. On this day in 1915 – September 14th – John Lowry Dobson was born in Beijing, China.
The American amateur astronomer, who grew up in the San Francisco area, was a popularizer of astronomy. He's best known for having designed and promoted a quality telescope that could be made using inexpensive, readily available materials. The Dobsonian telescope meant that amateur astronomers could afford a portable instrument of a size and aperture that would otherwise be beyond their means.
. On this day in 1764 – September 17th – English astronomer John Goodricke was born in Groningen in the Netherlands.
An infection as an infant rendered him deaf and unable to speak. However he overcame the handicaps and became a highly proficient astronomical observer and pioneering investigator of variable stars. He theorized that the variable star Algol was a binary star whose variability was due to a dark companion periodically eclipsing it.
. On this day in 1857 – September 17th – Russian rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was born in Izhevskoye, Russia.
Tsiolkovsky is considered one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics. Long before the Wright brothers' first plane flew 120 feet, he was thinking space travel. And when it was still science fiction to most people, he was developing the theory, and doing the math, for multistage rockets.
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