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Today in science: 1st footsteps on moon

Today is the 48th anniversary of humanity’s historic first steps on the moon. The story in pictures, here.

Today in science: 1st Telstar launch

Telstar was the 1st satellite to relay television signals between Europe and North America. It launched on this date … and helped change the world.  

Tunguska explosion

We celebrate Asteroid Day on June 30 because it’s the anniversary of a 1908 explosion over Siberia that killed reindeer and flattened trees.

Today in science: Kennedy’s moon speech

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.

Today in science: 1st American in space

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.

April 3 is John Burroughs’ birthday

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.”

Today in science: Great Alaska earthquake

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.

Today in science: Discovery of Uranus

It was the first planet found since ancient times. William Herschel noticed it in 1781 during a routine survey of the stars.

Today in science: Yuri Gagarin’s birthday

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.

Today in science: John Glenn

On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the 1st American to orbit Earth and the first American space hero.

Today in science: Spacecraft destroys sundog

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.

Today in science: Great Meteor Procession

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.”

Today in science: Voyager 2 meets Uranus

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.

Today in science: Finding magnetic south

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.

Today in science: Isaac Newton’s birthday

Isaac Newton was born on January 4, 1643. His insights laid a foundation for our modern understanding of celestial motion, light and gravity.

Today in science: 1st spacecraft to moon

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.

Today in science: Wright brothers succeed

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.

Today in science: Edmond Halley

He’s the astronomer for whom Halley’s Comet is named. It was the first comet ever predicted to return.

Today in science: Launch of Sputnik

Sputnik’s unassuming beep ushered in the Space Age. Hear it here.

Today in science: E=mc2

Mass and energy are interchangeable.