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People in space machines and magnetic suns

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posted on Jan, 7 2008 @ 06:26 AM
A program on BBC Radio 3 this weekend just gone examined the letters written to the Mount Wilson observatory in California. The program focussed on letters written at the beginning of the last century - shortly after the Observatory was built in 1904 - from people who claimed to know all about the Universe without the need for a huge telescope.

Apart from being a fascinating program (which you can listen to here for the next few days) - one or two things stuck out for me.

One was the reference to a woman who had written to say that the reason we shouldn't fire rockets was because they might damage the "people in the machines" that were up there.

The other was a woman who wrote in to say she didn't understand why she'd had no response from the astronomers she was writing to as she had all this knowledge they didn't have - and that, specifically, she knew that "the sun was a magnet in 1908".

I recommend this for your listening pleasure - there were amateur space watchers out there way back when, and some of the knowledge they wrote about was very mysterious indeed....



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