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 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 1
Galileo's near missPage 1 of 1    
Hey folks. Well, I thought given some of the silliness happening in these threads that I'd throw in something a little more sublime. That being Galileo's near miss.

Of course, we're all familiar (I hope) that Galileo was the first to you the telescope for astronomy and 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy in recognition of this achievement.

However, what many don't realize is that while Galileo was observations about Jupiter and its relationship to its moons in 1612 - what would later be used as proof that not all heavenly bodies circled Earth - he missed discovering Neptune. A "star" which he labeled "fixa" to mean a permanent and unchanging object was actually the eighth planet.

I mention it now because, quite by coincidence, Jupiter and Neptune are once again sharing the sky in close quarters in the constellation of Capricornus. If it's clear where you are, look southeast after midnight and look for the bright "star." That's Jupiter. Now, over top are two "stars." One is an actual star an the third is Neptune.

Check it out and you'll share a vision of one of history's most important contributors to science.
 membrane
Joined: 8/12/2008
Msg: 2
Galileo's near miss
Posted: 7/11/2009 5:42:51 PM
cool, for sure, but i dont think galileo was the firth to use a telescope... maybe in modern times, but the aztects have star maps more presise than what we can see in the naked eye, and they have glifs shoing people looking threw telescopic devices towards the heavens, and i was told theres a place in indea that is along the same idea, but i do respect galileo, for he risked life and limb for what he beleived to be the thruth, dispite it was against the church, "so called word of god" the sumarians, the people credited to the invention of the wheel, agruculter and wrighting, the sumarian have a detaled map of the sky, but however it contains 10 planets, instead of 9, or i guess since the demotion of pluto from planet to moon, 8.... but make you wonder where is the 10th planet... look for that, hahaha, also in the south sky, soo ive been told..... you might be able to tell me better, but are the planet all soposed to line up some time in the near future, thats why we have been seeing unusual placements of the planets in the last few years?and have you ever wonderd what caused the scars and leasions on the surfaces of mars and venus?, or where the astroid belt between earth and mars came from? or why true north doesent aline to megnitic north, and why the gap between them have been growing larger, and the wobble of the earth has been greater.... or why is the sun wobbling and a simalar axses? or what actually going to happen nearing 2012... ?
 nipoleon
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 3
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History
Galileo's near miss
Posted: 7/12/2009 5:13:37 AM

I mention it now because, quite by coincidence, Jupiter and Neptune are once again sharing the sky in close quarters in the constellation of Capricornus. If it's clear where you are, look southeast after midnight and look for the bright "star." That's Jupiter. Now, over top are two "stars." One is an actual star an the third is Neptune.


Are you talking about viewing Neptune with the unaided eye ?
It's my understanding that Uranus is only faintly visible under rare and ideal conditions without a telescope and Neptune is never visible to the naked eye.
 normaldude
Joined: 3/8/2006
Msg: 4
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History
Galileo's near miss
Posted: 7/12/2009 7:49:46 AM
you would be lucky to see uranus with no equipment in only very dark sky areas. You would need a decent sized scope to see neptune as far as I remember. If youre near any city you will have lots of sky glow and forget it.
 yna6
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 5
Galileo's near miss
Posted: 7/12/2009 8:04:45 AM
I thought Van Leewehenhock was the inventor of the telescope....lord only knows for sure. Sometimes thngs are invented, but the person that uses it and makes claims with it gets the credit. Like Bell...only reason he got the credit was because he beat Grey to the Patent Office by half an hour. Like saying "Columbus discovered America!" No...he opened a sea route to it...America was always there. Or that guy who "discovered' China...nope he opened a trade route...others knew China was there beforehand.
Anyhow's....have to be out in a darkened countryside with a very clear night and perhaps a set of good binoculars to see the further planets. Or a good scope can bring in even more sights.
 normaldude
Joined: 3/8/2006
Msg: 6
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History
Galileo's near miss
Posted: 7/12/2009 8:12:56 AM
looking for anything past saturn is a bit of a drag.... Only for the self satisfaction of saying you saw it really. Just a dot nothing else. After looking at mars-jupiter-saturn they cant compete. Also stuff like galaxy,s clusters and nebulae are way more interesting.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 7
Galileo's near miss
Posted: 7/12/2009 8:32:46 AM

Are you talking about viewing Neptune with the unaided eye ?


Good point, yes. Neptune is viewable as a starlike dot of light through a good pair of binoculars. Same with Uranus although it does technically reach naked eye visibility at magnitude 5.6. But it requires a dark sky.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 8
Galileo's near miss
Posted: 7/12/2009 1:35:44 PM
Ooops, star, must have been that increasing Earth's gravity that made me forget to add that part. My bad!
 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 9
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History
Galileo's near miss
Posted: 7/12/2009 3:03:50 PM

Yep, it affects people in different ways, more chance of spotting Planet X, I think !

I believe a Viewmaster would be the best possible device for that purpose.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 10
Galileo's near miss
Posted: 7/13/2009 9:36:29 AM

Would a guy who is interested be working on his profile?

Thank you for the info!
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 11
Galileo's near miss
Posted: 7/14/2009 11:03:18 AM

I thought Van Leewehenhock was the inventor of the telescope....lord only knows for sure.


Actually, the first to patent the telescope and the man usually given credit for inventing it (though it's believed there were others who may have made spyglasses before him) was Hans Lippershey in 1608.

Van Leewenhoek used to be thought of as the inventor of the compound microscope, but that honor actually goes to Zaccharias Janssen and his son Hans in about 1590. Van Leewenhoek improved the design and is credited with being the worlds first "microscopist."

Galileo, like Van Leewenhoek improved the telescope design and was the first man known to point it skyward. As the OP notes, he actually saw Neptune and noted its position with respect to Jupiter on more than one occasion, but didn't notice in his notes that it had changed position with respect to the other stars. If he had, he might have been the discoverer of Neptune long before the Discovery of Uranus was made.
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