Astronomy

The Impious Philosophy of Anaxagoras

Anaxagoras and his work in unraveling the mysteries of the cosmos crossed the boundaries between philosophy and astronomy.. And it was, in many ways WAY ahead of its time –  ahead enough that he was criminally charged for it. 

John Wilkins and His 1640s Lunar Exploration Plans

In the 1600s, John Wilkins was planning out what he thought it would take for humans to travel to the moon. Wilkins managed to ride out a rocky time in England’s historycomfortably, and was well known; he appears in the diaries of Samuel Pepys.

Thomas Harriot: Mathematician, Astronomer, Relative Unknown

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. 

The Tunguska Event

On June 30, 1908 at approximately 7:15am, the sky over Siberia lit up with what was described by witnesses as a massive fireball, or the sky engulfed in fire. For the last century, scientists have been trying to figure out exactly what happened. 

A Handful of Eclipses in History

Humans have been recording instances of solar eclipses for thousands of years. Today, we're walking through some of the famous eclipses in history, all while wearing proper eye shielding.

Copernicus

While he's known primarily as the astronomer who promoted the idea of a heliocentric solar system, Copernicus was also a master mathematician and a doctor. He worked for the church his entire life, and wrote a manuscript on devaluation of currency.

The Discovery of 'Planet' Ceres

For a long time, astronomers believed that there must have been a planet lurking in the gap between Mars and Jupiter. What they found was Ceres, and this object's story is one of scientific cattiness and our ever-evolving understanding of space.

The Great Moon Hoax of 1835, Part 2

As the New York Sun's series of astonishing moon discoveries concluded, most people recognized that it was a hoax. But what made people buy into the tall tale in the first place? Read the show notes here.

The Great Moon Hoax of 1835, Part 1

In August 1835, the New York Sun ran a series about some utterly mind-blowing discoveries made by Sir John Herschel about the lunar surface. The serial had everything: moon poppies, goat-like unicorns, lunar beavers and even bat people.

Caroline Herschel: Astronomy's Cinderella

Herschel managed to break the barrier of women in scientific fields far earlier than you might suspect, in part because of her association with her brother, and in equal measure due to her steadfast dedication to her work. Read the show notes here.