Thomas Harriot spelled Harriott, Hariot or Heriot, was an English astronomer, mathematician and translator who made advances within the scientific field. Thomas Harriot was recognized for his contributions in astronomy and navigational techniques. Harriot worked with John White to create advanced maps for navigation. While Harriot worked extensively on numerous papers on the subjects of astronomy and navigation the amount of work, published was sparse. So sparse, that the only publication, produced by Harriot was “the briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia.” The premise of the book includes descriptions of English settlements and financial issues in Virginia at the time. He is sometimes credited with the introduction of the potato to the British Isles. Harriot was the first person to make a drawing of the Moon through a telescope, on 26 July 1609, over four months before Galileo. After graduating from St Mary Hall, Harriot travelled to the Americas, accompanying the 1585 expedition to Roanoke island funded by Sir Walter Raleigh and led by Sir Ralph Lane.
Harriot was a vital member of the venture, having learned and translating the Carolina Algonquian language from two Native Americans: Wanchese and Manteo. On his return to England, he worked for the 9th Earl of Northumberland. At the Earl's house, he became a prolific mathematician and astronomer to whom the theory of refraction is attributed. Born in 1560 in Oxford, Thomas Harriot attended St Mary Hall, Oxford, his name appears in the hall's registry dating from 1577. Harriot started to study navigation shortly after receiving a bachelor's degree from Oxford University; the study of navigation that Harriot studied concentrated on the idea of the open seas and how to cross to the New World from the Atlantic Ocean. He used instruments such as sextants to aide his studies of navigation. After educating himself by incorporating ideals from his astronomic and nautical studies, Harriot taught other captains his navigational techniques in Raleigh, his findings were recorded in the Articon but was never found.
After his graduation from Oxford in 1580, Harriot was first hired by Sir Walter Raleigh as a mathematics tutor. Prior to his expedition with Raleigh, Harriot wrote a treatise on navigation, he made efforts to communicate with Manteo and Wanchese, two Native Americans, brought to England. Harriot devised a phonetic alphabet to transcribe their Carolina Algonquian language. Harriot and Manteo spent many days in one another's company. In addition, he recorded the sense of awe with which the Native Americans viewed European technology: "Many things they sawe with us...as mathematical instruments, sea compasses... spring clocks that seemed to goe of themselves - and many other things we had - were so strange unto them, so farre exceeded their capacities to comprehend the reason and meanes how they should be made and done, that they thought they were rather the works of gods than men."He made only one expedition, around 1585-86, spent some time in the New World visiting Roanoke Island off the coast of North Carolina, expanding his knowledge by improving his understanding of the Carolina Algonquian language.
As the only Englishman who had learned Algonquin prior to the voyage, Harriot was vital to the success of the expedition. Hariot smoked tobacco before Raleigh, may have taught him to do so, his account of the voyage, named A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, was published in 1588. The True Report contains an early account of the Native American population encountered by the expedition, he wrote: "Whereby it may be hoped, if means of good government be used, that they may in short time be brought to civility and the embracing of true religion." At the same time, his views of Native Americans' industry and capacity to learn were largely ignored in favour of the parts of the "True Report" about extractable minerals and resources. As a scientific adviser during the voyage, Harriot was asked by Raleigh to find the most efficient way to stack cannonballs on the deck of the ship, his ensuing theory about the close-packing of spheres shows a striking resemblance to atomism and modern atomic theory, which he was accused of believing.
His correspondence about optics with Johannes Kepler, in which he described some of his ideas influenced Kepler's conjecture. Harriot was employed for many years by Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, with whom he resided at Syon House, run by Henry Percy's cousin Thomas Percy. Harriot's sponsors began to fall from favour: Raleigh was the first, Harriot's other patron Henry Percy, the Earl of Northumberland, was imprisoned in 1605 in connection with the Gunpowder Plot as he was connected to one of the conspirators, Thomas Percy. Around 1605, Harriot was imprisoned for a minimal amount of time due to the crimes involved with the Ninth Earl of Northumberland and the attempted assassination of King James I of England, known as the Jesuit Treason. While this was occurring, Harriot continued his work involving astronomy and in 1607, Harriot used his notes from the observations of the Halley's Comet to elaborate on his understanding of its orbit. Soon after in 1609 and 1610 Harriot turned his attention towards the physical aspects of the moon and
Tycho Brahe was a Danish nobleman and writer known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations. He was born in the Danish peninsula of Scania. Well known in his lifetime as an astronomer and alchemist, he has been described as "the first competent mind in modern astronomy to feel ardently the passion for exact empirical facts." His observations were some five times more accurate than the best available observations at the time. An heir to several of Denmark's principal noble families, he received a comprehensive education, he took an interest in the creation of more accurate instruments of measurement. As an astronomer, Tycho worked to combine what he saw as the geometrical benefits of the Copernican system with the philosophical benefits of the Ptolemaic system into his own model of the universe, the Tychonic system, his system saw the Moon as orbiting Earth, the planets as orbiting the Sun, but erroneously considered the Sun to be orbiting the Earth. Furthermore, he was the last of the major naked-eye astronomers, working without telescopes for his observations.
