2002 — The Cosmic Background Imager (CBI) in Chile obtained images of the cosmic microwave background radiation with the highest angular resolution of 4 arc minutes. It also obtained the anisotropy spectrum at high-resolution not covered before up to l ~ 3000. It found a slight excess in power at high-resolution (l > 2500) not yet completely explained, the so-called "CBI-excess".
Genome sequence of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana
Astronomy and space exploration
February 19 - NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.
May 26 - The Mars Odyssey finds signs of huge water ice deposits on the planet Mars.
June 4 - Quaoar is discovered.
June 10 - Annular solar eclipse.
December 4 - Total solar eclipse.
April 18 - New order of insects, Mantophasmatodea, announced.
Publication of Systema Porifera: a guide to the classification of sponges edited by John N. A. Hooper and Rob W. M. Van Soest.
March 14 - Prof. Kevin Warwick has part of his nervous system experimentally linked to a computer.
January 17 - Eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people.
August 6 - Polynomial-time primality test published.
November 12 - Grigori Perelman posts the first of a series of eprints to the arXiv, in which he proves the century old Poincaré conjecture.
November - Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic begins in Guangdong Province of China.
December 19 - Clozapine is the first drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for reducing the risk of suicidal behaviour.
Claims regarding bubble fusion, in which a table-top apparatus is reported as producing small-scale fusion in a liquid undergoing acoustic cavitation are published.
January 7- The iMac G4 is introduced by Apple, Inc., as the next generation iMac.
June 10 - First direct electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans carried out by Kevin Warwick at the University of Reading.
November 4 - A Tactical high energy laser prototype shoots down an incoming artillery shell.
January 8 - Aleksandr Mikhailovich Prokhorov (b. 1916), physicist.
February 6 - Max Perutz (b. 1914), biologist.
February 10 - Harold Furth (b. 1930), expert in plasma physics and nuclear fusion.
March 3 - Roy Porter (b. 1946), medical historian.
April 18 - Thor Heyerdahl (b. 1914), explorer, led the Kon-Tiki expedition.
May 20 - Stephen Jay Gould (b. 1941), paleontologist/evolutionist.
June 20 - Erwin Chargaff (b. 1905), biochemist.
June 29 - Ole-Johan Dahl (b. 1931), computer scientist, invented concepts in object-oriented programming.
July 4 - Laurent Schwartz (b. 1915), mathematician.
August 6 - Edsger Dijkstra (b. 1930), computer scientist.
August 31 - George Porter (b. 1920), Nobel laureate in chemistry.
September 21 - Robert Lull Forward (b. 1932), science fiction author and physicist.
October 18 - Nikolai Rukavishnikov (b. 1932), cosmonaut.
November 2 - Charles Sheffield (b. 1935), science fiction author and physicist.
^ Kluwer/Plenum (New York) ISBN 0-306-47260-0 (2 vols.)
^ Berry, Lorraine (2003). "Soaking up the limelight". Nature 421 (6925): 791. doi:10.1038/421791a. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
^ Pawlik, Joseph (2003-03-21). "Invertebrate Zoology: Sorting Sponges: a review". Science 299: 1846b. doi:10.1126/science.1082916. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
^ Chambers, Susan (2003). "Systema Porifera". Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 13: 461-2. doi:10.1002/aqc.593. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
^ "Cyborg study draws fire". BBC News. 2002-03-22. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
^ "Summary of probable SARS cases with onset of illness from 1 November 2002 to 31 July 2003". World Health Organization. 2004. Retrieved 2011-06-24.
12 February 2002 discovery of 42354 Kindleberger
15 April 2002 discovery of 43669 Winterthur
4 June 2002 discovery of 50000 Quaoar
2002 Death of Archer Martin
Riccardo Giacconi "for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, which have led to the discovery of cosmic X-ray sources"
Chemistry "for the development of methods for identification and structure analyses of biological macromolecules" to John Bennett Fenn and Koichi Tanaka "for their development of soft desorption ionisation methods for mass spectrometric analyses of biological macromolecules" and to Kurt Wüthrich "for his development of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for determining the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules in solution"
Physiology or Medicine to Sydney Brenner, H. Robert Horvitz and John E. Sulston "for their discoveries concerning 'genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death'"
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