Did you know that Geminiano Montaniari was born today in 1633? He was an Italian lens maker and astronomer. He is best known for his observations of Algol, the second-brightest star in the constellation Perseus. He noticed and made records that the brightness of the star changed and how often it changed. Geminiano Montaniari was also an advocate for using experiments to find and prove scientific ideas. When he was an astronomy professor, one of his duties was to create an astrology almanac. Geminiano Montaniari purposely wrote random information into the almanac to show that using astrology to make decisions was no better than making choices just by chance.
We hope that you remember to make decisions based on facts. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
Geminiano Montaniari was not the first astronomer to notice the variable brightness of Algol. Astronomers in other parts of the world had also noticed the unsteady ‘character’ of the star. Other names given to the star have the meaning ‘ghoul’ or ‘demon’.
Algol’s brightness changes because it is a three-star system. As stars of differing brightness eclipse each other, the apparent brightness changes.
Geminiano Montaniari taught astronomy at the University of Bologna. The previous individual to hold that position was Giovanni Cassini.
Geminiano Montaniari also drew an accurate map of the Moon.
Geminiano Montaniari also studied capillary action and viscosity in fluid mechanics.