Famous Astronomers: Galilio Galilei & More

Have you ever heard of Galilio Galilei? What is Giovanni Cassini known for? These questions and more are answered as you will explore the ins and outs of various astronomers in history, including John Baptist Riccioli and Edmond Halley, who is associated with a piece of space you may already be quite familiar with.

Galilio Galilei (1564 , 1642): The Italian astronomer is responsible for conducting a host of fundamental observations, experiments, and mathematical explorations that dealt with astronomy and physics. In regards to the moon, he pinpointed craters and mountains. He also indicated the various phases of Venus, and identified the four largest satellites of Jupiter, which were Callisto, Io, Europa, and Ganymede.

John Baptist Riccioli (1598 , 1671): This Italian spent his time with telescopic lunar studies and also made public his findings on lunar maps, where he presented nomenclature for lunar objects, as well as revealed the first double star , named Mizar.

Giovanni Cassini (1625 , 1712): This Italian-born Frenchman spent his days measuring the rotational periods of Mars and Jupiter. In regards to Saturn, he uncovered four satellites, as well as the gap in Saturn’s rings that was named after him , “Cassini’s division.”

Edmond Halley (1656 , 1742): Halley’s comet is well known and named after Edmond Halley (an astronomer, mathematician, geophysicist, meteorologist, and physicist) who used his theory on cometary orbits to predict when this one would make an appearance. He deduced that Halley’s, which was seen in 1682 would periodically reemerge.

Friedrich von Struve (1793 , 1864): This German-born Russian (a member of one of the most prolific time in astronomers throughout history) is responsible for finding a study that dealt with double stars and later published a catalog (Catalogus novus stellarum duplicium) that consisted of more than 3,000 binary stars in 1827. Struve is also the first person to measure the distance to the star called Vega. Although previous astronomers had already made strides with double stars, it was von Struve who exceeded their efforts.
Thomas Henderson (1798 , 1844): This Scotsman was the first individual to measure distance to a star, which happened to be Alpha Centauri, which is the main piece of closest stellar system to Earth. Henderson is also known for becoming the first Astronomer Royal for Scotland.

Charles Thomas Bolton (1943 – ): When it comes to the first black hole, it was the American-born Canadian, Tom Bolton who made the identification of Cygnus X-1 using the facilities of the David Dunlap Observatory located at the University of Toronto. However, it was Louise Webster and Paul Murdin (employees of the Royal Greenwich Observatory) that found the black hole at first in 1971.

Alan H. Guth (1947 – ): Guth is known as the man behind the theory of cosmic evolution, which gained the term of inflationary universe later on. As a cosmologist and astronomer, Guth researched elementary particle theory, which dealt with the association of this theory with the information known about the early universe. MIT should be proud, as this is where he graduated from in 1968 with a degree in physics and later on a masters and PHD in the same field.