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Happy 400th Anniversary to the Telescope

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400 years ago, Galileo turned his earthbound telescope skyward and gave birth to astronomy. We've gone from this to this in 400 years. And from seeing this to seeing this. (From: CCD IMAGES FROM A GALILEAN TELESCOPE

Probably the most significent contribution that Galileo Galilei made to science was the discovery of the four satellites around Jupiter that are now named in his honor. Galileo first observed the moons of Jupiter on January 7, 1610 through a homemade telescope. He originally thought he saw three stars near Jupiter, strung out in a line through the planet. The next evening, these stars seemed to have moved the wrong way, which caught his attention. Galileo continued to observe the stars and Jupiter for the next week. On January 13, a fourth star appeared. After a few weeks, Galileo had observed that the four stars never left the vicinity of Jupiter and appeared to be carried along with the planet, and that they changed their position with respect to each other and Jupiter. Finally, Galileo determined that what he was observing were not stars, but planetary bodies that were in orbit around Jupiter. This discovery provided evidence in support of the Copernican system and showed that everything did not revolve around the Earth.
The Discovery of the Galilean Satellites

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Thank you to every man who has made it possible for me to enjoy cosmic scenery and the awe of understanding a speck of it. Thank you for fueling a desire to leave no explanation of nature to others who come after me.

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Thank you to every man who has made it possible for me to enjoy cosmic scenery and the awe of understanding a speck of it. Thank you for fueling a desire to leave no explanation of nature to others who come after me.

If you've enjoyed the images from Hubble, wait till you learn and see what The Webb Space Telescope will show us. Due to launch in 2013, it will orbit earh 1,000,000 miles away.

A million miles from Earth, the James Webb Space Telescope will soar through a frigid void, peering back to the time when new stars and developing galaxies first began to illuminate the universe. Scanning the universe for the invisible radiation called infrared, Webb will have to be larger than any space telescope ever placed in orbit, and function at temperatures just tens of degrees above absolute zero — the temperature at which even atoms are frozen into immobility.

With its infrared vision, Webb will be able to see light from the early universe that has been stretched as it travels across the expanding fabric of space. It will be able to see through clouds of dust to the warm, infrared-emitting objects hidden within. Our view of the universe will expand as Webb opens up previously unexplored territory to our gaze.

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A wonderful anniversary that is worthy of celebration.

For those that have not read the book Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos by Alan Hirshfeld, I highly recommend it.

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For those that have not read the book Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos by Alan Hirshfeld, I highly recommend it.

So did Stephen. He reviewed that book for the Second Renaissance Book Catalog.

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Another excellent book (recommended to me by Stephen many years ago) is The Fabric of the Heavens. The book's main focus is to get modern man to appreciate how the modern world view is so different from the pre-Galilean-Copernicus world view. "How did the world look ... to the men who first tried to make sense of the things that happen in the sky above us?" I highly recommend the book.

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I found another interesting link for those who like a lot of videos about people involved in astronomy: 400 years of the telescope.

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I found another interesting link for those who like a lot of videos about people involved in astronomy: 400 years of the telescope.

The telescope's "birthday" is particularly special because of the relation between the birth of science/philosophy and man's desire to understand the heavens. When man desires knowledge, even knowledge of the furthest objects and most immense events, he finds ways to get it. In celebrating the telescope, then, we are also celebrating man's mind, even mankind.

Mindy

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I found another interesting link for those who like a lot of videos about people involved in astronomy: 400 years of the telescope.

The telescope's "birthday" is particularly special because of the relation between the birth of science/philosophy and man's desire to understand the heavens. When man desires knowledge, even knowledge of the furthest objects and most immense events, he finds ways to get it. In celebrating the telescope, then, we are also celebrating man's mind, even mankind.

Mindy

I would just add that we are celebrating man's rational mind: his capacity for reason.

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