1. In 1925, the discovery of cosmic rays was announced in Madison, Wisconsin by Robert A. Millikan who coined their name.
    2. In 1572, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe began his meticulous observations of the supernova discovered in the W-shaped constellation of Cassiopeia.
    1. Percival Lowell died in 1916, American astronomer who predicted the existence of the planet Pluto and initiated the search that ended in its discovery.
    2. In 1980, the space probe Voyager I travelled under the rings and within 77,000 miles of Saturn.
    3. In 1941, the first heredity clinic in the U.S. was opened by the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Data on human heredity was collected, and family counselling was offered.
    4. In 1927, the Holland Tunnel connecting N.Y. and N.J., the world’s first underwater vehicular tunnel, officially opened.
  10. In 1971, Mariner-9, the first man-made object to orbit another planet, entered Martian orbit. The mission of the unmanned craft was to return photographs mapping 70% of the surface, and to study the planet’s thin atmosphere, clouds, and hazes, together with its surface chemistry and seasonal changes.
    1. 1930, Ed White born. First U.S. astronaut to walk in space. With James A. McDivitt he manned the four-day orbital flight of Gemini 4, launched on 3 Jun 1965.
    2. 1807, Auguste Laurent born. French chemist who developed organic chemistry as a distinct science.
    3. 1716, Gottfried Leibniz died. German philosopher, mathematician and political adviser, important both as a metaphysician and as a logician, and also distinguished for his independent invention of the differential and integral calculus.
    4. In 1985, the first discovery of a fullerene was published in the journal Nature.
    5.  In 1967, a U.S. patent for “Ruby Laser Systems” was issued to Theodore Maiman (No. 3,353,115).
    1. 1738, Sir William Herschel born. German-born British astronomer, the founder of sidereal astronomy for the systematic observation of the heavens.
    2. 1819, Daniel Rutherford died. Scottish chemist and photographer who discovered the portion of air that does not support combustion, now known to be nitrogen.
    3. In 1988, the Soviet Union launched its first space shuttle, Buran (“Snowstorm”), unmanned, on its first and only orbital flight.
    4. In 1960, a U.S. patent was issued for an alkaline dry-cell to P.A. Marsal, Karl Kordesch and Lewis F. Urry who assigned it to the Union Carbide Corporation, the manufacturer of Eveready batteries (No. 2,960,558).
    5. In 1887, German scientist, Dr. Carl Gassner, was issued a U.S. patent (No. 373,064) for the first “dry” cell. The sealed zinc shell which contained all the chemicals was also the negative electrode.
    1. 1943, James Mitchell born. Black American chemist who is best known for advancing the accuracy of trace element analyses.
    2.  In 1972, Skylab III, carrying a crew of three astronauts, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on an 84-day mission that remained the longest American space flight for over two decades.
    3. In 1945, two newly discovered elements were announced: americium (atomic number 95) and curium (atomic number 96).


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