Though Galileo is lauded as the first person to peer at the Moon through a telescope and draw its topography, he was actually beaten to the punch by an obscure British mathematician.
Several months before Galileo drew the moon, British professor and researcher Thomas Harriot drew this crude image of the moon as seen through the telescope he'd ordered from The Netherlands in 1608. Over the next several years he drew increasingly more detailed images like the one you see at the top of this post.
Unlike Galileo, Harriot never published any of his images. Oxford historian Allan Chapman, whose article about Harriot will appear next month in the journal Astronomy and Geophysics, believes that Harriot preferred to keep his name out of the spotlight. He was a gentleman scholar, funded by some of the wealthiest men in England.
Nevertheless, his patrons (such as Sir Walter Raleigh) often fell out of favor with the crown and found themselves in prison. Perhaps Harriot saw the problems one could face by speaking out openly in difficult political times and decided to keep his discoveries to himself. Galileo, however, didn't take that path.
According to Space.com:
[Historian] Chapman attributes this to his comfortable position as a "well-maintained philosopher to a great and wealthy nobleman" with a generous salary, said to be "several times the level of the Warden of Wadham College, Oxford." Harriot had comfortable housing and a specially provided observing chamber on top of Sion House, all of which contrasted with Galileo's financial pressures.
Galileo, interestingly, was unable to buy a telescope. So he figured out the optics of it and built his own. He also examined the moon, and then found that the Milky Way was composed of individual stars. Galileo also discovered four moons around Jupiter and spent much time observing and drawing sunspots.
Now, at last, the timid Harriot's contributions to early astronomy are coming to light.
Are you starting your own blog or a make a living via writing? Now It's easy to get a writing job on the freelancer websites for a beginner. However, lots of writers get confused on how to write interesting posts? Well, you need to keep in mind that what can make your writing becomes something fun to do is actually your freedom from restriction. Be out of the box and you do not need to always follow other bloggers’ rules. Well, here are some simple tips to convince you that writing a good post is not as hard as you think! Read more
When it comes to getting the best out of your MacBook, you want to make sure that your posture is right when you’re working. If you’re lying on the couch watching movies, this is not all that important. When you need to work for eight hours a day, it becomes essential. Read more