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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Astronomer

In 2134 BC, Chinese royal astronomers Hsi and Ho were beheaded as punishment for failing to predict an eclipse.

Italian cosmologist Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for heresy on February 17, 1600.  His crime was suggesting that the stars were distant suns possibly surrounded by their own planets — which is, in fact, the case.

The trial of Giordano Bruno by the Roman Inquisition. Bronze relief by Ettore Ferrari, Campo de' Fiori, Rome.

On March 4, 1675, John Flamsteed was appointed by Charles II as the first Astronomer Royal of England. The post gave Flamsteed a stipend of £100 a year. That amount has never changed.

John Flamsteed. By Sir Godfrey Kneller - http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/image/V0006785EC.html, CC BY 4.0, Wikipedia Commons

Arthur Storer (c. 1648 – 1686) was America's first colonial astronomer. He came to Calvert County, Maryland, from Lincolnshire, England. He was among the first observers to sight and record data Halley's Comet.

Astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil travelled from France to India in 1760 to measure the transit of Venus. He missed out on both chances to do so, contracted dysentery and nearly went insane. When he made it home he learned he had been declared dead, his wife remarried and his estate plundered.

In 1801, the astronomer William Herschel pointed out that there is a correlation between sunspot activity and the price of wheat.

Astronomer is an anagram of moon starer.

Source Daily Express

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