Péter Lékó became the world’s youngest Chess Grand Master in 1994. Born in Yugoslavia, he was fourteen (a record at the time) when he won the title.
First discovery of extrasolar planets (now called exoplanets) was announced in 1994. As of late January 2020, NASA announced that data from the Kepler Space Observatory and other instruments had located 4,341 new exoplanets. Scientists have observed another 4,000 exoplanets yet to be confirmed. Children could learn more at the NASA site, especially the Interactives Tab, at: http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/.
Borge Ousland, a Norwegian explorer, became the first person to trek to the North Pole solo in 1994. He left Cape Atkticheskiy, Siberia, on March 2, 1994. He averaged about 19 miles a day over the 630-mile trip.
Top quark was discovered in 1994. This was the last of the six subatomic particles to be found. The other quarks are the bottom quark, strange quark, charm quark, up quark, and down quark. Combinations of these quarks form protons and neutrons. Children could learn more at: Quarks.
Atlantis, an American shuttle spacecraft, was launched in 1989. It successfully deployed Magellan, which traveled to Venus to map the planet’s surface. Magellan encountered Venus on August 10, 1990 and began taking pictures. It continued to photograph the planet’s surface until October 13, 1994.
Chunnel, the tunnel between the United Kingdom and France, opened in 1994. It is 31 miles long, 23 of those miles under water. Digging beneath the English Channel began in 1988. Today about 18 million people travel on trains through the Chunnel each year. Children could learn more at a very interesting site: http://www.eurotunnel.com/build/.
Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as president of South Africa in 1994. The anti-apartheid icon served until 1999 and died in 2013. Children can learn more at: Nelson Mandela.
Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 began crashing into Jupiter in 1994. The comet was first observed by Carolyn and Eugene M. Shoemaker and David Levy on March 24, 1993. The comet had already broken apart into about 21 pieces, and scientists observed the explosions through telescopes, including the Hubble telescope. The last piece of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter on July 22, 1994. Scientists learned a great deal about Jupiter because the impacts caused ripples traveling at 260 miles per second on the planet’s surface.