Friday, January 8, 2010

January 7, 1610 - Jupiter's moons discovered.

Last year was the 400th anniversary of the invention of the telescope (IYA 2009), and today is the 400th anniversary of Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's 4 largest moons.  January 7, 1610, Galileo first observed the fast moving "stars" around Jupiter and later figured out that they were moons around the planet.
Here is the page from his observing journal, but if you can't read that, see the translation here.
Pretty amazing what he was able to accomplish with that little telescope he made.  I wonder if it performs better than the modern "Galileo" telescopes you can buy at Wallmart?  Turn around and leave the store if you see these scopes!
Four centuries later, we go from his sketches and scribbled notes to actually "being there". 
Here is a video by Dr. Paul Schenk from Io image data.  Nice "Star Wars" effect, reminds me of the Millenium Falcon blasting it's way out of Mos Eisley

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