March 20, 2012

America Sive In Dea Nova

Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine:

'via Blog this'

A lot can happen, given enough time. But sometimes it is truly remarkable how quickly things can progress. It has been over four hundred years since Galileo first turned his telescope to the heavens and found that Jupiter was orbited by satellites of it's own. Let us consider the world of Galileo: Ships navigated by sextant, maps were ... interesting. The Dutch East India Company had just been founded and the New World was reached in boats that were little more that tar, timber, and nails.

But it is Galileo's new worlds that are of interest today. As Phil Plait mentions, when Io was first discovered we didn't even have accurate maps of the Earth. And now we have a photomosaic map of the Galilean moon Io at an accuracy that was not rivaled on Earth until the 20th century. In addition we have electricity, powered flight, instant pocket communicators, microwave ovens, rollercoasters, vaccines, plastic, life support helicopters, and really fast cars. We have put people on the Moon. Imagine what our world will be like four hundred years from now. I wonder what new worlds we will be exploring then.

Earth had a fat Antarctica back in the day. But then it took a stairmaster class at the local gym  and now it's buns and thighs look spectacular. Also, go to Ancient World Maps on Blogspot. They're pretty cool.

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