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!


Aug. 1 1774-Chemist Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen. Didn't realize it was a chemical element and he called it "dephlogis-ticated air."
Aug. 2 1934-Birthday of cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky, who flew aboard the spacecraft Vostok 5 for five days in 1963.
Aug. 3 1915-Birthday of biologist Donald Griffin, who discovered that bats use high-frequency sounds for echolocation.
Aug. 4 1181-A supernova appeared in constellation Cassiopeia, it was observed by Chinese astronomers. Remnant now forms nebula 3C 58.
Aug. 5 1930-Birthday of astronaut Neil Armstrong, who was the first person to walk on the Moon.
Aug. 6 1881-Birthday of bacteriologist Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin.
Aug. 7 1959-NASA launched Explorer 6, 1st satellite to send back pictures of the Earth from space.
Aug. 8 1989-European Space Agency launched the Hipparcos satellite, which measured the distances of stars as far away as 1,500 light years.
Aug. 9 1776-Birthday of physicist Amedeo Avogadro, who discovered Avogadro's Law.
Aug. 10 1989-Spacecraft Magellan went into orbit around Venus. Over the next 3 yrs it produced a detailed radar map of the entire surface.
Aug. 11 1877-Astronomer Asaph Hall discovered Mars' outer moon Deimos. Six days later he discovered Mars' inner moon Phobos.
Aug. 12 1865-Surgeon Joseph Lister became the first doctor to use a disinfectant during surgery.
Aug. 13 1844-Birthday of physician Johann Miescher, who discovered nucleic acids.
Aug. 14 1777-Birthday of physicist Hans Christian Oersted, discovered that a magnetized needle is deflected by a nearby electric current.
Aug. 15 1892-Birthday of physicist Louis-Victor de Broglie, discovered the particle-wave duality of matter.
Aug. 16 1884-Birthday of author Hugo Gernsback, invented the term science fiction, edited 1st science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories.
Aug. 17 1970-Soviet Union launched Venera 7. Four months later it landed on Venus, 1st spacecraft to land successfully on another planet.
Aug. 18 1774-Birthday of Merriwether Lewis, who along with William Clark led an expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory.
Aug. 19 1839-Physicist Louis Daguerre announced invention of a method for taking photos which required an exposure time of only 20 minutes.
Aug. 20 1977-NASA launched the spacecraft Voyager 2, which over the next twelve years flew past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Aug. 21 1665-Birthday of astronomer Giacomo Maraldi, discovered Mars' polar caps change in size during the Martian year.
Aug. 22 1920-Birthday of author Ray Bradbury, who wrote many science fiction stories, including Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles.
Aug. 23 2002-Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory or LIGO began its attempt to detect gravity waves.
Aug. 24 79 AD-In Italy, Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Rediscovered in 1748.
Aug. 25 1989-Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest approach to Neptune, taking dozens of photographs and finding six new moons.
Aug. 26 1883-In the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), the volcano Krakatoa began a three day eruption.
Aug. 27 1875-Chemist Lecoq de Boisbaudran discovered the element gallium.
Aug. 28 1845-Editor Rufus Porter published the first issue of Scientific American.
Aug. 29 1831-Physicist Michael Faraday demonstrated the first electrical transformer.
Aug. 30 1992-Astronomer Jane Luu and the English astronomer David Jewitt discovered the first Kuiper Belt object, given the name 1992 QB1.
Aug. 31 1821-Birthday of physicist Hermann von Helmholtz, discovered the principle of conservation of energy.