In his De nova stella of 1573, he refuted the Aristotelian belief in an unchanging celestial realm. His precise measurements indicated that "new stars", in particular that of 1572, lacked the parallax expected in sublunar phenomena and were therefore not tailless comets in the atmosphere as believed but were above the atmosphere and beyond the moon. Using similar measurements he showed that comets were not atmospheric phenomena, as thought, must pass through the immutable celestial spheres. King Frederick II granted Tycho an estate on the island of Hven and the funding to build Uraniborg, an early research institute, where he built large astronomical instruments and took many careful measurements, Stjerneborg, when he discovered that his instruments in Uraniborg were not sufficiently steady. On the island he founded manufactories, such as a paper mill, to provide material for printing his results. After disagreements with the new Danish king, Christian IV, in 1597, he went into exile, was invited by the Bohemian king and Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II to Prague, where he became the official imperial astronomer.
He built an observatory at Benátky nad Jizerou. There, from 1600 until his death in 1601, he was assisted by Johannes Kepler, who used Tycho's astronomical data to develop his three laws of planetary motion. Tycho's body has been exhumed twice, in 1901 and 2010, to examine the circumstances of his death and to identify the material from which his artificial nose was made; the conclusion was that his death was caused by a burst bladder, not by poisoning as had been suggested, that the artificial nose was more made of brass than silver or gold, as some had believed in his time. Tycho was born as heir to several of Denmark's most influential noble families and in addition to his immediate ancestry with the Brahe and the Bille families, he counted the Rud, Trolle and Rosenkrantz families among his ancestors. Both of his grandfathers and all of his great grandfathers had served as members of the Danish king's Privy Council, his paternal grandfather and namesake Thyge Brahe was the lord of Tosterup Castle in Scania and died in battle during the 1523 Siege of Malmö during the Lutheran Reformation Wars.
His maternal grandfather Claus Bille, lord to Bohus Castle and a second cousin of Swedish king Gustav Vasa, participated in the Stockholm Bloodbath on the side of the Danish king against the Swedish nobles. Tycho's father Otte Brahe, like his father a royal Privy Councilor, married Beate Bille, herself a powerful figure at the Danish court holding several royal land titles. Both parents are buried under the floor of Kågeröd Church, four kilometres east of Knutstorp. Tycho was born at his family's ancestral seat of Knutstorp Castle, about eight kilometres north of Svalöv in Danish Scania, he was the oldest of 12 siblings. His twin brother died before being baptized. Tycho wrote an ode in Latin to his dead twin, printed in 1572 as his first published work. An epitaph from Knutstorp, but now on a plaque near the church door, shows the whole family, including Tycho as a boy; when he was only two years old Tycho was taken away to be raised by his uncle Jørgen Thygesen Brahe and his wife Inger Oxe who were childless.
