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Water vapour is detected on the dwarf planet Ceres

The discovery was made using Herschel space telescope. According to astronomers Ceres contains rock in its interior with a thick mantle of ice that, if melted, would amount to more fresh water than is present on Earth. The mass of the dwarf planet is around 0.00015 Earths. It is the largest body in the asteroid belt.

Last successful contact with spacecraft Pioneer 10

Pioneer 10 is an American space probe, launched in 1972, that completed the first mission to the planet Jupiter. Thereafter, Pioneer 10 became the first of five artificial objects to achieve the escape velocity that will allow them to leave the Solar System. Radio communications were lost with Pioneer at a distance of 12 billion kilometres from Earth.

Lottie Williams is hit in the shoulder by space junk

Oklahoma woman, Lottie Williams, was uninjured when she was hit in the shoulder by a 10 × 13 cm piece of blackened, woven metallic material confirmed as part of the propellant tank of a Delta II rocket owned by U.S. Air Force. As of December 2017, she is the only person ever hit by a piece of space debris.

Robert Tappan Morris, Jr. is convicted of releasing the Internet worm

His program is called the Morris worm. It was one of the first computer worms distributed via the Internet. It was the first to gain significant mainstream media attention. Morris said the worm was designed to gauge the size of the Internet. Even so, Robert Morris became the first person convicted under the then-new Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Apollo 5 launched

It was an unmanned mission. Its main purpose was to test the lunar module, in particular its descent and ascent engine systems, and its ability to separate the ascent and descent stage. The test took place on the low Earth orbit. It was successful. It was the first fire of throttleable rocket engine in space.

American physicist Alan J. Heeger is born

He co-discovered the conductive polymers, organic polymers that conduct electricity. In 1977, Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa discovered high conductivity in oxidized iodine-doped polyacetylen. The most interesting application of the conductive polymers is the manufacture of organic light-emitting diodes.

Information scientist Derek J. de Solla Price is born

Although a physicist by training, he is more known as a science historian and father of scientometrics, the study of measuring and analysing science. He discovered Price’s square root law, which pertains to the relationship between the literature on a subject and the number of authors in the subject area.

Soviet physicist Lev Landau is born

He co-discovered of the density matrix method in quantum mechanics (alongside John von Neumann), the quantum mechanical theory of diamagnetism, the theory of superfluidity, the theory of second-order phase transitions, the Ginzburg–Landau theory of superconductivity, and many other phenomena and theories.

English philosopher and scientist Francis Bacon is born

He was an advocate and practitioner of the scientific method, often called the father of empiricism. Bacon argued for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only upon inductive reasoning and careful observation of events in nature. He died of pneumonia while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat.

Anniversaries of the (in)famous