The artist and architect Chesley Bonestell painted scenes of space exploration that inspired an entire generation of astronomers, artists, writers, engineers and visionaries. If you’re over a certain age, you have doubtless seen his work, and if you’re a dedicated stargazer and space enthusiast, you were likely inspired by his vision of space travel. But Bonestell was more than a starry-eyed dreamer. He was an architectural artist, and he also helped the great rocket engineer Wernher von Braun develop his ideas by fleshing out von Braun’s sketches of moon rockets, satellites, and interplanetary spacecraft [Read more…] about Chesley Bonestell: Artist, Architect, VisionaryShare This:
History and Famous Astronomers
Articles about the history of astronomy and famous astronomers who made important discoveries.
The progress of science sometimes comes down to an unlikely partnership, a combination of the right people studying the right problem at the right time. In the pantheon of unlikely partners, few can top the team of Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe, two men of polar-opposite personalities who finally cracked the secret of the motion of the planets. Here is their story [Read more…] about Johannes Kepler: Mathematician, Mystic… Murderer?Share This:
Many urban stargazers enjoy chance meetings with curious passersby who take an interest in looking through a telescope. But none of us will likely receive the caliber of visitor who twice knocked on the observatory door of a lone astronomer in Washington, D.C. on a warm August night in 1863 [Read more…] about President Lincoln Goes To The ObservatoryShare This:
Somehow in my younger days, in my haste to get out into the ‘real world’, I ended up spending five years in graduate school. Part of that time, in the summers, I studied and conducted research at the University of Chicago where I helped use laser systems to measure properties of molecules found in planetary atmospheres and the interstellar medium.
Chicago is one of the world’s great universities. Nearly 100 of its students and professors have won Nobel Prizes. But it’s not a particularly big place, so a chance sighting of a famous professor is not unusual. Still, I stopped in my tracks during my first week on campus when, on the way back to the lab from lunch, I passed on the sidewalk an older, slight man of Indian descent with thinning grey hair and alert eyes wearing a crisp white shirt and tie. I instantly recognized him as Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, more commonly known as Chandra, the discoverer of the Chandrasekhar Limit, winner of the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physics, and one of the most revered astrophysicists in the world [Read more…] about Chandra’s LimitShare This: