Galileo and the telescope

Telescopes are instruments which use multiple lenses to produce magnified images of distant objects. It is unclear who invented the first telescope: lenses had been widely used in Europe to correct poor eyesight since the fourteenth century and I expect that, over time, the telescope was actually invented many times by different individuals, who discovered… Continue reading Galileo and the telescope

Kepler’s other achievements

As discussed in my previous post, Kepler's improvement of Copernicus's heliocentric system led to its more general acceptance, and his three laws describing the way planets move are fundamental laws of astronomy. However, this wasn't his only contribution to science. He was one of the greatest thinkers of the seventeenth century scientific revolution and in… Continue reading Kepler’s other achievements

Satellite navigation – the next ten years

Satellite navigation is such a vital part of day-to-day life that other countries of the world are planning to build up their own network of navigation satellites and move away from total reliance on the American system, GPS. America As mentioned in my previous post, the GPS system is operated and funded by the US government. The first… Continue reading Satellite navigation – the next ten years

The Evening Star-Venus

Anybody who has looked up into the western sky after sunset in the past month will have noticed a brilliant white object - the planet Venus,  sometimes called the Evening Star. It is brighter than any other planet and ten times brighter than the brightest star Sirius, also known as the Dog Star. The "Evening Star"… Continue reading The Evening Star-Venus

The Morning Star-Venus

Anybody who has been up early in the past month and looked at the eastern sky will have noticed a brilliant white object - the planet Venus,  sometimes called the Morning Star. It is much brighter than any other planet and is the third brightest object in the sky after the Sun and the Moon.… Continue reading The Morning Star-Venus