Zakharov's balloon flight. Artwork showing the first meteorological balloon research flight in Russia, made on 30 June 1804 from St Petersburg. The two balloonists were the Russian chemist Yakov Dmitrievich Zakharov (1765-1836), member of the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences, and the Belgian balloonist the self-styled Professor Robertson (Etienne-Gaspard Robert, 1763-1837). The flight lasted 3 hours and 45 minutes, reaching a height of 2550 metres. Their observations included the effect of altitude on animals (bird in cage at upper left). Balloons of this era used hydrogen from steam passed over hot iron. Artwork photographed in 1968.
Science Photo Library was founded in 1981 by Michael Marten, one of the authors of "Worlds Within Worlds", a book exploring different ways to observe the universe - from electron micrographs, to images of earthrise taken from the Apollo spacecraft. When Marten started receiving requests for the beautiful images in the book, he had an idea of setting up Science Photo Library.
Since then, Science Photo Library has continued to work alongside world acclaimed photographers and the leading science and medical experts to provide a central source of the best science and specialist imagery available. Although the collection started with scientific images, it has grown to encompass all aspects of science and their impact on everyday life.
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