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!
May 1, 1930-Astronomer Vesto Slipher proposed the name Pluto for the newly discovered 9th planet, suggested by 11yo Venetia Burney.
May 2, 1800-Chemist William Nicholson performed 1st electrolysis of water, separating it into hydrogen and oxygen.
May 3, 1764-Astronomer Charles Messier discovered the globular cluster which is now called M3. Led to the Messier catalogue.
May 4, 1825-Birthday of biologist Thomas Huxley, 1st to suggest that birds are descended from dinosaurs.
May 5, 1961-Alan Shepard became the first American astronaut to travel into space.
May 6, 1856-Birthday of psychologist Sigmund Freud, who revolutionized the field of psychotherapy and wrote The Interpretation of Dreams.
May 7, 1909-Birthday of physicist Edwin H. Land, invented the Polaroid camera, which developed the picture inside the camera in about 60sec.
May 8, 1902-Mount Pelee erupted on the island of Martinique in the Caribbean.
May 9, 1962-Scientists at MIT successfully bounced a laser beam off the Moon for the first time.
May 10, 1930-The first planetarium in the U.S. opened to the public, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois.
May 11, 1928-Station WGY in Schenectady, New York, began the first regularly scheduled TV broadcasts in the U.S.
May 12, 1910-Birthday of Dorothy Hodgkin, discovered the structure of organic compounds, including penicillin, vitamin B-12, insulin.
May 13, 1857-Birthday of bacteriologist Ronald Ross, who discovered that malaria is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito.
May 14, 1796-Physician Edward Jenner administered the first vaccination against smallpox using live cowpox virus.
May 15, 1713-Birthday of astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille, compiled 1st star catalogue of the Southern Hemisphere.
May 16, 1960-Physicist Theodore Maiman built the first laser, using a ruby crystal.
May 17, 1836-Birthday of astronomer Joseph Lockyer, who identified a new element in the Sun's spectrum, which he named helium.
May 18, 1980-In Washington state, the long-dormant Mount St. Helens volcano erupted, sending ash 15,000 feet into the air.
May 19, 1910-Earth passed through the tail of Halley's Comet. This is the closest recorded contact the Earth has had with a comet.
May 20, 1978-NASA launched Pioneer Venus 1, which made the first detailed map of the surface of Venus using radar.
May 21, 1965-Arno Penzias & Robert Wilson announced discovery of 3 degree cosmic microwave background radiation, confirmed Big Bang theory.
May 22, 1783-Birthday of physicist William Sturgeon, who invented the electromagnet.
May 23, 1707-Birthday of botanist Carolus Linnaeus, who invented the modern system of classifying living organisms.
May 24, 1544-Birthday of William Gilbert, who invented the word electric, suggested electricity & magnetism are 2 aspects of the same force.
May 25, 1860-Birthday of geologist Daniel Barringer, discovered that the large crater in Arizona was caused by a meteor impact.
May 26, 1951-Birthday of astronaut Sally Ride, first American woman to travel into space.
May 27, 1907-Birthday of biologist Rachel Carson, who warned about introducing chemicals into the environment, wrote the book Silent Spring.
May 28, 1930-Birthday of astronomer Frank Drake, carried out the first radio search for extraterrestrial life (called Project Ozma).
May 29, 1953-Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the top of Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain.
May 30, 1934-Birthday of cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, 1st to walk in space and 1st to make sketches of the Earth while in Earth orbit.
May 31, 1903-Physicist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky became 1st to propose that people could travel into space using rockets.