Club members met Papal Astronomer Bro Guy Consolmagno, author of Turn Left at Orion, at Blackrock Castle Observatory on Saturday 10 August, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Bro Guy will gave a talk “Discarded Worlds: Astronomical ideas that were almost correct …”. You can read his abstract below. As well as astronomers who were wrong he cited those who were right but for the wrong reasons – Galileo being a prime example.
Astronomy is more than just observing; it’s making sense of those observations. A good theorist needs to blend a knowledge of what’s been observed, with a good imagination … and no fear of being wrong. Ptolemy in ancient Rome, the medieval bishops Oresme and Cusa, the 19th century astronomers Schiaparelli and Pickering, all rose to the challenge; and they were all almost correct. Which is to say, they were wrong … sometimes hilariously, sometimes heartbreakingly so. What lessons can 21st century astronomers take from these discarded images of the universe?
On March 4th, 1979, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft took the first photos of rings around Jupiter. This was the first time anyone had seen Jupiter’s rings.
Because Jupiter’s rings are so thin and faint, it’s extremely difficult to see them from Earth with ground-based telescopes. Even for a spacecraft out near Jupiter, the rings are essentially invisible unless the cameras look at them edge-on or from an angle where sunlight shines directly through them.
Since Voyager 1 first saw the rings, other space missions like Juno and Galileo have continued to study them. Scientists believe that the rings formed by comets colliding with Jupiter’s moons and kicking dust into the planet’s orbit.
Thinking of asking for or giving a telescope for Christmas? Cork Astronomy Club has a word of advice to offer: don’t! Or at least, not until you have attended our “What telescope” workshop on Saturday November 17th.
What type of telescope? Dobsonian, Newtonian, go-to? Or would binoculars be better for you? How much to spend? Is there such a thing as a beginner’s scope? Where do I buy it? … So many questions … and one place to get the answers … Tony Jackson’s “What telescope” workshop on November 17th, at Tory Top Library, 2:30 pm. Our Club has no connection whatever to any business and you will receive impartial advice from an expert amateur astronomer. Not a Club member? You can still come, and it’s free, but need to book, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.