April 10 – Some important events on this day
837 👉🏼 Comet 1P/837 F1 (Halley) approaches within 0.0334 AUs of Earth 💫
1407 👉🏼 Lama Deshin Shekpa visits the Ming Dynasty capital at Nanjing and is awarded the title Great Treasure Prince of Dharma
1500 👉🏼 France captures duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan. Patron of Leonardo da Vinci and other artists, Ludovico Sforza presided over the final and most productive stage of the Milanese Renaissance.
1516 👉🏼 1st Jewish ghetto established: Venice compels Jews to live in a specific area
1633 👉🏼 Thomas Johnson, “the father of British field botany”, was the first man to sell bananas in England. 🍌
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1815 👉🏼 Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies experiences a cataclysmic eruption, one of the most powerful in history, killing around 71,000 people, causes global volcanic winter.
It was the largest eruption ever witnessed. Its Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) was 7, the only known eruption on that scale since the eruption of Lake Taupo in about 180 AD. The eruption blew 150 cubic km into the atmosphere, killing 10,000 people initially. The eruptions’ column was so high it reached the stratosphere at an altitude of more than 43 kilometres.
The effects were felt worldwide, and 1816 was “the year without a summer”. Crops failed across Asia and up to 90,000 people probably died of famine. It was the second-coldest year in the Northern Hemisphere since 1400 and parts of North America experienced frost and snow in June and July. 🌋
1825 👉🏼 1st hotel in Hawaii opens.
William K. Warren built the Warren House, known locally as Major Warren’s Hotel, that was also Hawaii’s first restaurant. 🌺
1858 👉🏼 “Big Ben”, a 13.76 tonne bell, is recast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry
1912 👉🏼 RMS Titanic sets sail from Southampton for her maiden (and final) voyage 🚢
1938 👉🏼 Austria becomes a state of Germany
1942 👉🏼 Cigarettes & candy rationed in Holland 🇳🇱
1972 👉🏼 US, USSR & 70 other nations agree to ban biological weapons
1996 👉🏼 Fastest wind speed ever recorded (not a tornado) 408 km/h (220 kn; 253 mph; 113 m/s) during tropical cyclone Olivia on Barrow Island, Australia 🌪
1998 👉🏼 The Good Friday/Belfast Agreement for Northern Ireland is signed by the British and Irish governments
2019 👉🏼 First-ever photo of a black hole announced, taken by The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration in 2017 in galaxy M87, 6.5 billion times the mass of earth, 55 million light-years away.
A “black hole” is a region of spacetime where the gravitational force is so strong that nothing – including light – can escape its pull. The idea of these objects had been posited theoretically as far back as the 18th century. Albert Einstein did much to establish the existence of black holes in theory with his general theory of relativity, but he himself had his doubts as the concept was so bizarre.
Another scientist who spent much of his career devoted to black holes was Stephen Hawking, who described a theory that black holes emit radiation. He would unfortunately pass away a year before the first photo of a black hole, above, was released.
This photo was taken by the Event Horizon Telescope, which is actually a series of telescope arrays. The black hole is in the galaxy Messier 87, and the hole is some 7 billion times the mass of the Sun. Black holes are thought to exist at the center of many galaxies, including our own.