Edwin Hubble was born on this day in 1889. He would go on to become an accomplished astronomer who made crucial contributions to extra-galactic astronomy and cosmology. He showed that galaxies further from Earth were receding away from us faster than closer galaxies, which implied that our universe is expanding.
The Hubble Space Telescope was named in his honor.
On this day in 1970 the Soviet spacecraft Luna 16 was launched. It was the first robotic probe to successfully land on the moon and return lunar soil samples to Earth. Five previous attempts to accomplish the task had failed. This was also the date in 1962 when U.S. President John F Kennedy gave his famous speech announcing that the United States would attempt to land humans on the moon before the end of the decade.
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
Galileo was all too familiar with what can happen when reason and evidence are suppressed by authorities who want to control our perceptions of truth. Science cannot truly flourish and real progress cannot be made unless such authorities are challenged when they stand in the way. This design celebrating Galileo’s achievements and his rebellious nature is one of many available in our online store. Everything is now on sale to commemorate the anniversary of his sentencing —> http://punkrockscientist.storenvy.com/
And if you’d like to learn more about Galileo’s discoveries and his scientific drawings (some of which are featured in this design) then check out this post.
Science News! Let’s take a look at some of the important developments in science this week…
First, gravitational waves have been detected a second time by an international team of physicists and astronomers. These type of waves were predicted to exist by Einstein’s general theory of relativity but it was thought they were too weak to ever be measured. As with the first detection these waves were caused by the tight orbit of two black holes. Read more from Phys.org here.
Second, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere in Antarctica has reached 400 parts per million for the first time in 4 million years. This means that even remote regions are catching up with the increasing CO2 levels of more populated areas. Read more from Scientific American here.
Third, a study has found 15 reefs among 2,500 studied across the world that are not dying as quickly as predicted. These spots show some similarities in how they are being managed and conserved that could help shed light on how to manage other reefs that are not fairing as well. Read more from NPR here.