The Discovery of the Coelacanth

On this day in 1938 a museum curator discovered an unusual fish among the catch of a fisherman off the South African coast. The fish was a coelacanth, believed to have been extinct for millions of years. Since then more living specimens have been found, primarily along the east African coast. Learn more about coelacanths and their important place in our own evolutionary history in this video –> https://youtu.be/ujKL1pUHDfo

Latimeria chalumnae

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The Science of the International Space Station

On this day in 2000, the Expedition 1 crew arrived at the International Space Station (ISS), marking the beginning of uninterrupted human presence in the orbiting laboratory. Since then hundreds of people have visited the station from many countries, taking part in a range of scientific investigations. Would you like to visit the ISS? Check out this video to learn about a few of the major discoveries made using the ISS –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5ceKXK6Kdk
Astronaut in ISS
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The Biosphere 2 Experiment

On this day in 1991 eight people entered the Biosphere 2 and would remain inside for two years. The system was designed to be a self sufficient replica of the Earth itself and had an artificial rain forest, ocean with coral reef, mangrove wetlands, savannah, fog desert, agricultural system, and human habitat. Testing did not go well and many issues arose including inadequate food and oxygen, die offs of animals and plants, and squabbling among the participants.

The University of Arizona now owns the structure and it continues to be used for research despite its past failures. Testing of such enclosed systems could be useful in learning how humans could live on other planets and recreate an earth-like environment for habitation, as well as testing how different factors may effect earth’s ecosystems without harming the systems themselves.

Would you consider living in a biosphere for an extended period of time?

The Biosphere 2
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Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol

On this day in 1987 many nations of the world came together and agreed to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty intended to stop the depletion of the planet’s ozone layer. The hole in our ozone layer was growing due to chemicals like CFCs, and if something hadn’t been done we would have faced disastrous consequences. Our ozone layer is slowly recovering thanks to global efforts that were quickly taken once scientists had confirmed the cause of the issue. In the case of global warming, consensus has been much more difficult to reach. International efforts have been far less coordinated on this issue and action has been slow in coming. Why do you think we are treating the threat of global warming differently than that of ozone depletion?

montreal protocol

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Viking 2 Spacecraft Lander – On This Day in 1976

On this day in 1976 the Viking 2 spacecraft lander touched down on Mars and began sending back photos of the red planet to earth. The lander operated on the surface for 1316 days testing soil and searching for life. The orbiter returned almost 16,000 images to earth before it broke down.

Learn more about the Viking missions here –> http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/viking

Viking 2 Mars Landscape

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Science Quote – Charles Darwin on Ignorance and Science

Charles Darwin Quote on Science and Ignorance | Punk Rock Scientist - Science T-Shirts

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Anniversary of Darwin’s Invitation to the Voyage of the Beagle

On this day in 1831 Charles Darwin received letters inviting him to join the voyage of the H.M.S Beagle as a naturalist. Darwin wanted to agree right away, but his father and sisters were totally against the idea. With the help of Darwin’s uncle Josiah his father was persuaded to allow him to go, and the rest is history!

Charles Darwin

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Anniversary of the First Return of Live Animals from Orbit!

On this day in 1960 the Soviet Korabl-Sputnik 2 spacecraft became the first to take animals into orbit and bring them back alive. On board were two stray dogs, Belka and Strelka, 40 mice, and two rats.

Sputnik 5 Dogs

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How Many Kinds of Animals Have We Sent Into Space?

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the first return of live animals from orbit.

How many different kinds of animals have we sent to space?

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Anniversary of the Bombing of Nagasaki

On this day in 1945, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb in Japan on the city of Nagasaki. Find out more about the Manhattan Project and the science behind this event –> https://youtu.be/4IqKdf6In_k

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - 65th Anniversary

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