astronomy

Galileo Galilei and his Telescope

Galileo Galilei and his Telescope

Galileo Galilei showing the Doge of Venice how to use the telescope,Fresco at Villa Andrea Ponti, Varese, 1858 On August 25, 1609, Galileo Galilei publicly demonstrated his newly built telescope for the first time to Venetian lawmakers. Besides its astronomical value Galileo’s telescope was also a profitable sideline for him selling telescopes to merchants who found them useful both at sea and as items of trade. Galileo published his initial…
Shoemaker-Levy 9 hits Jupiter

Shoemaker-Levy 9 hits Jupiter

On July 22, 1994, the last parts of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with the largest planet within our solar system, Jupiter. This was the first time, that an extraterrestrial collision of two objects could be directly observed. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 approaching Jupiter Shoemaker-Levy 9 got its name from the US-American scientists Eugene Shoemaker, his wive Carolyn, and David Levy, it was the 9th periodic comet to be discovered. The…
To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before – Voyager 2

To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before – Voyager 2

Jupiter with the great red spot shot from Voyager 1© NASA/CalTech/JPL On July 9, 1979 the interplanetary spacecraft Voyager 2 passed Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System. The space probe had been launched by NASA on August 20, 1977 to study the outer Solar System and eventually to push forward into interstellar space. Until today,  operating for more than 30 years the spacecraft still receives routine commands and…
The Supernova of 1054

The Supernova of 1054

  On July 4, 1054, Chinese astronomers observed a new star in the constellation of Taurus, which later turned out to be a supernova. China was able to contribute to the developments in the science of astronomy critically. In their philosophy, the harmony between earth, the sky and humankind were essential, and therefore any disturbance to that balance had to be predicted. This believe caused the astronomers of the historical China…
Neptune, Oceanos, or ‘Le Verrier’ – How to name a new planet?

Neptune, Oceanos, or ‘Le Verrier’ – How to name a new planet?

Neptune from Voyager 2 in 1989(© NASA) On June 9, 1812, German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle was born. Also in Germany hardly anybody might know Galle today. Well, maybe except most astronomers, who will certainly know him, because he has discovered the planet Neptune. No, he didn’t do it all by himself… Actually, Galle had sent a copy of his PhD thesis, in which he discussed Ole Rømer’s observation of…
And Kepler Has His Own Opera – Kepler’s 3rd Planetary Law

And Kepler Has His Own Opera – Kepler’s 3rd Planetary Law

Kepler’s Model of the Solar System from Mysterium Cosmographicum (1600)  On May 15, 1618, famous astronomer Johannes Kepler discovered the 3rd and also last of his planetary laws, and concluded the general revolution of our celestial world that started with Nikolaus Kopernikus about 100 years earlier. And that made him rather popular as he still is today. Did you know that there is a Kepler crater on the Moon, a Kepler crater…
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