Star Atlas Mystery: The Bečvář 14

Astronomers active between roughly 1950 and 1980 all know who Antonín Bečvář is, though they probably can’t say his last name with the correct Czech pronunciation (Betz-VOSH–but with a weird trill on the sh). His Atlas Coeli Skalnate Pleso, known around these parts as the Skalnate Pleso Atlas of the Heavens, plotted the stars, nebula, galaxies and…

A Galaxy of Planets

As far as we know, it was Galileo who first aimed a telescope at the night sky. This is easy to believe, since we can imagine that most other men of Galileo’s time were interested more in enemy encampments, brothel windows, and then, maybe, and a very distant third, the night sky.* Galileo was a…