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On This Day

  • 5-24-997

    Longitude determined by eclipse. Al-Biruni in Kath and Abu'l-Wafa in Baghdad simultaneously watched a lunar eclipse. The time obtained by this prearranged cooperation allowed them to determine the difference in longitude between the cities.

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    Abu'l Rayhan al-Biruni
    Muhammad Abu'l Wafa al-Buzjani
  • 5-24-1543

    Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, having just published his De revolutionibus, which placed the sun at the center at the universe with the earth rotating around it, died in Frauenburg, Poland on this day.

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    Nicolaus Copernicus
  • 5-24-1794

    William Whewell, who coined the term "scientist" and, in 1824, laid the foundation of mathematical crystallography, was born in Lancashire, England, on this day.

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    William Whewell
  • 5-24-1973

    Pi computed to one million decimal places. French mathematicians Jean Guilloud and Martine Bouyer computed pi on a CDC 7600 computer to one million decimal places, the greatest accuracy to date.

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    Historic Calculations of Pi
    History of Pi