It is unclear why Otte Brahe reached this arrangement with his brother, but Tycho was the only one of his siblings not to be raised by his mother at Knutstorp. Instead, Tycho was raised at Jørgen Brahe's estate at Tosterup and at Tranekær on the island of Langeland, at Næsbyhoved Castle near Odense, again at the Castle of Nykøbing on the island of Falster. Tycho wrote that Jørgen Brahe "raised me and generously provided for me during his life until my eighteenth year. From ages 6 to 12, Tycho attended Latin school in Nykøbing. At age 12, on 19 April 1559, Tycho began studies at the University of Copenhagen. There, following his uncle's wishes, he studied law, but studied a variety of other subjects and became interested in astronomy. At the University, Aristotle was a staple of scientific theory, Tycho received a thorough training in Aristotelian physics and cosmology, he experienced the solar eclipse of 21 August 1560, was impressed by the fact that it had been pre
Andrea Sacchi was an Italian painter of High Baroque Classicism, active in Rome. A generation of artists who shared his style of art include the painters Nicolas Poussin and Giovanni Battista Passeri, the sculptors Alessandro Algardi and François Duquesnoy, the contemporary biographer Giovanni Bellori. Sacchi was born in Rome, his father, was an undistinguished painter. According to the biographer Giovanni Pietro Bellori, Andrea entered the studio of Cavalier d'Arpino; these are Bellori's words: hence Benedetto, his father, as soon as he saw that he was being outstripped by his son in his childhood, no longer having the courage to educate him, wisely thought to provide him with a better master and recommended him to Cavalier Giuseppe d’Arpino, who gladly took him into his school, perceiving him to be more attentive and bent on progress than any other youth. Sacchi entered Francesco Albani's workshop and spent most of his time in Rome where he died. Much of his early career was helped by the regular patronage by Cardinal Antonio Barberini, who commissioned art for the Capuchin church in Rome and the Palazzo Barberini.
A contemporary rival of Pietro da Cortona, Sacchi studied the paintings of Raphael and the influence of Raphael is apparent in a number of his works with reference to the use of few figures and their expressions. He reputedly studied the works of Correggio. Two of his major works on canvas are altarpieces now displayed in the Pinacoteca Vaticana, the painting gallery in the Vatican; as a young man, Sacchi had worked under Cortona at the Villa Sacchetti at Castelfusano. But in a set of public debates at the Accademia di San Luca, the guild for artists in Rome, he criticized Cortona's exuberance; the debate is significant because it indicates how two of the leading proponents of the prevailing styles in painting, now called'Classical' and'Baroque', discussed the differences between their work. In particular, Sacchi advocated that since a unique, individual expression and movement needed to be assigned to each figure in a composition, so a painting should only have a few figures. In a crowded composition, the figures would be deprived of individuality, thus cloud the particular meaning of the piece.
In some ways this was a reaction against the zealous excess of crowds in paintings by artists such as Zuccari in the previous generation, by Cortona among his contemporaries. Simplicity and unity were essential to Sacchi who, drawing an analogy to poetry, likened painting to tragedy. In his counter-argument, Cortona made the case that large paintings with lots of figures were like an epic which could develop multiple sub-themes, but for Sacchi, the encrustation of a painting with excess decorative details, including melees of crowds, would represent something akin to'wall-paper' art rather than focused narrative. Among the partisans of Sacchi's argument for simplicity and focus were his friends, the sculptor Algardi and painter Poussin; the controversy was however less pitched. Sacchi and Albani, among others, shared dissatisfaction with the artistic depiction of low or genre subjects and themes, such as those preferred by the Bamboccianti and the Caravaggisti, they felt that high art should focus on exalted themes- biblical, mythological, or from classical ancient history.
Sacchi, who worked always in Rome, left few pictures visible in private galleries. He had a flourishing school: Carlo Maratta was a younger collaborator or pupil. In Maratta's large studio, Sacchi's preference for a grand manner style would find pre-eminence among Roman circles for decades to follow, but many others worked under him or his influence including Francesco Fiorelli, Luigi Garzi, Francesco Lauri, Andrea Camassei, Giacinto Gimignani. Sacchi's own illegitimate son Giuseppe, died young after high hopes for his future. Sacchi died at Nettuno in 1661; this fresco by Sacchi in the Palazzo Barberini in Rome is considered his masterpiece. It depicts Divine Wisdom; the work was inspired by Raphael's Parnasus in the Raphael's Rooms in the Vatican Palace. According to the American art historian Joseph Connors: Urban VIII's personal emblem is the rising sun visitor to the palace would have seen the sun of Divine Wisdom and the constellation of the lion in Sacchi's fresco... the eye take in the fresco but to penetrate beyond to the chapel next door.
