Tuesday, 25 August 2020

the stars align

On this day in 2012, the space probe Voyager I became the first manmade object to leave the Solar System and enter interstellar space. Twenty-three years earlier—to the day—its companion Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Neptune—then, because of Pluto’s eccentric, elongated orbit, the outer most planet.
On the same day in 1981, it had its closest brush with Saturn.  All these events coincided with the first demonstration of the telescope in Venice in 1609, pitched as a terrestrial telescope or spyglass, having later realised their potential for use in astronomy, publishing his initial observations in a brief called Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger) on 13 March of 1610, including an account of the Medicean or Cosmica’s Stars that appeared to orbit Jupiter.