astronomy

The Mysterious Tunguska Event

The Mysterious Tunguska Event

Impact of the Tunguska Event On June 30, 1908, seismic stations all across Europe registered an enormously powerful shock wave, which originated from a location near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. The so-called Tunguska event ever since has challenged the fantasy of scientists, who related it to the impact of a meteor or comet fragment, or even have developed theories that speak of black holes, anti…
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Charles Messier and the Nebulae

Charles Messier and the Nebulae

Charles Messier(1730 – 1817) On June 26, 1730, French astronomer Charles Messier was born. He is best known for his publication of an astronomical catalogue consisting of nebulae and star clusters that came to be known as the 110 “Messier objects”. The purpose of the catalogue was to help astronomical observers, in particular comet hunters such as himself, distinguish between permanent and transient visually diffuse objects in the sky. Charles Messier was…
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Regiomontanus – Forerunner of Modern Astronomy

Regiomontanus – Forerunner of Modern Astronomy

On June 6, 1436, German mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, translator, instrument maker and Catholic bishop Johannes Müller aus Königsberg was born, better known under the Latinized version of his name as Regiomontanus. His diligent and accurate observations, measurements and recordings paved the way for modern astronomers such as Tycho Brahe [4] and Nikolaus Copernicus.[5] Johanne Müller aus Königsberg grew up in a well situated family, and got in touch with astronomical calculations very early.…
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Surveyor 1 Lands on the Moon

Surveyor 1 Lands on the Moon

On June 2, 1966, spaceprobe Surveyor 1, the first of NASA‘s unmanned Surveyor program, as the first American spaceprobe achieved a soft landing on the moon about half a year after the first Moon landing by the Soviet Union‘s Luna 9 probe.[5,6,7] Already on February 3, 1966, the Luna 9 spacecraft had softly landed on the Moon, which also was the first of any planetary body other than Earth. Its purpose simply…
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Carl Friedrich Gauss – The Prince of Mathematicians

Carl Friedrich Gauss – The Prince of Mathematicians

On April 30, 1777, German mathematician and physical scientist Carl Friedrich Gauss was born. He contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, algebra, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, geophysics, electrostatics, astronomy and optics. He is often referred to as Princeps mathematicorum (Latin, “the Prince of Mathematicians”) as well as “greatest mathematician since antiquity”. “Mathematics is the Queen of Science, and Arithmetic is the Queen of Mathematics” – handed down in Wolfgang Sartorius…
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Nikolaus Copernicus and the Heliocentric Model

Nikolaus Copernicus and the Heliocentric Model

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 – 1543) On February 19, 1473, Renaissance mathematician and astronomer Nikolaus Copernicus, who established the heliocentric model, which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center of the universe, was born. With the publication of his research he started the so-called Copernican Recolution, which started a paradigm shift away from the former Ptolemaic model of the heavens, which postulated the Earth at the center of the galaxy,…
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Giovanni Cassini and the Saturn Moon Rhea

Giovanni Cassini and the Saturn Moon Rhea

Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625 – 1712) On December 23, 1672, Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini discovered Rhea, the 2nd largest of the 62 Saturn moons that are known by today. Giovanni Domenico Cassini studied in Genoa as well as Bologna and was occupied with a professorship at the University of Bologna for studies in astronomy and mathematics. There he taught euclidean geometry and due to the church’s restrictions, ptolemy astronomy. For a…
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Tycho Brahe – The Man with the Golden Nose

Tycho Brahe – The Man with the Golden Nose

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) On December 14, 1546, Danish nobleman and astronomer Tycho Brahe, known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations was born. Tycho Brahe was born into a politically powerful family of noblemen and political advisors. He grew up with his uncle, also a nobleman, who supplied his nephew with a proper education at a Latin school. Tycho began attending university at the age of 12, in favor of…
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Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the Discovery of Pulsars

Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the Discovery of Pulsars

A composite image of the Crab Nebula showing the X-ray (blue), and optical (red) images superimposed. On November 28, 1967, Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Anthony Hewish discovered the first Pulsar, a fast rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. The radiation of a pulsar can only be observed when the beam of emission is pointing toward the Earth, much the way a lighthouse can only be seen when the…
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Sir Arthur Eddington – The Man who Proved Einstein’s General Relativity

Sir Arthur Eddington – The Man who Proved Einstein’s General Relativity

Arthur Eddington (1882 – 1944) On November 22, 1944, British astrophysicist and philosopher Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington passed away. He became famous for his 1919 solar eclipse expedition to Principe, where he conducted astrophysical experiments to give proof for Albert Einstein‘s seminal theory of general relativity. Through hard work and lots of talent, Eddington earned a scholarship to Owens College, where he was able to improve his knowledge in physics. He was…
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