Thursday, December 02, 2004

Jupiter's moons -- Part 3

Here is a re-creation of Galileo's view of Jupiter. This is what he would have seen on the evening of January 7th, 1610.
Jupiter and Uranus are about 2.5 degrees separated in the sky--about two fingers width held at arms length. The small circle is the approximate field of view of Galileo's first telescope. I think we can forgive Galileo not spotting the undiscovered Uranus. What he saw through his eyepiece, moons orbiting another celestial body, was the discovery of a lifetime and literally an earth-moving event.