Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

In the Footsteps of Galileo...Orion's Belt & Sword

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Special Ed

Special Ed

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10014
  • Joined: 18 May 2003
  • Loc: Greenbrier County, WV 38N, 80W

Posted 24 March 2019 - 08:48 AM

Hi Everyone,

 

Back in 2011 I started a project--using my Galileoscope, I wanted to reproduce some of the sketches that Galileo published in his landmark treatise Sidereus Nuncius, published in 1610.  Eight years later, I've gotten most of them (see here in my Galileoscope sketches) and last night finally caught up with Orion.

 

[Note: Independently, Jef De Wit started doing sketches of some of these same objects using a small refractor and called his postings "In the footsteps of Galileo" so I have borrowed his title when I post my sketches.  smile.gif ]

 

Now, my plastic Galileoscope has much better optics than what Galileo used and a field of view bigger than his telescope (although still small--about 1 degree).  But I found this observation and sketch to be *very* difficult to do.  The belt and sword area is 3-4 degrees wide and 4-5 degrees long.  I could only see a little bit of it at a time--it was hard to get the correct spacing between stars and the correct placement of their relative positions.

 

Galileo wrote that he originally planned to sketch the entire constellation of Orion (!) but was overwhelmed by the enormity of the task so he decided to focus on the belt and sword.  He sized the stars according to magnitude and made the 9 or so visible since antiquity the largest.  He was able to see and plot the positions of about 80 stars that he could see with his telescope (I plotted about 60 before I gave out).

 

He did not record the Orion nebula (M42).  Some speculate that he could not see it with his telescope but I don't agree--I could see it--but not in detail.  Since he had already shown that nebula known since ancient times like the Praesepe (M44) were actually collections of stars when seen through the newly invented telescope, I agree with those who say he decided to wait to explore the nebula until he had a more powerful telescope (but I don't think he ever got to it).

 

Here is a link to Galileo's drawing.  And here is mine:

 

Orion_Sword_Belt_2019.03.23.v1.jpg


  • okiestarman56, rerun, niteskystargazer and 7 others like this

#2 Special Ed

Special Ed

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10014
  • Joined: 18 May 2003
  • Loc: Greenbrier County, WV 38N, 80W

Posted 24 March 2019 - 11:15 AM

Here is an annotated version--I think it's relatively accurate.

 

Orion_Sword_Belt_2019.03.23.annotated.jpg


  • niteskystargazer, dUbeni, Susan H and 1 other like this

#3 frank5817

frank5817

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 12434
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Arizona

Posted 24 March 2019 - 07:26 PM

Michael,

 

This is most impressive.

Nice work on this.

Small telescopes have improved over the years as they reached the limits of diffraction.

 

Frank :)



#4 tommy10

tommy10

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2056
  • Joined: 05 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Illinois

Posted 25 March 2019 - 01:04 AM

Very cool project, thanks for sharing.

#5 Jef De Wit

Jef De Wit

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3691
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Hove, Belgium

Posted 25 March 2019 - 04:34 AM

A beautiful way to honor the work of Galileo waytogo.gif 



#6 niteskystargazer

niteskystargazer

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6775
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2009
  • Loc: 41-43'-28" N 87-42'-39" W

Posted 25 March 2019 - 09:42 AM

Michael,

 

Nice sketches of  In the Footsteps of Galileo...Orion's Belt & Sword smile.gif .

 

CS,KLU,

 

thanx.gif ,

 

Tom



#7 Special Ed

Special Ed

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10014
  • Joined: 18 May 2003
  • Loc: Greenbrier County, WV 38N, 80W

Posted 25 March 2019 - 04:27 PM

Frank, T10, Jef, and Tom--thank you!  smile.gif 

 

We do benefit greatly from the advances in optics and telescope making since Galileo's time--which makes the discoveries, observations, and sketches of those working in the 1600's and 1700's that much more...impressive?, awesome?, mind-boggling?  I don't know--words fail me.  Trying to be in Galileo's shoes and reproduce an observation like this really emphasizes how difficult it was back in those days.  And my little plastic telescope on a camera tripod is sooo much better than what he used.

 

I have read that Galileo's first telescope had about a quarter of my telescope's one degree FOV.  After doing my sketch of Orion's belt and sword and upon reflection, I'm guessing that Galileo started his sketch by placing the naked eye stars in the belt and sword on his paper first and then used his telescope to fill in all the dimmer stars that can't be seen without aid around the bright ones.  Pure speculation on my part, but doing the sketch myself gave me that insight (I wish I had thought of it before I did the sketch!  lol.gif ).

 

Thanks for the likes!



#8 dUbeni

dUbeni

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 572
  • Joined: 12 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Lisboa, Portugal

Posted 29 March 2019 - 07:49 AM

Wonderful and fun sketch Special Ed. waytogo.gif like-button.jpg

Every time I reed Sidereus Nuncius I'm amazed by is amazement, it must have been a wonderful experience of discovery. Also see here how difficult must have been to sketch the Pleiades: http://galileo.rice....n/pleiades.html

 

thanx.gif thanx.gif

Bernardo



#9 Special Ed

Special Ed

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10014
  • Joined: 18 May 2003
  • Loc: Greenbrier County, WV 38N, 80W

Posted 29 March 2019 - 11:01 AM

Thanks, Bernardo.  smile.gif   I agree--when you read Sidereus Nuncius , Galileo's excitement comes right off the page.

 

I think those students who tried to recreate Galileo's observation using the 15 arcminute fov are on to something.  He probably starhopped like they described but would have had to go slowly and carefully.  One small advantage that he had was that his telescope did not invert the view. 

 

His Pleiades sketch is very accurate--and he included that arc of stars that is so prominent.   He also might have started the sketch by placing the naked eye stars on the paper before using the scope (like I speculated about his sketch of Orion's belt and sword).


  • dUbeni likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics