domingo, julio 26, 2009

Como un amateur dió a conocer la última gran sorpresa sobre Jupiter

A lo largo de la historia varios amateurs han hecho descubrimientos que envidian los profesionales en sus campos, y hace unos días volvió a ocurrir cuando un astronomo amateur australiano por casualidad observó una extraña herida en el sur de Jupiter, poco después de que un cometa chocara contra el inmenso planeta. Copio del NYT:

AMATEUR HOUR Anthony Wesley, the Australian who spied Jupiter’s new scar.

"backyard astronomers, however, expressed unqualified enthusiasm for the achievement of a fellow amateur, Anthony Wesley, in Australia. His discovery, they said, enhanced the status of amateurs worldwide.

In an age of “American Idol,” amateurs in every imaginable discipline seem to expect an eventual moment on the big stage, and Mr. Wesley certainly got his. A 44-year-old computer programmer in the town of Murrumbateman, outside Canberra, Mr. Wesley scooped the university observatories and government satellites when he noticed the black mark around 1 a.m. last Monday, his time, using the 14.5-inch-diameter reflecting telescope installed in his backyard, before retiring for the night to watch cricket and golf on TV, he told reporters.

It was one small step for man, one giant leap for the little guy. “These days, amateur astronomers routinely observe events that would go unnoticed by the professionals,” Jeff DeTray of Napoleon, Ohio, who runs a site called, said by e-mail.

“Amateur astronomers have more modest equipment, but what they may lack in hardware,” he added, “they more than make up for in sheer numbers.”

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