Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blog v3

As anyone of you reading this has undoubtedly realized, the site has been completely overhauled. This is an attempt to bring it up to date in web standards. We now have an atom feed for updates, latex to mathml translation for maths and a new theme. You won't see it, but also the backend editor is new and is supposed to produce cleaner code. Let me know if you find any glitch with the new design.

On an unrelated thing. Neptune was discovered almost 165 years ago by John Galle who was looking for it after Adams and Le Verrier had predicted its existence based on the effect of Neptune on the orbit of Uranus. Since the orbital period of Neptune is 164.79 years we can say today that we are celebrating Neptune's first birthday!

Happy "birthday" Neptune!

Interestingly enough, from his observational notebooks we know now that Galileo had observed Neptune in his telescope which was too rudimentary to actually show its disc and reveal it as a planet. Additionally, in a strike of bad luck he just happened to observe Neptune when its proper motion was less noticeable. Nonetheless, there is some evidence that he was at least aware that it moved to respect the background stars. Unfortunately, bad weather prevented him to pursue this issue further. It is interesting how a small set of circumstances shapes history, not only of science.

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