A Space and Astronomy Timeline
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The Second Millennium (1001 - 2000AD)
18th Century (1701 - 1800)
1704: English mathematician and scientist Isaac Newton presents his theory of optics.
1705: English astronomer Edmond Halley identifies the comet that later will be named after him. Halley applied Newton's laws of motion to predict correctly the period of his comet.
1720: Halley is appointed Astronomer Royal at Greenwich Royal Observatory.
1729: English astronomer James Bradley discovers the aberration of light.
1729: Newton's Principia Mathematica, is translated into English from Latin.
1742: James Bradley is Astronomer Royal at Greenwich Royal Observatory.
1748: James Bradley discovers Earth's nutation.
1749: A transit room is built at Greenwich Royal Observatory, home of Bradley's Greenwich Meridian.
1752: American public official, writer, scientist and printer Benjamin Franklin shows that lightning is electricity. His numerous innovations include the lightning rod, bifocal spectacles and a stove. Franklin helped draft the U.S. Constitution.
1752: Some 170 years after Pope Gregory XIII replaced the old Julian calendar with the new Gregorian calendar, Britain adopts the Gregorian calendar and eleven days are lost. The Gregorian solar calendar will go into use throughout most of the world.
1758: Halley's Comet appears.
1760: The Industrial Revolution begins in England.
1781: William Herschel discovers Uranus, the first new planet to be found since prehistory. The Herschel family of British astronomers includes William Herschel who discovered Uranus and was astronomer to King George III. William cataloged more than 800 double stars and 2,500 nebulae. His sister Caroline Herschel assisted in his work and published a star catalog. His son John Frederick William Herschel augmented William's work with the discovery of 525 nebulae and conducted notable research on light, photography and astrophysics.
1788: French mathematician and astronomer Pierre Simon de Laplace, to be remembered in future years for his theory of a nebular origin of the Solar System and his investigations into gravity and the stability of planetary motion, publishes Laws of the Planetary System.
1795: Hutton starts scientific geology.
1800: William Herschel discovers infrared rays.
1800: Italian physicist Alessandro Volta produces electricity and invents the battery, the first source of current, advancing the study of electricity and magnetism. The volt is named in his honor.
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