From the right point of view the sun of Divine Wisdom looks as though it is hovering over the dome of the chapel, "radiating downward its beneficent light".... Scott's astrological interpretation of... is convincing because it is a political interpretation. Because of the favorable conjunction of the stars at two key moments, Urban VIII's birth and election, the Barberini were "born and elected to rule." Campanella could have told the pope that when he was elected the sun had entered into the Great Conjunction with Jupiter. Urban VIII's nephew Taddeo Barberini, the patron of this wing of the palace and the relative on whom the family pinned its hopes for offspring and immortality, had a natal chart similar to his uncle's, by coincidence so did the child born to him during his residence in the palace; the little chapel adjacent to Sacchi's fresco was designed for the baptism of such children, its frescoes carried all the usual talismans of fertility. The stars could be expected to look favorably on a family "born and elected to rule" down the generations.
Known as the Miracle of St Gregory the Great, this painting was executed in 1625-57. It is now in t
A telescope is an optical instrument that makes distant objects appear magnified by using an arrangement of lenses or curved mirrors and lenses, or various devices used to observe distant objects by their emission, absorption, or reflection of electromagnetic radiation. The first known practical telescopes were refracting telescopes invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century, by using glass lenses, they were used for both terrestrial applications and astronomy. The reflecting telescope, which uses mirrors to collect and focus light, was invented within a few decades of the first refracting telescope. In the 20th century, many new types of telescopes were invented, including radio telescopes in the 1930s and infrared telescopes in the 1960s; the word telescope now refers to a wide range of instruments capable of detecting different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, in some cases other types of detectors. The word telescope was coined in 1611 by the Greek mathematician Giovanni Demisiani for one of Galileo Galilei's instruments presented at a banquet at the Accademia dei Lincei.
In the Starry Messenger, Galileo had used the term perspicillum. The earliest existing record of a telescope was a 1608 patent submitted to the government in the Netherlands by Middelburg spectacle maker Hans Lippershey for a refracting telescope; the actual inventor is unknown but word of it spread through Europe. Galileo heard about it and, in 1609, built his own version, made his telescopic observations of celestial objects; the idea that the objective, or light-gathering element, could be a mirror instead of a lens was being investigated soon after the invention of the refracting telescope. The potential advantages of using parabolic mirrors—reduction of spherical aberration and no chromatic aberration—led to many proposed designs and several attempts to build reflecting telescopes. In 1668, Isaac Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope, of a design which now bears his name, the Newtonian reflector; the invention of the achromatic lens in 1733 corrected color aberrations present in the simple lens and enabled the construction of shorter, more functional refracting telescopes.
Reflecting telescopes, though not limited by the color problems seen in refractors, were hampered by the use of fast tarnishing speculum metal mirrors employed during the 18th and early 19th century—a problem alleviated by the introduction of silver coated glass mirrors in 1857, aluminized mirrors in 1932. The maximum physical size limit for refracting telescopes is about 1 meter, dictating that the vast majority of large optical researching telescopes built since the turn of the 20th century have been reflectors; the largest reflecting telescopes have objectives larger than 10 m, work is underway on several 30-40m designs. The 20th century saw the development of telescopes that worked in a wide range of wavelengths from radio to gamma-rays; the first purpose built radio telescope went into operation in 1937. Since a large variety of complex astronomical instruments have been developed; the name "telescope" covers a wide range of instruments. Most detect electromagnetic radiation, but there are major differences in how astronomers must go about collecting light in different frequency bands.
Telescopes may be classified by the wavelengths of light they detect: X-ray telescopes, using shorter wavelengths than ultraviolet light Ultraviolet telescopes, using shorter wavelengths than visible light Optical telescopes, using visible light Infrared telescopes, using longer wavelengths than visible light Submillimetre telescopes, using longer wavelengths than infrared light Fresnel Imager, an optical lens technology X-ray optics, optics for certain X-ray wavelengthsAs wavelengths become longer, it becomes easier to use antenna technology to interact with electromagnetic radiation. The near-infrared can be collected much like visible light, however in the far-infrared and submillimetre range, telescopes can operate more like a radio telescope. For example, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope observes from wavelengths from 3 μm to 2000 μm, but uses a parabolic aluminum antenna. On the other hand, the Spitzer Space Telescope, observing from about 3 μm to 180 μm uses a mirror. Using reflecting optics, the Hubble Space Telescope with Wide Field Camera 3 can observe in the frequency range from about 0.2 μm to 1.7 μm.
