AnankeUsing a telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory, astronomer Seth Nicholson discovers Ananke, a tiny moon of Jupiter orbiting the huge planet at an average distance of 21 million miles and at a high inclination relative to Jupiter’s equator. Ananke is most likely a captured asteroid or the remnant of a captured asteroid, and other small Jovian moons in the same orbit may be other pieces of the captured (and shredded) body. Ananke is the first Jovian moon discovered in nearly two decades, and it will be over two more decades before another is found.

Weather Radio: all weather, all the time

Weather RadioThe U.S. Weather bureau signs on radio station KWO35, located at New York’s La Guardia Airport, broadcasting weather forecasts primarily for the benefit of pilots. Not targeted for public consumption, the experimental station broadcasts for several hours a day at a frequency of 162.55Mhz, outside of the spectrum reserved for FM radio. A similar station on the same frequency will later sign on at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport in 1953, again mainly for the consumption of airline pilots. Marine forecasts are added later, and the system helps the Weather Bureau prevent its local forecasters from being overwhelmed by requests for “personalized” weather reports for pilots. These two stations are the precursor for the nationwide weather radio network operated by the Weather Bureau’s successor agency, the National Weather Service.


CONELRADAs a response to early Soviet atomic weapon tests, President Truman orders the initiation of the nationwide CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) system, designed to limit the number of actively broadcasting radio stations whose signals could be used by enemy bombers to home in on and attack population centers. Designated AM radio stations would pass along emergency signals to smaller stations downstream, which would then begin a complex cycle of broadcasting emergency information to the public and then shutting down to allow another station to broadcast the same information; it is hoped that the rapidly shifting radio signals will prevent an invading enemy from finding viable targets. With its operating strategy assuming nuclear-armed Soviet bombers, CONELRAD will be rendered obsolete by the rise of the intercontinental ballistic missile by the end of the decade, and will be replaced by the Emergency Broadcast system in 1963.