This day in science – November

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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).
    1. The first computer mouse was patented in 1970
    2. The Suez Canal opened in 1869 linking the Mediterranean and the Red Seas
    3. China tests its largest nuclear bomb in 1976
    4. World’s oldest polar bear dies in 2008 at age 41
    1. In 1970 Linus Pauling says that large doses of Vitamin C can help prevent the common cold
    2. In 1913 the first airplane loop-the-loop was done by Lincoln Beachley
    3. In 1883 the US went to standard time, leaving solar time. This was done to make it easier for the railroads.
    1. Eileen Collins born in 1956. She was the first woman to pilot, then later, command, a US Space Shuttle
    1. In 1979 the first blood transplant with artificial blood was done.
    2. In 1998 the first module of the International Space Station was lifted to orbit on a Russian Proton rocket.
    1. In 1953 the Piltdown Man fraud was ended
    2. In 1877 Thomas Edison announced his phonograph
    3. The first men fly in 1783 in a balloon flight
    4. 1942, Guion Bluford Jr. was born. He was the first black astronaut.
    1. In 1927 the first patent for the snowmobile was issued
    1. In 1835 the patent for the horseshoe manufacturing machine was issued
    2. In 1889 the first jukebox was installed
    3. In 1897 the patent for the Jenny Coupler, used to connect train cars together, was issued to black inventor Andrew Beard. The Jenny Coupler is still in use today
    1. In 1909 the Wright Brothers formed a million-dollar corporation to produce airplanes
    2. In 1859 Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
    3. In 1793 the French start using their Calendar of Reason, having 12 months of 30 days, each with 3 décades of 10 days, and an extra 5 days left over for 365 days. The calendar lasted 14 years.
    1. Andrew Carnegie born in 1835. He made his fortune in steel, and then became a philanthropist, giving money to start libraries, and education
    2. In 1960 the first nuclear reactor for R&D was started in Richland, WA
    3. Cable TV was invented in 1948 by Leroy Parsons

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