With photons of the shorter wavelengths, with the higher frequencies, glancing-incident optics, rather than reflecting optics are used. Telescopes such as TRACE and SOHO use special mirrors to reflect Extreme ultraviolet, producing higher resolution and brighter images than are otherwise possible. A larger aperture does not just mean that more light is collected, it enables a finer angular resolution. Telescopes may be classified by location: ground telescope, space telescope, or flying telescope, they may be classified by whether they are operated by professional astronomers or amateur astronomers. A vehicle or permanent campus containing one or more telescopes or other instruments is called an observatory. An optical telescope gathers and focuses light from the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Optical telescopes increase the apparent angular size of distant objects as well as their apparent brightness. In order for the image to be observed, photographed and sent to a computer, telescopes work by employing one or
Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard flat surface by cutting grooves into it with a burin. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, steel, or glass are engraved, or may provide an intaglio printing plate, of copper or another metal, for printing images on paper as prints or illustrations. Engraving is one of the oldest and most important techniques in printmaking. Wood engraving is not covered in this article. Engraving was a important method of producing images on paper in artistic printmaking, in mapmaking, for commercial reproductions and illustrations for books and magazines, it has long been replaced by various photographic processes in its commercial applications and because of the difficulty of learning the technique, is much less common in printmaking, where it has been replaced by etching and other techniques. "Engraving" is loosely but incorrectly used for any old black and white print. Many old master prints combine techniques on the same plate, further confusing matters.
Line engraving and steel engraving cover use for reproductive prints, illustrations in books and magazines, similar uses in the 19th century, not using engraving. Traditional engraving, by burin or with the use of machines, continues to be practised by goldsmiths, glass engravers and others, while modern industrial techniques such as photoengraving and laser engraving have many important applications. Engraved gems were an important art in the ancient world, revived at the Renaissance, although the term traditionally covers relief as well as intaglio carvings, is a branch of sculpture rather than engraving, as drills were the usual tools. Other terms used for printed engravings are copper engraving, copper-plate engraving or line engraving. Steel engraving is the same technique, on steel or steel-faced plates, was used for banknotes, illustrations for books and reproductive prints and similar uses from about 1790 to the early 20th century, when the technique became less popular, except for banknotes and other forms of security printing.
In the past, "engraving" was used loosely to cover several printmaking techniques, so that many so-called engravings were in fact produced by different techniques, such as etching or mezzotint. "Hand engraving" is a term sometimes used for engraving objects other than printing plates, to inscribe or decorate jewellery, trophies and other fine metal goods. Traditional engravings in printmaking are "hand engraved", using just the same techniques to make the lines in the plate; each graver has its own use. Engravers use a hardened steel tool called a burin, or graver, to cut the design into the surface, most traditionally a copper plate. However, modern hand engraving artists use burins or gravers to cut a variety of metals such as silver, steel, gold and more, in applications from weaponry to jewellery to motorcycles to found objects. Modern professional engravers can engrave with a resolution of up to 40 lines per mm in high grade work creating game scenes and scrollwork. Dies used in mass production of molded parts are sometimes hand engraved to add special touches or certain information such as part numbers.
In addition to hand engraving, there are engraving machines that require less human finesse and are not directly controlled by hand. They are used for lettering, using a pantographic system. There are versions for the insides of rings and the outsides of larger pieces; such machines are used for inscriptions on rings and presentation pieces. Gravers come in a variety of sizes that yield different line types; the burin produces a unique and recognizable quality of line, characterized by its steady, deliberate appearance and clean edges. The angle tint tool has a curved tip, used in printmaking. Florentine liners are flat-bottomed tools with multiple lines incised into them, used to do fill work on larger areas or to create uniform shade lines that are fast to execute. Ring gravers are made with particular shapes that are used by jewelry engravers in order to cut inscriptions inside rings. Flat gravers are used for fill work on letters, as well as "wriggle" cuts on most musical instrument engraving work, remove background, or create bright cuts.
