1977 in science
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The year 1977 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.
Astronomy and space exploration
- March 10 – Rings of Uranus discovered by Kuiper Airborne Observatory measurements of star occultation.
- August 12 – The NASA Space Shuttle Enterprise makes its first test free-flight from the back of a jetliner.
- August 15 – Ohio State University Radio Observatory, working on the SETI project, receives a strong narrowband radio signal from deep space; the event is named the Wow! signal for a notation made by researcher Jerry R. Ehman.
- August 20 – Voyager program: The United States launches the Voyager 2 spacecraft.
- September 5 – Voyager program: Voyager 1 is launched after a brief delay.
- September 20 – Petrozavodsk phenomenon observed in northern skies.
- 2060 Chiron, first of the outer solar system asteroids known as Centaurs, discovered by Charlie Kowal.
- Discovery of the Carina Dwarf galaxy by the UK Schmidt Telescope.
- Thorne–Żytkow objects, a bizarre hybrid of red supergiants and neutron stars, are first theorised.
- The first complete genome is sequenced - a tiny bacterium-infecting virus called Phi X 174, with just 11 genes, and a little over 5000 base pairs.
- Carl Woese and George E. Fox classify archaea as a new, separate domain of life.
- January – The Commodore PET is announced at Winter CES. The first units were delivered to customers in October; back-orders for the popular system lasted for months and in early 1978 Commodore discontinued the 4KB model. The PET was the launch computer for Commodore which would later gain prominence with the Commodore 64 in 1982, the single most produced home computer with over 17 million produced.
- June 5 – The first Apple II home computers (largely designed by Steve Wozniak) go on sale in the U.S., among the first successful mass-produced microcomputers.
- August 3 - The TRS-80 Model I is announced at a press conference in New York City. Radio Shack began sales in September, and despite a sales forecast of only 3,000 units per year, over 10,000 were sold in just one and a half months. Radio Shack would later develop an entire line of computers over the following 20 years.
- RSA algorithm for public-key cryptography is described by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman at MIT.
History of science
- Roy Porter publishes The Making of Geology: Earth Science in Britain 1660-1815.
- January 18 – Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the "Legionnaires' disease".
- July 3 – Dr Raymond Damadian with Larry Minkoff and Michael Goldsmith perform the first magnetic resonance imaging body scan of a human.
- September 11 – The last "wild" infection of smallpox is reported in Somalia.
- September 16 – The first percutaneous coronary intervention on a sentient patient is performed by cardiologist Andreas Gruentzig in Zurich.
- December 16 – The first microelectronic multi-channel cochlear implant, developed by Ingeborg Hochmair and Erwin Hochmair, is implanted.
- August 23 – Gossamer Condor demonstrates that it is the first human-powered aircraft capable of controlled and sustained flight by winning the Kremer prize. It was created by Paul MacCready and Peter Lissaman of AeroVironment and piloted by Bryan Allen at Minter Field in Shafter, California.
- December 1 – Lockheed Have Blue becomes the first stealth aircraft to fly.
- Nobel Prizes
- Turing Award – John Backus
- May – Maryam Mirzakhani, Iranian-born mathematician
- June 3 – Archibald Hill (b. 1886), English physiologist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- June 16 – Wernher von Braun (b. 1912), German-born American physicist and engineer.
- "Sequencing technologies". The Human Genome. Wellcome Trust. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
- Woese, Carl R.; Fox, George E. (1977). "Phylogenetic structure of the prokaryotic domain: The primary kingdoms". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (United States) 74 (11): 5088–90. Bibcode:1977PNAS...74.5088W. doi:10.1073/pnas.74.11.5088. PMC 432104. PMID 270744. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
- Long, Tony (June 5, 2007). "June 5, 1977: From a Little Apple a Mighty Industry Grows". Wired. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2009.
- Reimer, Jeremy (December 14, 2005). "Total share: 30 years of personal computer market share figures". Ars Technica. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Damadian, R.; Goldsmith, M.; Minkoff, L. (1977). "NMR in cancer: XVI. Fonar image of the live human body". Physiological Chemistry and Physics 9: 97–100.
- Hinshaw, D. S.; Bottomley, P. A.; Holland, G. N. (1977). "Radiographic thin-section image of the human wrist by nuclear magnetic resonance". Nature 270 (5639): 722–723. Bibcode:1977Natur.270..722H. doi:10.1038/270722a0. PMID 593393.
- "First MRI and ultrasound scanning". Benjamin S. Beck. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- "The "Indomitable" MRI". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- Waldman, Thomas A. (2003). "Immunotherapy: past, present and future" (PDF). Nature Medicine 9 (3): 269–277. doi:10.1038/nm0303-269. PMID 12612576. Retrieved 10 March 2005.
- "Biographical Sketch of Andreas Gruentzig (1939–1985)". Angioplasty.Org. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
- Meier, Bernhard; Bachmann, Dölf; Lüscher, Thomas F. (February 8, 2003). "25 years of coronary angioplasty: almost a fairy tale". The Lancet 361 (9356): 527. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(03)12470-1. PMID 12583964. Retrieved November 8, 2011.