Friday, 9 December 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook Adrian Metius

Adrian Metius 9th Dec 1571- 26th Sept 1635

Adrian Metius was born at Alkmaar in Holland; he was a pupil of Tycho Brahe, he later became an astronomer, mathematician and military engineer. 

He made considerable improvements to the astronomical instruments of his time. In 1624 he wrote ‘De usu Globi Coelestis’ containing a description of a 7 feet iron radius mounted on a universal bearingwith sights at both ends. He died at Frankfurt.  

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook Al Sufi

Al Sufi

One of the great arab astronomers, Al-Rahman or Al Sufi was born on December 8th 903 AD at Ravvy, Persia observed from Shiraz, Basra and Baghdad; he wrote a book in 964 called The Book of Fixed Stars with descriptions of the 48 constellations and also giving information on individual stars.

In addition to the stars he also mentions a little cloud, which is M31 the Andromeda Galaxy and refers to one of the Magellanic clouds under the name of the ‘white ox’.

Al Sufi died on May 25th 986. 

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook SN 185 AD

SN 185 AD

Supernova (SN) are pretty rare, however one did appear in our galaxy and was first sighted on December 7th 185. The SN appeared between the constellations of Centaurus and Circinus.

SN 185 was close to alpha Centaurus right on the border with Circinus 

The Chinese have astronomical records going back several thousand years and are usually reliable. The Chinese astronomers described a ‘Guest Star’ which was visible for 8 months. It was reported as follows:- In the 2nd year of the epoch Zhongping on the day Kwei Hae [December 7], a strange star appeared in the middle of Nan Mun [asterism containing Alpha Centauri], It was like a large bamboo mat. It displayed the five colours, both pleasing and otherwise.

The gaseous shell RCW 86 is probably the supernova remnant of this event and is about 9,000 light-years away. This is the earliest record we have of a star destroying itself in a supernova explosion.

RCW 86

Using information from the Chandra satellite astronomers believe that the supernova was similar to the one that Tycho saw in 1572 and became about as bright at magnitude -4.0.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook Jupiter in 337 BCE

Jupiter 337 BCE

On December 5th 337 BCE Aristotle saw Jupiter pass in front of or occult a star in Gemini, possibly the star we know today as FL 1 Gemini.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook Solar Max Missions Ends

Solar Max Mission Ends

The Solar Maximum Mission ended on December 2, 1989, launched on February 14 1980 the Solar Max mission was designed to study solar flares.

Due to problems with the on board systems the probe had to be repaired and it became the first probe to be repaired while in orbit around the Earth when the shuttle Challenger in 1984.

The major discovery of the mission was that the Sun was actually brighter when the Sun is at sun spot maximum.  This is because sunspots are surrounded by bright features called faculae, which more than cancel the darkening effect of the sunspot.

Over a period of time the drag from the Earth`s atmosphere caused the spacecraft to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. Re-entry occurred at 10:26 UT on 2 December 1989 over the Indian Ocean.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook Nicholas Claude Fabri de Peiresc

Nicholas Claude Fabri de Peiresc

He was born on December 1st 1580 in France. In November 1610 he obtained a telescope from his brother in France. He made observations of the satellites of Jupiter from 1610-1612. He observed sunspots and the Orion Nebula.

He built an observatory on the top of his house, and he obtained a telescope from Galileo in 1635. He then observed from many locations including Cairo, Aleppo and elsewhere in Europe.

He showed that the Mediterranean Sea was 600 miles shorter than was accepted at the time.

 He died on June 24th 1637

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook Lunar Eclipse 1099

Lunar Eclipse 1099

An eclipse of the Moon was recorded on November 30th 1099.

 It is recorded that this is the year that Pope Urban II died.