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!


Feb. 1, 1949-The 200-inch Hale telescope on Mount Palomar in CA was used for 1st time. Was the world's largest telescope until 1976.
Feb. 2, 1910-Birthday of astronomer Andrew McKellar, discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation in 1941.
Feb. 3, 1821-Birthday of physician Elizabeth Blackwell, 1st woman in the U.S. to receive a medical degree.
Feb. 4, 1906-Birthday of the American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto.
Feb. 5, 1963-Astronomer Maarten Schmidt became 1st to measure the redshift of a quasar, showing that quasars are extremely remote objects.
Feb. 6, 1913-Birthday of paleontologist Mary Leakey, discovered oldest known fossilized hominid footprints in Tanzania, 3.6 million yrs old.
Feb. 7, 1824-Birthday of astronomer William Huggins, 1st to determine the chemical composition of stars by analyzing their spectra.
Feb. 8, 1825-Birthday of biologist Henry Bates, discovered that some non-toxic butterflies resemble toxic butterflies (Batesian mimicry).
Feb. 9, 1870-Congress authorized creation of the U.S. Weather Bureau. In 1970 its name was changed to the National Weather Service.
Feb. 10, 1958-Scientists at MIT bounced a radar signal off the surface of Venus for the first time.
Feb. 11, 1847-Birthday of Thomas Edison, invented the electric light bulb, the phonograph, motion pictures.
Feb. 12, 1809-Birthday of biologist Charles Darwin, who formulated the theory of evolution by natural selection.
Feb. 13, 1766-Birthday of Thomas Malthus, proposed concept of the struggle for survival, forerunner of Darwin's theory of natural selection.
Feb. 14, 1990-Voyager 1 spacecraft took 1st photograph of the entire solar system.
Feb. 15, 1564-Birthday of scientist Galileo Galilei, 1st to look at the night sky through a telescope.
Feb. 16, 1822-Birthday of scientist Francis Galton, invented the weather map, the silent dog whistle, and the Galton board.
Feb. 17, 1869-Chemist Dmitri Mendeleev invented the periodic table of the elements.
Feb. 18, 1930-Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto.
Feb. 19, 1473-Birthday of astronomer Nicolas Copernicus, proposed the theory that the Earth and the other planets revolve around the Sun.
Feb. 20, 1943-A new volcano began to erupt in a corn field in southern Mexico, erupted for nine years and was named the Paricutín Volcano.
Feb. 21, 1878-In New Haven, Connecticut, 1st telephone directory issued, single piece of cardboard, listed 50 businesses with a telephone.
Feb. 22, 1857-Birthday of physicist Heinrich Hertz, 1st to produce and detect radio waves.
Feb. 23, 1987-A supernova appeared in the Large Magellanic Cloud. 1st supernova visible with the naked eye since 1604.
Feb. 24, 1989-CAT scan of a 150 million yr old fossil egg from Utah, contained oldest known dinosaur embryo (probably of Allosaurus).
Feb. 25, 1869-Birthday of biochemist Phoebus Levene, discovered the sugar deoxyribose, one of the main constituents of DNA.
Feb. 26, 1958-Birthday of astronaut Susan Helms, made the world's longest spacewalk (8 hours 56 minutes).
Feb. 27, 1947-Birthday of Alan Guth, developed the inflationary model of the Big Bang theory.
Feb. 28, 1953-Biologists James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the chemical structure of the DNA molecule.