Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.

Calendar Of Science – August

Every month, Pacific Science Center publishes a Calendar of Science, a compendium of science facts to add a little knowledge to your daily routine. 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. Have a comment or question? Please drop us a line. Remember, life’s boring without discovery.


Aug 1, 1774- Joseph Priestley, an english chemist, identified a gas which he called “dephlogisticated air” later known as oxygen.
Aug 2, 1820- Birthday: John Tyndall, demonstrated scattering of light by atmospheric particles & absorption of infrared radiation by gases.
Aug 3, 1908- A nearly complete skeleton of a Neanderthal was found in cave in France, by Amédée and Jean Bouyssonie.
Aug 4, 1922- Telephone service in the United States and Canada was silent for one minute at sunset to mark the funeral of Graham Bell.
Aug 5, 1973- Mars 6, also known as 3MP No.50P, was launched by Soviet Union using a Proton-K carrier rocket to explore Mars.
Aug 5, 1930- Birthday: American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon.
Aug 6, 1881- Birthday: bacteriologist/Nobel prize winner, Alexander Fleming, discovered Penicillin while working on influenza virus.
Aug 7, 1959- Explorer 6, a small spheroidal satellite was launched by NASA to study upper atmosphere and photograph earth’s cloud cover.
Aug 8, 1829- The first steam locomotive in the U.S., the Stourbridge Lion, was used between coal mines in Pennsylvania.
Aug 9, 1945- An atomic bomb was exploded by U.S. over Nagasaki, Japan During World War II, killing over 40,000 people.
Aug 10, 1897- Aspirin, a stable form of acetylsalicylic acid and famous pain reliever, was created by Dr. Felix Hoffman.
Aug 11, 1877- Astronomer Asaph Hall discovered two moons of Mars, likely composed of rock and ice. He named them Phobos and Deimos.
Aug 12, 1981- IBM’s first personal computer IBM 5150 was put on sale for $1,565 with a 4.7 MHz CPU, 16 kB RAM, 40 kB ROM & floppy drives.
Aug 13, 1844- Birthday: Swiss biologist Friedrich Miescher, the first to isolate and identify nucleic acid, which he then called nuclein.
Aug 14, 1894- The first wireless transmission using Morse code signalling via radio waves was shown by Oliver Lodge at Oxford University.
Aug 15, 1914- The Panama canal was inaugurated with American vessel, Ancon, sailing from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
Aug 16, 2003- Element 110 was named officially Darmstadium, Ds by IUPAC after the town of Darmstadt where it was discovered.
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 explorer Merriwether Lewis, who along with William Clark led an expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory.
Aug 19, 1839- Physicist Louis Daguerre announced the invention of a method for taking photographs.
Aug 20, 1977- NASA launched Voyager 2, which over the next twelve years flew past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Aug 21, 1665- Birthday of astronomer Giacomo Maraldi, who discovered that Mars’ polar caps change in size during the Martian year.
Aug 22, 1920- Birthday of sci-fi author Ray Bradbury, who wrote Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, among many others.
Aug 23, 2002- The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory or LIGO began its attempt to detect gravity waves.
Aug 24, 79 – Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. They were rediscovered in 1748.
Aug 25, 1989- The 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. It was heard as far away as Chile.
Aug 27, 1875- Lecoq de Boisbaudran discovered the element gallium.
Aug 28, 1845- Rufus Porter published the first issue of Scientific American.
Aug 29, 1831- Physicist Michael Faraday demonstrated the first electrical transformer.
Aug 30, 1992- Astronomers Jane Luu, David Jewitt discovered the first Kuiper Belt object, which was given the name 1992 QB1.
Aug 31, 1821- Birthday of physicist Hermann von Helmholtz, discovered the principle of conservation of energy.