Knife gravers are for line engraving and deep cuts. Round gravers, flat gravers with a radius, are used on silver to create bright cuts, as well as other hard-to-cut metals such as nickel and steel. Square or V-point gravers are square or elongated diamond-shaped and used for cutting straight lines. V-point can be anywhere depending on purpose and effect; these gravers have small cutting points. Other tools such as mezzotint rockers and burnishers are used for texturing effects. Burnishing tools can be used for certain stone setting techniques. Musical instrument engraving on American-made brass instruments flourished in the 1920s and utilizes a specialized engraving technique where a flat graver is "walked" across the surface of the instrument to make zig-zag lines and patterns; the method for "walking" the graver may be referred to as "wriggle" or "wiggle" cuts. This technique is necessary due to the thinness of metal used to make musical instruments versus firearms or jewelry. Wriggle cuts are found on
The Pleiades known as the Seven Sisters and Messier 45, are an open star cluster containing middle-aged, hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky; the cluster is dominated by hot blue and luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Reflection nebulae around the brightest stars were once thought to be left over material from the formation of the cluster, but are now considered to be an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium through which the stars are passing. Computer simulations have shown that the Pleiades were formed from a compact configuration that resembled the Orion Nebula. Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood; the name of the Pleiades comes from Ancient Greek. It derives from plein because of the cluster's importance in delimiting the sailing season in the Mediterranean Sea: "the season of navigation began with their heliacal rising".
However, in mythology the name was used for the Pleiades, seven divine sisters, the name deriving from that of their mother Pleione and meaning "daughters of Pleione". In reality, the name of the star cluster certainly came first, Pleione was invented to explain it; the Pleiades are a prominent sight in winter in the Northern Hemisphere, are visible out to mid-Southern latitudes. They have been known since antiquity to cultures all around the world, including the Celts, Hawaiians, Māori, Aboriginal Australians, the Persians, the Arabs, the Chinese, the Quechua, the Japanese, the Maya, the Aztec, the Sioux, the Kiowa, the Cherokee. In Hinduism, the Pleiades are associated with the war-god Kartikeya, they are mentioned three times in the Bible. The earliest known depiction of the Pleiades is a Northern German bronze age artifact known as the Nebra sky disk, dated to 1600 BC; the Babylonian star catalogues name the Pleiades MULMUL, meaning "stars", they head the list of stars along the ecliptic, reflecting the fact that they were close to the point of vernal equinox around the 23rd century BC.
The Ancient Egyptians may have used the names "Followers" and "Ennead" in the prognosis texts of the Calendar of Lucky and Unlucky Days of papyrus Cairo 86637. Some Greek astronomers considered them to be a distinct constellation, they are mentioned by Hesiod's Works and Days, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the Geoponica; some scholars of Islam suggested that the Pleiades are the "star" mentioned in Sura An-Najm of the Quran. In Japan, the constellation is mentioned under the name Mutsuraboshi in the 8th century Kojiki; the constellation is now known in Japan as Subaru. It was chosen as the brand name of Subaru automobiles to reflect the origins of the firm as the joining of five companies, is depicted in the firm's six-star logo. Galileo Galilei was the first astronomer to view the Pleiades through a telescope, he thereby discovered. He published his observations, including a sketch of the Pleiades showing 36 stars, in his treatise Sidereus Nuncius in March 1610; the Pleiades have long been known to be a physically related group of stars rather than any chance alignment.
John Michell calculated in 1767 that the probability of a chance alignment of so many bright stars was only 1 in 500,000, so surmised that the Pleiades and many other clusters of stars must be physically related. When studies were first made of the stars' proper motions, it was found that they are all moving in the same direction across the sky, at the same rate, further demonstrating that they were related. Charles Messier measured the position of the cluster and included it as M45 in his catalogue of comet-like objects, published in 1771. Along with the Orion Nebula and the Praesepe cluster, Messier's inclusion of the Pleiades has been noted as curious, as most of Messier's objects were much fainter and more confused with comets—something that seems scarcely possible for the Pleiades. One possibility is that Messier wanted to have a larger catalogue than his scientific rival Lacaille, whose 1755 catalogue contained 42 objects, so he added some bright, well-known objects to boost his list.
