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I dont know if any of you guys know this little known fact of this Ancient Astronomer. When William decided to use his scope he would align it up and let it sit there. He would watch the sky move accross his scope. His scope was something like 20 feet long and was hard to move. Each night he would pick a section of the sky that was close to where he was the night before and sit there and see what went over the scope. His sister Caroline helped him write down where things were ans what he say. She hreself is credited with finding 10 items.
[glow=blue,2,300]Stargazer's Departing Nightly on a beam of light searching for the Ultimate Wisdom of the Universe [/glow]
Post by NatureDevil on Oct 18, 2004 17:26:48 GMT -6
I remember you telling me that at the ScopeStock, and I remember hearing that wehen I was in an astronomy class a few years ago at Triton.
Caroline Herschel was instrumental in the finding of a comet....several people spotted comets over a period of time, and one guy latyer one put them together to conclude it was the same thing, and Caroline was one of them.
You know, that reminds me, there were many women in astronomy that made names for themselves...some being wives, sisters or mothers to astronomers who ended up continuing work of others or completly doing work on their own. Damn, I wrote a paper on this years ago before I had a computer. Which means I lost all the info. I'll see if I can dig it up somewhere.
I specifically remember one woman from long ago who was the first to get into a certain college in Europe and managed to piss off every male she came in contact with while one-up-ing them with all her research.
At Adler's FOF last week, a museum curator, I think Bruce, showed members an actual log book which the brother and sister team used during their observing sessions. There were notes written along the margins. One can only wish their observing log book will someday become part of history. It was part of the Behind-the-Scenes tours down in the underbelly of Adler for members and volunteers.
...and one guy latyer one put them together to conclude it was the same thing...
That was Comet Encke. Unlike the usual practice of naming a comet after the first person to observe it, this one was named after German astronomer Johann Encke who in 1819 calculated that four previous apparitions were all of a single comet. It was originally discovered by Mechain in Paris in 1786 and seen a few days later by Messier. Caroline Herschel rediscovered it in England in 1795. It was found again in 1805 by three different European astronomers. One of them, Pons in France, also reported it in 1818. Apparently the observers were all so eager to have their names put on a comet that they failed to thoroughly investigate its orbit and history. Encke proved his worth as a true scientist, and the astronomical community rightly put his name on it.
At 3.30 years, Comet Encke has the shortest known cometary period and has been seen for the greatest number of apparitions. Its perihelion is just within the orbit of Mercury and its aphelion nearly reaches the orbit of Jupiter. It will return in 2007, although the next really good apparition will come in 2013.
BTW, I would not refer to the above mentioned astronomers as ancient. They all lived long after the renaissance.