2009 has been designated the International Year of Astronomy. It is also tied to the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first use of the telescope (though he was NOT the first to use a telescope – more on that later). This article on the International Year of Astronomy gives us 10 events spread across the span of the year where we should turn our thoughts skyward.
So what’s this about Galileo not being the first to examine the moon with a telescope? Isn’t that what we have been taught in school lo these many centuries? Well, according to this BBC article, Thomas Herriot was actually the first to accomplish that feat by about 6 months, making extremely detailed drawings of the moon before Galileo.