Thomas Harriot: Mathematician, Astronomer, Relative Unknown


Thomas Harriot and Christopher Tooke set about drawing the moon from a rooftop in Syon Park, Middlesex, England.
Thomas Harriot and Christopher Tooke set about drawing the moon from a rooftop in Syon Park, Middlesex, England.
Rita Greer/Free Art License

Harriot's story is tied to SO MANY other notable historic things, including a lot of business with Sir Walter Raleigh. He’s really not a household name like many of his contemporaries, even though he was neck-and-neck with them in terms of discoveries

As we mentioned on the podcast, this episode is part of the Destination Moon podcrawl organized by the Museum of Flight in Seattle, as part of their celebration of the first manned moon landing’s 50th anniversary. You can find the Museum of Flight's site here: https://museumofflight.org/

Here are the other Destination Moon podcrawl shows:

The Flight Deck Podcast -- Failure Is Not an Option: And Interview With Buzz Aldrin

The Truth from Radiotopia -- Moon Graffiti

GeekWire -- 50 years after Apollo 11, unsung heroes of Mission Control ponder past and future of the final frontier

Sound Effect from KNKX -- One Giant Leap

Holly's Research:

  • Apt, Adam Jared. “Thomas Harriot, English Mathematician and Astronomer.” Encyclopedia Brittanica. June 28, 2019. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Thomas-Harriot
  • “Baron von Zach.” Nature. Issue 130. 1932. Accessed online: https://www.nature.com/articles/130303c0#article-info
  • “Thomas Harriot (1560-1621).” The Galileo Project. Rice University. http://galileo.rice.edu/sci/harriot.html
  • Sample, Ian. “Did an Englishman beat Galileo to the first moon observation?” The Guardian. Jan. 14, 2009. https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2009/jan/14/thomas-harriot-galileo-moon-drawings
  • “Thomas Harriot's Moon Drawings.” The Galileo Project. Rice University. http://galileo.rice.edu/sci/harriot_moon.html
  • The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Snell's law.” Encyclopædia Britannica. April 18, 2016. https://www.britannica.com/science/Snells-law
  • Quinn, David B. “GILBERT, SIR HUMPHREY,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed July 8, 2019, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/gilbert_humphrey_1E.html.
  • Shirley, John. “Thomas Harriot, Trumpet of Roanoke.” National Park Service. Fort Raleigh. April 14, 2015 https://www.nps.gov/fora/learn/education/thomas-harriot-trumpet-of-roanoke.htm
  • Hariot, Thomas. “A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia.” Digital Copy. University of North Caroline, Chapel Hill. 2003. https://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/hariot/hariot.html
  • Shirley, John W., ed. “Thomas Harriot, Renaissance Scientist.” Clarendon Press. 1974.
  • Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). "Thomas Harriot: A Telescopic Astronomer Before Galileo." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily. Jan. 15, 2009. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090114110948.htm
This is the fabulous postcard that Kendra painted and sent us!
This is the fabulous postcard that Kendra painted and sent us!

Topics in this Podcast: British history, Queen Elizabeth I, biographies, Sir Walter Raleigh, 17th century, moon, astronomy, science history, European history