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Galileo's Finger: The Birth and Death of Galileo Galilei By Dr. Michael Bertin

Galileo's Finger: The Birth and Death of Galileo Galilei

The work of Galileo, considered by many to be the first modern scientist, is familiar to all of us. But in his early years Galileo was a college drop-out, a young man struggling to make a living. He succeeded by networking, entrepreneurship, and being opportunistic. At the end of his life, under censure by the Church, he was a celebrity, perhaps the first "scientist-rock star". After his death Galileistas struggled for a century to build a monument to the great man, and the story of how that monument was realized is little known but remarkable. In his life Galileo never traveled farther than from Tuscany to Rome. In death his finger has traveled from Florence to Philadelphia, and the story of Galileo's finger continues to this day.

Michael Bertin

Michael Bertin is a long-time OCA member. He is a 1963 graduate of MIT, and holds a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from Rutgers University. His career path includes basic research, industrial R&D, and entrepreneurship. Now retired, he is an amateur astronomer, and a docent at Palomar Observatory. Michael has visited Galileo's finger at the Museo Galileo in Florence.

"What's Up?" in this month will be presented by John Garrett



Monthly General Meeting

The OCA has a general meeting held on the second Friday of every month* at Chapman University.

These meetings are free and open to the general public.

The meetings take place in The Irvine Lecture Hall with seating for approximately 250 people.

The Irvine Lecture Hall (located adjacent to the Hashinger Science Center) is near the south east corner of the campus
and the nearest cross street is East Palm Ave and North Center Street.

The meetings start promptly at 7:30 PM.

The basic agenda, with approximate times, is as shown below.

7:00 PM - 7:30 PM Pre-meeting Slide Show

Arrival of audience. This presentation includes recent astronomical photographs taken by OCA members.

7:30 PM - 7:45 PM Club Announcements
Usually presented by the OCA Secretary, Bob Buchheim.

7:45 PM - 8:15 PM "What's Up?"
Usually presented by OCA Member and Space Artist, Chris Butler.

8:15 PM - 9:15 PM Main Talk
Speakers are often from JPL/Caltech and other major educational and astronomical institutions.
The level of the talks are usually appropriate for anyone who has an interest in this hobby.

9:15 PM - 9:30 PM Refreshments
Break Donuts, coffee, soda are available for a small donation.

9:30 PM - 10:00 PM "Ask an Astronomer"
Anyone can stay behind and ask a panel of experts any burning question related to this hobby.

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  • Roland A. B.

    The ancient Sumerians are reported to have recorded the rising and a setting of certain planets and stars with an accuracy of 1/60 of a" gesh" or about 4 seconds. Even 40 seconds would have been hard to do 5000 years ago.
    . Does any one have any information on this

    February 17, 2014

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