astronomy

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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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 telescopic astronomical…
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