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In this month: April

12 April 1633 The inquisition of Galileo by the Roman Catholic church begins. He was ordered to turn himself in to the Holy Office to begin trial for holding the belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun, which was deemed heretical by the Catholic Church. He was found guilty and agreed to stop teaching and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. It took more than 300 years for the Catholic Church to admit that Galileo was right and to clear his name of heresy. The painting below is by Cristiano Banti and it depicts this scene as it was imagined in the mid 19th Century. 6 April 1955 Two American astronomers, Bernard Burke and Kenneth Franklin, present their findings of radio signal

Did you know? Meteor showers...

Every month there is a focus on an astronomical phenomenon by Sydney City Skywatchers' Secretary, Elizabeth Cocking. This month Elizabeth has researched meteor showers. In February meteor scientist and Senior Research Manager, Ross Pogson,gave an inspiring talk to Skywatcher members about meteorites and their significance in understanding our solar system. Meteor Showers. Every so often the Earth passes through the debris left by an orbiting comet to produce of dazzling display of “”fireworks”” in the night sky. Most meteor showers are caused when the Earth moves through the debris stream of an orbiting comet, however two known meteor showers - the Quadrantids and the Geminids - are the resu

Did you know? Gamma Rays & Gamma Ray Bursts.

Blamed for turning Bruce Banner into the Incredible Hulk, Gamma Rays and Gamma Ray Bursts are the most energetic and luminous electromagnetic events since the Big Bang. There is more energy released in a few short seconds of a Gamma Ray Burst than will be released by the Sun in its entire lifetime. Gamma rays have the smallest wavelengths and the most energy of any wave in the electromagnetic spectrum The name “gamma rays” came from the New Zealand born British physicist Ernest Rutherford. The highest energy Gamma Ray Burst ever with an energy of at least 94 billion electron volts was detected on 27th April 2013. The X-ray afterglow of the burst was so bright that the Swift Space Observatory

In this month: March

7 March 1831 The Royal Astronomical Society receives its Royal charter from King William IV. The society was founded in 1820 as the Astronomical Society of London to promote astronomical research. At that time, most members were 'gentleman astronomers' rather than professionals. In 1915 A Supplemental Charter granted by King George V opened the fellowship to women. Charles Babbage, a founding member of the society, was awarded a Gold Medal in 1824, the societies highest order, for the invention of a calculating machine which could be used for astronomy. This medal is now in the MAAS collection (pictured). The medal features William Herschel's Great telescope. 19 March 1965 The Canberra Deep

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