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!


Nov. 1, 1880-Birthday of meteorologist Alfred Wegener, who formulated the theory of continental drift.
Nov. 2, 1885-Birthday of astronomer Harlow Shapley, who made 1st accurate estimate of the size of the Milky Way galaxy.
Nov. 3, 1749-Birthday of chemist Daniel Rutherford, discovered nitrogen. Didn't realize it was a chemical element, called it "noxious air."
Nov. 4, 1922-Archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen.
Nov. 5, 1906-Birthday of astronomer Fred Whipple, proposed that comets are "dirty snowballs", consisting of water ice and rock dust.
Nov. 6, 1572-A supernova appeared in constellation Cassiopeia. Astronomer Tycho Brahe invented the word nova (Latin for new) to refer to it.
Nov. 7, 1867-Birthday of chemist Marie Curie, who together with her husband Pierre Curie discovered radium, invented the word radioactivity.
Nov. 8, 1895-Physicist Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays.
Nov. 9, 1967-NASA conducted 1st successful test flight of a Saturn 5 rocket. Largest rocket ever built, 2 yrs later took people to the Moon.
Nov. 10, 1951-Direct-dial long distance telephone service using three-digit area codes began in the U.S.
Nov. 11, 1862-Birthday of astronomer Vesto Slipher, who discovered that the spectra of most galaxies are red-shifted.
Nov. 12, 1842-Birthday of John Strutt, discovered the sky is blue because of scattering of sunlight by nitrogen, oxygen molecules in the air.
Nov. 13, 1971-Mariner 9 became 1st artificial satellite of another planet when it entered orbit around Mars.
Nov. 14, 1792-Birthday of Charles Lyell, wrote The Principles of Geology, showed Earth must be at least several hundred million yrs old.
Nov. 15, 1738-Birthday of astronomer William Herschel, who discovered Uranus.
Nov. 16, 1974-The Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico broadcast the first interstellar message, consisting of 1,679 ones and zeroes.
Nov. 17, 1970-Doug Engelbart received a patent for what he called an "X-Y position indicator." It is now known as a computer mouse.
Nov. 18, 1883-The U.S. introduced four standard time zones, a system which is still in use.
Nov. 19, 1722-Birthday of Leopold Auenbrugger, developed technique of striking the chest to diagnose chest disorders (now called percussion).
Nov. 20, 1889-Birthday of astronomer Edwin Hubble, discovered that the universe is expanding.
Nov. 21, 1877-Thomas Edison announced his invention of the "talking machine" or phonograph.
Nov. 22, 1969-Jonathan Beckwith announced he had isolated a single gene from a bacterium, 1st time a single gene had been isolated from any organism.
Nov. 23, 1869-Birthday of engineer Valdemar Poulsen, invented a method of storing data on a magnetic wire, ancestor of tape recorder, hard drive.
Nov. 24, 1859-Biologist Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was published.
Nov. 25, 1976-Viking 1 spacecraft sent a signal to Earth from Mars, was slowed by the Sun's gravity, confirming Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Nov. 26, 1837-Birthday of John Newlands, discovered when the elements are listed by atomic weight, every 8th element has similar properties.
Nov. 27, 1701-Birthday of physicist Anders Celsius, who invented the Celsius temperature scale.
Nov. 28, 1968-Astronomer Jocelyn Bell discovered the first pulsar.
Nov. 29, 1803-Birthday of physicist Christian Doppler, discovered sound wave phenomenon now called the Doppler effect.
Nov. 30, 1609-Astronomer Galileo became 1st to look at the moon through a telescope, discovered its surface covered with mountains, craters.