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Galileo, Jupiter's Moons and Pluto's New Horizons *

Galileo has made improvements to his telescope, increasing its magnification to 20x. He turns his scope to the moon and is surprised to see imperfections in a heavenly body. Then he turns his scope to the planet Jupiter... a "wandering star" which is what the word "planet" means. Jupiter resolves itself into a disk. He notices three smaller stars near it and over the next few nights he realizes that these are moons. Soon a 4th moon resolves itself. These will be called the Galilean Moons. Galileo's daughter is only nine years old, but she can recognize her father's deep interest in the stars. She will enter a convent at age 13 and take the name of Sister Maria Celeste, as in "Mary of the Heavens". She will help her father with his work. Years later these heavenly observations will upset Church officials, but Galileo is a very smart man. He can tap dance with the best of them. In the modern day when the space probe Galileo reaches Jupiter it will count 67 moons, the largest being the ones spotted by Galileo and his little telescope. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The New Horizons space probe reached the frozen world of Pluto in mid-July of 2015. It was launched in 2006 after Pluto was found to have a large moon that they named Charon (usually pronounced Sharon). Charon was the mythological ferryman who would take souls across the River Styx into Hades. The moon is so large that one can say that Pluto and Charon actually orbit each other in a waltz. While New Horizons was on its way, 4 more moons were spotted. For a dwarf planet, Pluto has quite a number of moons, but the really amazing thing is that Pluto is smaller than any of the 4 Galilean moons. That is why scientists argued that Pluto isn't really a planet. They finally settled on calling Pluto a "dwarf planet" because Pluto is round and the scientists wanted to keep the public off of their backs. [9] [10]

Judge Dread is Judged Illegal: Common Law vs. the Parliament

The bottom line is that you can't have the policeman also be the judge and the executioner all in one body. Here is what happened... Doctor Bonham is examined, fined and jailed for practicing medicine without a license in London. The College of Physicians is the body designated by Parliament to judge London physicians and they are authorized to levy fines. But Doctor Bonham points out that he was certified in Cambridge so London had no right to fine him, Judge Coke sides with the doctor, but he also makes a persuasive argument that will echo down the ages. The judge points out that one should not be the judge and jury in one's own case. The College of Physicians acted as a judge of physicians and also benefited from the fines levied without a separate and impartial review. Even though the Parliament set up the law that way, common law and reason takes precedence. This is the beginning of judicial review... the idea that the judiciary has a role in reviewing laws against a higher authority such as the Constitution because leaving that determination to Congress or the Administration alone is too much like the fox guarding the hen house. [11] [12] [13]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Judge Coke's decision led to the US Supreme Court decision in Marbury vs. Madison on judicial review. That is... the Supreme Court has the right to review the constitutionality of the laws passed by Congress. That may seem obvious today, but during the formation of the USA, it was not obvious. The Founding Fathers understood the problems of legislation and administration of government, but the role of the judiciary needed some fleshing out. The Supreme Court took the opportunity in Marbury vs. Madison to assert their authority of judicial review. Essentially, they said that their judgement was not limited to whether the law was correctly executed by the parties involved but also whether the law itself was constitutional. In the case of Marbury vs. Madison, Marbury sued for his rights as defined in the law, and Madison was wrong for blocking Marbury but the law itself was unconstitutional, so Marbury got nothing because it was a bad law. [14]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1610, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Dava Sobel. Galileo's Daughter. Walker & Co.. ISBN 9780007382019. 
  2. Planet - definition of planet (2015). Retrieved on 22 July 2015. “Middle English, from Old French planete, from Late Latin planeta, from Greek planetes, variant of planes, planet-, from planasthai, to wander.”
  3. Orion Nebula: History - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 July 2015. “The first discovery of the diffuse nebulous nature of the Orion Nebula is generally credited to French astronomer Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, on 26 November 1610 when he made a record of observing it with a refracting telescope purchased by his patron Guillaume du Vair.”
  4. Galilean moons: History - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 July 2015. “As a result of improvements Galileo Galilei made to the telescope, with a magnifying capability of 20×,[3] he was able to see celestial bodies more distinctly than was ever possible before. This allowed Galilei to discover in either December 1609 or January 1610 what came to be known as the Galilean moons.”
  5. Galileo Discovers Jupiter’s Moons. National Geographic Education (2015). Retrieved on 22 July 2015. “After a few weeks, Galileo determined that he was observing not stars, but objects in orbit around Jupiter. Today, Jupiter’s four largest satellites—Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto—are named the Galilean Moons in honor of their discoverer.”
  6. Galileo's Battle for the Heavens. NOVA (2015). Retrieved on 22 July 2015. “ALBERT VAN HELDEN: Now, Jupiter was the one that was in the most favorable position for observation. It was closest to the Earth at that particular point. And when Galileo looked at Jupiter he saw three very bright little stars, invisible with the naked eye, on a line with Jupiter, and he remarked on that.”
  7. Galileo Discovers Jupiter's Four Largest Moons. AwesomeStories.com (2015). Retrieved on 22 July 2015. “In this NASA-produced video clip, Jane Houston Jones tells us more about Galileo's discovery of 'Jupiter's Moons.' In it we learn that Jupiter actually has 63 confirmed moons (scroll down for the animation), the largest of which are the four Galileo observed.”
  8. When Did Galileo Discover Jupiter?. biography.yourdictionary.com (2015). Retrieved on 22 July 2015. “At the time, the majority of Europe still endorsed a theory that all the planets orbited around the Earth. According to this theory (the geocentric model of the solar system), the Earth was at the center of the Universe.”
  9. New Horizons - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 July 2015. “After three years of construction, and several delays at the launch site, New Horizons was launched on January 19, 2006, from Cape Canaveral, directly into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory with an Earth-relative speed of about 16.26 kilometers per second (58,536 km/h; 36,373 mph); it set the record for the highest launch speed of a human-made object from Earth.”
  10. Charon (mythology) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 23 July 2015. “A coin to pay Charon for passage, usually an obolus or danake, was sometimes placed in or on the mouth of a dead person.”
  11. Obiter dictum - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 July 2015. “Obiter dictum (more usually used in the plural, obiter dicta) is Latin for a word said 'by the way', that is, a remark in a judgment that is 'said in passing'. It is a concept derived from English common law. For the purposes of judicial precedent, ratio decidendi is binding, whereas obiter dicta are persuasive only.”
  12. Dr. Bonham's Case - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 July 2015. “Thomas Bonham v College of Physicians, commonly known as Dr. Bonham's Case or simply Bonham's Case, was decided in 1610 by the Court of Common Pleas in England under Sir Edward Coke, the court's Chief Justice. Coke said that 'in many cases, the common law will control Acts of Parliament', and explained why he thought so.”
  13. Dr. Bonham's Case legal definition of Dr. Bonham's Case. legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com (2015). Retrieved on 23 July 2015. “Dr. Bonham's Case, 8 Co. Rep. 114 (Court of Common Pleas 1610), stands for the principle that legislation passed by the English Parliament is sub-ordinate to the common-law decisions made by trial and appellate court judges, and any statute that is contrary to 'common right and reason' must be declared void (Thorne 1938).”
  14. Marbury v. Madison - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 23 July 2015. “The landmark decision helped define the boundary between the constitutionally separate executive and judicial branches of the American form of government.”

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