Galileo Discovered Neptune!

This was the headline in the science news section of the German ARD telvision video text. They were refering to a story going the rounds of a discovery that University of Melbourne physics prof David Jamieson is claiming to have made. You can read the details here or here and the original lecture announcement is here.

Basically it has been known for a long time that when Galileo was making his observations of the moons of Jupiter he recorded a star where no star exists. Researches showed that Neptune would have been at exactly this position at the time and that in all probability it was the planet that Galileo recorded on this night. Jamieson is now claiming that his annalysis of Galileo’s note books shows that he was aware that he had discovered a new planet thus making him, and not Johann Gottfried Galle in 1846, the discoverer of Neptune.

I’m quite happy to admit that I am more than sceptical but I will reserve my judgement until I have read Jamieson’s article in Australian Physics.

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