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Sunday, March 7, 2010

This Day in Science History - March 7 - John Herschel

March 7th is the English astronomer, Sir John Frederick William Herschel's birthday. He was one of the better known English scientists of the time and made several contributions to astronomy. One contribution he was credited for was the discovery of life on the Moon.

Starting on August 25, 1835, six articles were published by the New York Sun newspaper describing Herschel's observation of Moon creatures such as unicorns, bipedal beavers and bat-winged humanoids. The Great Moon Hoax was written by Richard A. Locke to increase circulation for the New York Sun. It wasn't exposed as a hoax for two weeks and no retraction was ever made. Herschel was initially amused by the stories, but grew tired of trying to explain to people he had nothing to do with it or denying the observations to people who believed the hoax.

Find out what else occurred on this day in science history.

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