Edme-Sébastien Jeaurat drew in 1782 a map of 64 stars of the Pleiades from his observations in 1779, which he published in 1786. The distance to the Pleiades can be used as an important first step to calibrate the cosmic distance ladder; as the cluster is so close to the Earth, its distance is easy to measure and has been estimated by many methods. Accurate knowledge of the distance allows astronomers to plot a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram for the cluster, when compared to those plotted for clusters whose distance is not known, allows their distances to be estimated. Other methods can extend the distance scale from open clusters to galaxies and clusters of galaxies, a cosmic distance ladder can be constructed. Astronomers' understanding of the age and future evolution of the universe is influenced by their knowledge of the distance to the Pleiades, yet some authors argue that the controversy over the distance to the Pleiades discussed below is a red herring, since the cosmic distance ladder can rely on a suite of other nearby clusters where consensus exists regarding the distances as esta
Europa (consort of Zeus)
In Greek mythology, Europa was the mother of King Minos of Crete, a woman of Phoenician origin, after whom the continent Europe is named. The story of her abduction by Zeus in the form of a bull was a Cretan story; this can be said of the story of Europa."Europa's earliest literary reference is in the Iliad, dated to the 8th century BC. Another early reference to her is in a fragment of the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, discovered at Oxyrhynchus; the earliest vase-painting securely identifiable as Europa dates from mid-7th century BC. Greek Εὐρώπη contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ/ὠπ-/ὀπτ- "eye, countenance". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion, it is common in ancient Greek mythology and geography to identify lands or rivers with female figures. Thus, Europa is first used in a geographic context in the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, in reference to the western shore of the Aegean Sea; as a name for a part of the known world, it is first used in the 6th century BC by Anaximander and Hecataeus.
The weakness of an etymology with εὐρύς, is 1. that the -u stem of εὐρύς disappears in Εὐρώπη Europa and 2. The expected form εὐρυώπη euryopa that retains the -u stem in fact exists. An alternative suggestion due to Ernest Klein and Giovanni Semerano attempted to connect a Semitic term for "west", Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set", Phoenician'ereb "evening. Barry adduces the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night", " sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia; this proposal is considered unlikely or untenable. Sources differ in details regarding Europa's family, but agree that she is Phoenician, from a lineage that descended from Io, the mythical nymph beloved of Zeus, transformed into a heifer, she is said to be the daughter of Agenor, the Phoenician King of Tyre. Other sources, such as the Iliad, claim that she is the daughter of Agenor's son, the "sun-red" Phoenix, it is agreed that she had two brothers, who brought the alphabet to mainland Greece, Cilix who gave his name to Cilicia in Asia Minor, with the author of Bibliotheke including Phoenix as a third.
So some interpret this as her brother Phoenix gave his siblings' name to his three children and this Europa is loved by Zeus, but because of the same name, gave some confusions to others. After arriving in Crete, Europa had three sons fathered by Zeus: Minos and Sarpedon, the three of whom became the three judges of the Underworld when they died. In Crete she married Asterion rendered Asterius and became mother of his daughter Crete. In some accounts and Alagonia were added to the list of children of Europa and Zeus; the Dictionary of Classical Mythology explains that Zeus was enamoured of Europa and decided to seduce or rape her, the two being near-equivalent in Greek myth. He mixed in with her father's herds. While Europa and her helpers were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete, he revealed his true identity, Europa became the first queen of Crete. Zeus gave her a necklace made by Hephaestus and three additional gifts: Talos, Laelaps and a javelin that never missed.
Zeus re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars, now known as the constellation Taurus. Some readers interpret as manifestations of this same bull the Cretan beast, encountered by Heracles, the Marathonian Bull slain by Theseus. Roman mythology adopted the tale of the Raptus known as "The Abduction of Europa" and "The Seduction of Europa", substituting the god Jupiter for Zeus; the myth of Europa and Zeus may have its origin in a sacred union between the Phoenician deities `Aštar and `Aštart, in bovine form. Having given birth to three sons by Zeus, Europa married a king Asterios, this being the name of the Minotaur and an epithet of Zeus derived from the name `Aštar. According to Herodotus' rationalizing approach, Europa was kidnapped by Greeks who were seeking to avenge the kidnapping of Io, a princess from Argos, his variant story may have been an attempt to rationalize the earlier myth. In the territory of Phoenician Sidon, Lucian of Samosata was informed that the temple of Astarte, whom Lucian equated with the moon goddess, was sacred to Europa: There is in Phœnicia a temple of great size owned by the Sidonians.
They call it the temple of Astarte. I hold this Astarte to be no other than the moon-goddess, but according to the story of one of the priests this temple is sacred to Europa, the sister of Cadmus. She was the daughter of Agenor, on her disappearance from Earth the Phœnicians honoured her with a temple and told a sa