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Global population reached 6 billion in 1999 and 7 billion in 2011. Today – October 12, 2017 – it stands at about 7.6 billion, according to United Nations estimates.
Astronomers announced the discovery of Proxima Centauri – next-nearest to our sun – on this date in 1915.
On October 6, 1995, astronomers announced 51 Pegasi b, a planet about half the mass of Jupiter, orbiting a star not unlike our sun.
Today is the 48th anniversary of humanity’s historic first steps on the moon. The story in pictures, here.
Telstar was the 1st satellite to relay television signals between Europe and North America. It launched on this date … and helped change the world.
We celebrate Asteroid Day on June 30 because it’s the anniversary of a 1908 explosion over Siberia that killed reindeer and flattened trees.
On May 25, 1961, John F. Kennedy gave a stirring speech to a joint session of Congress, inspiring a nation to land humans on the moon with a decade.
Alan Shepard became the 1st American in space on May 5, 1961. His suborbital flight took place just 3 weeks after the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin orbited Earth once.
John Burroughs – born in 1837 – was one of the first nature writers. He was the first to say, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”
The earthquake – centered in Prince William Sound off the coast of south-central Alaska – was the most powerful yet recorded in North America at magnitude 9.2.
It was the first planet found since ancient times. William Herschel noticed it in 1781 during a routine survey of the stars.
Yuri Gagarin was a Russian pilot who became the first human to travel to space, in 1961. His story … plus links to a Yuri’s Night near you.
On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the 1st American to orbit Earth and the first American space hero.
Coolest space launch ever! Watch what happened when a spacecraft launch destroyed a sundog, in the process bringing to light a new form of ice halo.
The February 9, 1913 meteors crossed the sky in formation, on nearly identical paths. Their pace across the sky was described as “stately” and “measured.”
In January 1986, Voyager 2 became the first and, so far, the only craft from Earth to see Uranus up close. It discovered a magnetic field and radiation belts, 2 new rings and 10 new moons.
On January 16, 1909, a team of Antarctic explorers thought they’d found the magnetic south pole. Then, a few years later, they began to have doubts.
Isaac Newton was born on January 4, 1643. His insights laid a foundation for our modern understanding of celestial motion, light and gravity.
Some historians believe Luna 1 – a Soviet spacecraft – was supposed to hit the moon. It didn’t but it was the first earthly craft to reach the moon, and sweep past.
Check out one of the world’s most famous early photos. It shows the Wright brothers and the 1st true airplane on December 17, 1903.
Watch for zodiacal light, or false dawn
Lenticular cloud over Mt. Rainier