There are some really exciting night skies at the moment, providing it’s not cloudy and raining, and despite it not getting really dark until quite late in the evening. Jupiter and Venus are easily seen quite soon after sunset because of their brilliance, and at the end of June they will sit very close together. It’s remarkable to think that little has changed to the naked eye viewer since ancient times and it was only the advent of the telescope, and the first observations by Galileo, that really opened up the universe and presented mankind with endless unanswered questions that we continue to this day to investigate.
Galileo – Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger)
Madrigals still filled the clear night air,
when Galileo raised that fateful glass
to see a blemished, battered lunar face
of flawed divine perfection.
At once the vault of heaven was unlocked,
exposed to all heretical conjecture.
Mystery and myth drew prying eyes of science
to skies where ancient figures had been drawn.
Investigation challenged inquisition,
as man’s scope to view increased ad infinitum;
astronomers probed spacial depths to test
and confound the scriptures of the Almagest.
Earth turned to revolution. Cosmic dogma stalled,
for scientists had put into motion laws
to challenge older orders. Stars became unfixed,
infinite in number and design. The paradigm
of Heaven was not lost, but lay beyond
a universe of beauty more sublime than
man had ever dreamt or could believe in,
and music of the spheres were merest echoes.