Searching for Snoopy - a team led by UK amateur astronomer Nick Howes (known for his passion for hunting asteroids) is now going after a piece of human space history. During the Apollo 10 mission, the lunar module, nicknamed “Snoopy” was jettisoned and sent into an orbit around the Sun — 42 years later, it is still believed to be out there … somewhere.
”We’re expecting a search arc up to 135 million kilometers in size which is a huge amount of space to look at,” British amateur astronomer Nick Howes told Discovery News. “We’re aware of the scale and magnitude of this challenge but to have the twin Faulkes scopes assist the hunt, along with schools, plus the fact that we’ll doubtless turn up many new finds such as comets and asteroids makes this a great science project too.”
Today 402 years ago (August 25, 1609) Galileo Galilei introduce his telescope to the Venetian Lawmakers. While Galileo did not invent the telescope, his was the first to be used for astronomy. In fact, less than 5 months after he introduced the telescope, he discovered three moons traveling around Jupiter and just a few days later he discovered the fourth one.
His observations of the satellites of Jupiter created a revolution in astronomy that reverberates to this day: a planet with smaller planets orbiting it did not conform to the principles of Aristotelian Cosmology, which held that all heavenly bodies should circle the Earth, and many astronomers and philosophers initially refused to believe that Galileo could have discovered such a thing.
Fast forward to February 11, 2010; NASA Solar Dynamics was launched into Space - the most sophisticated solar observatory ever built. We have come long ways and today we should remember and thank Galileo for looking to the stars!