IYA 2009 & Galilean Nights
October 22-24 2009
Rediscovering our place in the
Inspire us to look up, and in the
process, become a more peaceful
and cooperative planet.
Celebrate Galileo and the dawning
of modern astronomy and science.
UNESCO & IAU global effort endorsed by
the UN & the International Council of
Sponsoring and facilitating a series of local,
national, regional, and international events
Creating a partnership between
professional & amateur astronomers,
educators and space enthusiasts for public
Celebrates the 400th
anniversary of Galileo’s
observations of Jupiter and
around the world: 1150
events in 86 countries.
Onsite and remote
1Galileo actually recorded his ﬁrst jovian moon observations in January, 1610.
[T]here are infinite worlds both like and
unlike this world of ours ... we must
believe that in all worlds there are
living creatures and plants and other
things we see in this world....
Epicurus (341-270 BC)
St. Augustine: On the Literal
Interpretation of Genesis
“Even a non-Christian knows something about the
earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this
world… it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for
an inﬁdel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the
meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense about
these things.” (AD 408)
Catholic cleric (doctor and lawyer);
nominated to be a bishop
Ptolemy vs. Copernicus
"There are countless suns and
countless earths all rotating
around their suns in exactly
the same way as the seven
planets of our system . . .
The countless worlds in the
universe are no worse and no
less inhabited than our Earth”
Giordano Bruno, 1584
in De L'inﬁnito Universo
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
• German mathematician &
• Best known for “Kepler’s laws
of planetary motion”
1. Kepler's elliptical orbit law: The planets orbit
the sun in elliptical orbits with the sun at one
2. Kepler's equal-area law: The line connecting a
planet to the sun sweeps out equal areas in
equal amounts of time.
3. Kepler's law of periods: The time required for
a planet to orbit the sun, called its period, is
proportional to the long axis of the ellipse raised
to the 3/2 power.
• Successfully predicted the 1631
transits of Mercury & Venus
1453 The Ottoman Turks conquer Constantinople
1492 Christopher Columbus discovers America
1517 Martin Luther’s 95 theses; Protestant Reformation begins
1543 Copernicus: On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
1545-1563 The Council of Trent called to deal with Protestantism
1564 Galileo is born in Pisa
1571 Johannes Kepler is born
Heliocentrism/Keplerian system only
triumphs with Newton’s Physics, 1680s
Astronomy done by mathematicians …
until 1750s, Copernicanism taught in math
classes, Geocentrism in philosophy
Break between theology and natural
philosophy (the “Image” is “Discarded”)
Fr. Riccioli’s 1652 map of the Moon
(based on the observations of Fr. Grimaldi)
Over the centuries,
telescopes got better
Herschel’s Reflecting Telescope, 1789
Galileo and his Refractive Telescope, 1609
The Hooker Telescope -
Mount Wilson, ca 1920
1-Atlantis Launch … NASA’s Galileo spacecraft was
launched on October 18, 1989 by Space Shuttle Atlantis,
2-GalileoCraft … At launch, Galileo measured
seven meters long and weighed 5,653 pounds.
The craft was built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion
The probe was built by Hughes Aircraft
3-GalileoCraft … Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators(RTGs) powered
the Galileo spacecraft through the radioactive decay of plutonium-238.
4-Venus … Venus, as imaged by Galileo,
during its flyby gravity assist on February 10,
5-Earth1 … The Earth, as imaged by Galileo
during its flyby gravity assist on December 8,
6-Gaspra … Galileo achieved the first-ever asteroid
encounter when it flew within 1000 miles of 951-Gaspra in
7-EarthMoon2 … The Earth and Moon, as imaged by
Galileo during its flyby gravity assist on December 8, 1992
8-IdaDactyl … NASA’s Galileo spacecraft made the first discovery of an
asteroid moon when it flew within 1,500 miles of asteroid 243-Ida in 1993.
The small moon, Dactyl, is an S-type object measuring just 1.4 km in diameter.
9-ShoemakerLevyImpact … NASA’s Galileo spacecraft achieved the first-ever direct
observation of a comet impacting a planet when it imaged Shoemaker-Levy 9’s collision
with Jupiter. These images of Fragment W’s impact were acquired at a distance of 1.6 AU.
10-GalileoProbeImage … The Galileo Probe
weighed 335 kilograms and measured 1.3 meters
… The Galileo probe's
electronics were powered by
lithium sulfur dioxide
12-GalileoHeatShield … The Galileo probe’s heat shield lost 80kg(of
its total 152kg) during its supersonic entry into Jupiter’s atmosphere.
13-JupiterGRS … Color mosaic of
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, as imaged
by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft.
14-JupiterGRS … Jupiter’s
stratospheric haze, as imaged
by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft.
15-JupiterAurora … Jupiter’s Nightside Aurora,
as imaged by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft.
16-JupiterLightning … Jupiter’s changing lightning storms, as imaged by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft.
“True” Color Mosaic of
Boundary, as imaged by
NASA’s Galileo spacecraft.
18-JupiterRings…Jupiter’s ring system as
imaged by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft.
20-IoTvashtar …Io’s active Tvashtar Catena,
as imaged by Galileo in 1999 and 2000.
19-IoGlobal …Two volcanic plumes are apparent in this image acquired during Galileo’s
ninth orbit. Given its own name for its remarkable longevity, Prometheus is that plume near
the terminator. The second plume, apparent along Io’s limb, measured 86-miles high.
21-EuropaGlobal … Europa, as imaged by the Galileo spacecraft,
in June 1997 at a distance of 1.25-million kilometers.
22-EuropaFeatures … Europa’s fascinating surface features, as imaged by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft.
23-CallistoGlobal …Callisto, as imaged by the Galileo spacecraft, in May 2001.
24-CallistoUpClose … Callisto at increasing resolutions,
as imaged by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in 1997.
color view of Ganymede, as imaged
by the Galileo craft in 1996.
26-GanymedeCraters … A
fragmented comet likely created
this chain of craters on Ganymede.
The image, covering a 120-square-
mile-region, was acquired by
NASA’s Galileo craft in 1997.
$20 high-quality 50mm achromatic refractor
kit including 20mm (25x) eyepiece and 2x
Intended to improve math & science literacy
using astronomy and optical physics.
Provides telescope access to less-
developed parts of the world.