In keeping with the macabre nature of the day, we present Galileo’s Index Finger.
Galileo’s index finger bones. On display at the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy. Photo by Edward Dick, Jr.
Now residing in the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy this finger from Galileo’s right hand was removed by historian Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti during a ceremony on March 12, 1737. Galileo’s remains were unearthed and moved to a prominent tomb in the main body of the church of Santa Croce. A middle finger, a thumb, a tooth and a vertebra were also removed.
This finger, along with the thumb and tooth, disappeared in 1905, only to be rediscovered in 2009.
The crops have been harvested and winter is coming. Time for the Full Hunter’s Moon. Native Americans named this moon as such because it was time to build up their stores for winter and the reaped field and fallen leaves made it easier to see their prey. The Hunter’s Moon, also known as Blood Moon and Sanguine Moon, was considered an important time and was celebrated with feasts by Native American’s and in Western Europe. The hunter hits his mark on October 8th, at 10:51 (GMT).
This year’s Harvest Moon is a special one. In fact, it is SUPER.
The Full Moon that falls closest is closest to the Autumnal Equinox, is known as the Full Harvest Moon. This year the equinox falls on September 22nd and the full moon arrives the night of September 8th, crowning it this year’s Harvest Moon.
Adding to the fun is that this month’s full moon is a supermoon. A supermoon occurs when the moon turns full less than a day after reaching perigee, when the Earth and moon are at their closest for the month.
One of the best meteor showers of the year takes place this month. It’s the Perseids, named for the constellation Perseus, where the shooting stars appear to radiate from. This year the shower is at it’s maximum during the night and morning hours of August 12-13th. During a normal year 60 to 100 shooting stars per hour can be seen at its peak. This year, though, it could be different.
The moon will be near full during the meteor shower. On top of that, it will be a supermoon, which will be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than an average full moon. The light from the moon will wash out the night sky, making many of the dimmer meteors much more difficult to see.
The Perseid Meteor Shower is caused by the debris trail left by the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.