astronomy

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.…
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…
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…
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.…
Edmond Halley and his famous Comet

Edmond Halley and his famous Comet

Sir Edmond Halley (1656-1742)©Klaus-Dieter Keller, wikipedia On November 8, 1656, Sir Edmond Halley was born. The astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist, was best known for computing the orbit of the eponymous Halley’s Comet. Edmond Halley was born in England to the family of a wealthy soap maker. Therefore, Halley was able to receive a proper education and started studying at Queen’s College in Oxford, where he already published his…
The Arecibo Radio Telescope – Looking for Extraterrestrial Signals

The Arecibo Radio Telescope – Looking for Extraterrestrial Signals

The Arecibo radio telescope is the largest single-dish telescope in the world. On November 1, 1963, the Arecibo radio telescope, by that time the earth’s largest radio telescope, has been inaugurated in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. It is operated by the company SRI International under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation and is also called the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, although “NAIC” refers to both the observatory and the…
Eris – The Planet of Discord

Eris – The Planet of Discord

On October 21, 2003, a photograph of the nocturnal sky was taken, where almost 2 years later, in January 2005, evidence was raised that there might be a 10th planet at the borders of our solar system: Eris, located in the Kuiper Belt and named after the Greek godess of discord. And discord it should be, because Eris as a planet is rather small and astronomers were arguing, whether it…
Much More Powerful Than Expected – Kepler’s Supernova

Much More Powerful Than Expected – Kepler’s Supernova

X-ray, Optical and Infrared Composite of Kepler’s Supernova Remnant On October 17, 1604, the famous German astronomer Johannes Kepler started his observations of the 1604 supernova, named after him as Kepler’s Supernova or Kepler’s Star. Special about this ‘new’ star was it being the very last observed supernova in our own galaxy, the milkyway. The supernova was first observed on October 9, 1604, a few days before Kepler really looked…
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…
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