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In this month - February

13 February 1633 Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome to face charges of heresy for advocating the Copernican theory, which stated that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Galileo officially faced the Roman Inquisition in April of that same year and agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. He was put under house arrest indefinitely by Pope Urban VIII and spent the rest of his days at his villa near Florence, before dying on January 8, 1642. The woodblock image above of Galileo with his telescope in the Piazza San Marco, Venice, is from the Wellcome Library, London: images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org. 16 February 1948 Gerard Kuiper discovered Mirand

Did you know - Stars: the oldest, biggest and hottest of the bunch

Our first club meeting is on Monday 4 February at 6:30pm, with a presentation by Lesa Moore about astrobiology. The Oldest Star: One of the oldest stars is HE 1523-0901, often dubbed “The Methuselah Star”, a red giant star approximately 7,500 light years from Earth. It is thought to be 13.2 billion years old, almost as old as the estimated age of the universe itself. Image below is a digitised sky map assembly from data provided by the AAO and UK Schmidt telescopes. The Biggest Star: The largest known star is UY Scuti, a red supergiant located about 9,500 light years away in the constellation Scutum. It has a radius estimated to be 1,708 times that of the Sun. If UY Scuti were placed where t

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