Daniela Breitman

Edmond Halley’s magnificent prediction

Born on today’s date in the year 1656, English astronomer and mathematician Edmond Halley was the first to predict the return of a comet. Today, Halley’s Comet – the most famous of all comets – bears his name.

Today in science: Sally Ride in space

She was the 1st American woman in space, eventually flying on 2 Space Shuttle missions. She played a key role in the investigation of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. And she inspired people.

Today in science: Comet Hale-Bopp

The last widely seen comet for the Northern Hemisphere was Hale-Bopp in 1996-97. Did you see it?

Today in science: Galileo’s birthday

Happy 455th birthday to one of the first modern scientists, Galileo. With the aid of an early telescope, he helped remove Earth from the center of the universe.

Today in science: Voyager 2 met 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: Launch of Explorer 1

Today is the 60th anniversary of the United States’ 1st step into space with its Explorer 1 satellite. The launch helped fuel the space race and led to the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts.

Today in science: Carl Sagan’s birthday

For many, for decades, Carl Sagan’s name was synonymous with astronomy.

Gravitational anomaly seen in lab crystal

An exotic effect in particle physics, theorized to occur in immense gravitational fields — near a black hole, or in conditions just after the Big Bang — has been seen in laboratory crystal.

Maryam Mirzakhani, mathematician, dies at 40

She was an outstanding mathematician and first woman to receive the prestigious Fields Medal. Maryam Mirzakhani died on July 14 after a several-year battle with breast cancer.

Wow! signal explained after 40 years?

New evidence suggests the well-known Wow! signal from 1977 – long thought by some to be a sign of extraterrestrial life – was in fact generated by a passing comet.