One night, when I was 12 years old, I turned my father's hunting binoculars towards the sky and saw mountains on the moon.
Ever since that night I have been hooked on Astronomy.
I started building telescopes in my early teens with whatever parts I could find. I wanted to see more. I was planning on becoming a professional astronomer when I was side-tracked by computer science. Not a bad thing really because now I can use my programming skills to promote my passion for Astronomy.
With the recent unmanned space missions to the limits of our solar system and the ability to sit-in on university lectures using nothing more than my smart-phone I have reignited my passion for observational Astronomy and hope to present that passion from these web pages.
Solar System Discovery
For me the appeal of Astronomy has always been the visuals so I thought it would be fun to capture imaging improvements made possible by technological advances in a visual discovery timeline that basically started in 1609 with the invention of the telescope.
The eight known planets ordered by distance from the sun.
The known dwarf planets ordered by distance from the sun.
The focus of these pages is to show how advances in technology have improved our view of the major Solar System objects over time. Each page displays the best natural-color image that we have of the object and a short description with links to more information. Below that is the historical record of the object in pictures, from the most recent to the earliest discovery with the best images of the time (not the processed or imagined images you often see in the media), what it might look like to you if you were there.
(This is a work-in-progress so come back often to see what's new.)
Astronomy has the distinction as being the oldest science since all that was ever required to study it was to look up at the sky. Before 1609 all astronomical observations were made with the unaided eye and beautifully intricate mechanical measuring instruments.
Galileo changed all that when he pointed his telescope to the heavens and started a revolution.
Since then incremental improvements in technology have given us ever better images of our favorite astronomical objects from the planets nearest us to galaxies at the limits of the universe.