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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932029 01/07/20 10:45 AM
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On this day in 1610 - January 7th - Galileo wrote the first letter in which he described his observations of the Moon through a telescope.

In his time the Moon was assumed to be a perfectly smooth sphere. However Galileo saw that the surface was uneven with mountains, plains and valleys.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932030 01/07/20 10:47 AM
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On this day in 1610 - January 7th - Galileo first saw three of Jupiter's moons.

The three objects he saw in his telescope are now known as Callisto, Io and Europa, three of the four Galilean moons.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932034 01/08/20 09:44 AM
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On this day in 1942 - January 8th - English theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was born.

For thirty years he was the Lucasian Professor at the University of Cambridge, a prestigious post once held by Isaac Newton. Hawking also wrote books on cosmology for the general public, the most famous of which was A Brief History of Time. He was most closely with his work on black holes.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932035 01/08/20 09:46 AM
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On this day in 1587 - January 8th - Johannes Fabricius was born.

Fabricius was a German/Frisian astronomer, eldest son of David Fabricius who was also an astronomer. In their solar observing, they discovered sunspots about the same time as, and independently of, Galileo.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932042 01/09/20 11:46 AM
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On this day in 1839 - January 9th - Thomas Henderson published his determination of the distance to Alpha Centauri.

Henderson had actually been the first person to calculate the distance to a fixed star by using stellar parallax. However he had delayed publishing his results, and the credit for being first went elsewhere.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932048 01/10/20 10:39 AM
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On this day in 1946 - January 10th - the US Army Signal Corps had the first successful echo detection of a radar signal bounced off the Moon.

It was part of the first experiment in radar astronomy, a technique used decades later to map the planet Venus.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932054 01/11/20 10:20 AM
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On this day in 1787 - January 11th - William Herschel discovered the Uranian moons Oberon and Titania.

It would be almost five decades after Titania and Oberon were discovered that an astronomer other than Herschel would observe them.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932057 01/12/20 10:15 AM
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On this day in 1907 - January 12th - Sergei Korolev was born.

Korolev was the mastermind of the Soviet space program, and a state secret referred to, if at all, as the Chief Designer.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932058 01/12/20 10:19 AM
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On this day in 2005 - January 12th - NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft was launched.

Deep Impact was the first space mission to study the interior composition of a comet.


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Re: 2020: On this day . . . [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932060 01/13/20 10:40 AM
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On this day in 1610 - January 13th - Galileo discovered a fourth satellite of Jupiter.

This was the moon we now know as Ganymede, the biggest moon in the Solar System.


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