A Space and Astronomy Timeline
| Early 20th
| Late 20th
The Second Millennium (1001 - 2000AD)
19th Century (1801 - 1900)
1803: Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius discovers cerium.
1808: British chemist John Dalton sets forth the atomic theory of matter. His study of the properties of gases led to his atomic theory. The unit of atomic mass known as dalton or amu would be named later in his honor.
1820: Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted connects electricity with magnetism. The oersted, a unit of magnetic intensity, was named later in his honor.
1823-25: Berzelius isolates silicon and discovers zirconium and titanium.
1826: Joseph-Nicephore Niepce takes the world's first photograph.
He uses a camera obscura to project an image onto light-sensitive paper, creating the first photographic camera. The 800 year old camera obscura is improved with lenses and mirrors.
1828: Berzelius publishes a table of atomic weights.
1831: British physicist and chemist Michael Faraday demonstrates electromagnetic induction. He proposes the field theory later developed by Maxwell and Einstein. The faraday, a quantity of electricity, was named for him.
1833: The Time Ball is installed at Greenwich Royal Observatory.
1834: British mathematician Charles Babbage invents his analytical engine, precursor of the 20th century digital computer.
1838: The American portraitist whose subjects include Lafayette, Samuel Finley Breese Morse refines his invention of the telegraph and develops the telegraphic code that bears his name. He will patent the telegraph in 1844.
1851: The first telegraphic cable is laid under the English Channel prompting a need for international time.
1852: Charles Shepherd builds the master clock at Greenwich Royal Observatory to distribute pulses nationally.
1859: Spectroscopy, the study of optical spectra, reveals the chemical composition of stars.
1859: British naturalist Charles Robert Darwin publishes The Origin of Species, revolutionizing the study of biology with his theory of evolution based on natural selection.
1859: Lenoir builds the first practical internal-combustion engine.
1864: British physicist James Clerk Maxwell's equations describe electromagnetism., The maxwell, a unit of magnetic flux, is named for him.
1869: Russian chemist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleyev publishes the first periodic table of elements.
1871: Darwin publishes The Descent of Man .
1876: Scottish-born American inventor Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates the telephone, the first electrical transmission of speech.
1877: American inventor Thomas Alva Edison invents the microphone. Later, he patents more than a thousand inventions.
1878: Edison invents the phonograph.
1879: Edison invents the incandescent lamp.
1881: Edison installs the world's first central electric power plant in New York City.
1880: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is adopted as legal time in Britain.
1882: The transit of Venus and a Sun-grazing comet are recorded on photographic plates.
1883: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is adopted in the United States.
1884: The International Meridian Conference in Washington, D.C., recognizes Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and establishes the prime meridian at Greenwich, England.
1890: American astronomer and pioneer in photography Edward Emerson Barnard makes a wide-angle photograph of our Milky Way galaxy and comets.
1891: American astrophysicist George Ellery Hale invents the spectroheliograph.
1892: Barnard discovers Jupiter's fifth satellite.
1895: German physicist Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen discovers x-rays and developes x-ray photography, revolutionizing medical diagnosis and, later, astronomy. He will win a Nobel Prize in 1901. The roentgen, a unit of radiation exposure, is named in his honor.
1895: Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi sends first wireless signals. He will share the 1909 Nobel Prize in physics.
1898: Polish-born French chemist Marie Curie and her husband French chemist Pierre discover radium and polonium. Marie's original names was Manja Skoodowska. Marie and Pierre will share a 1903 Nobel Prize with Antoine Henri Becquerel for fundamental research on radioactivity in nuclear physics. In 1911 Marie will win a second Nobel Prize for her discovery and study of radium and polonium. The curie, a unit of radioactivity, is named in honor of Marie. The Becquerel family of French physicists, includes Antoine Henri's granfather, Antoine Cesar, one of the first investigators of electrochemistry, and Antoine Henri's father, Alexandre Edmond, noted for his research on phosphorescence and spectroscopy.
1899: The world's most powerful telescope is the 40-in. refractor founded by George Hale at the University of Chicago's Yerkes Observatory in southern Wisconsin.
| Early 20th
| Late 20th
Top of this Page
20th Century in Space
20th Century Scientists
© 2000 Space Today Online