Astronomer announces he has discovered … Mars

Posted: March 22, 2018 by oldbrew in Astronomy, humour

Mars [image credit: NASA]

As banana skins go, this is a good one. Bad luck, professor!

In an online publication, this astronomer reports the detection of a very bright object in the night sky that wasn’t there before. Turns out, he’s thousands of years late for this discovery, says LiveScience.

Astronomer Peter Dunsby just made a groundbreaking discovery, after noticing a very bright “star” pop up in his field of view at an observatory at the University of Cape Town that was not present two weeks prior.

Too bad Dunsby was perhaps thousands of years late … the bright object was the planet Mars.

Though no one knows for sure who discovered the Red Planet, though Galileo Galilei observed the giant red orb — whose diameter spans a whopping 4,222 miles (6,794 km) — in 1609; and Martian fascination has arguably not waned since.

Before realizing his marvelous mistake, Dunsby posted a note on the Astronomer’s Telegram, a publication for very short (under 4,000 characters) reports by astronomers, detailing his observations, in which he descdribed the bright object had shown up between the Lagoon and Trifid nebulas, both nestled in the constellation Sagittarius.

The telegram promptly — about 40 minutes later — issued a correction: “The object reported in ATel 11448 has been identified as Mars. Our sincere apologies for the earlier report and the inconvenience caused.”

And, not to let Dunsby go quietly into the night, the telegram also sent out a cheeky tweet: “For Discovery of Mars. Congratulations, Prof. Peter Dunsby!”

Continued here.

  1. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on CraigM350 and commented:
    I haven’t seen a discovery like this since the Met Office were rolling out excuses for cold winters (oh look it’s the Jetstream and the Atlantic) 😝

  2. tom0mason says:

    It is apparently brighter at the moment but I wonder how the Martian polar ice is doing as the sun moves to a less active phase.

  3. ivan says:

    Is this the level of competence we can expect from scientists now?

  4. Bitter@twisted says:

    Obviously Professorships are Two a penny these days.

  5. Bitter@twisted says:

    Oldbrew can you tell me how you post pictures?
    I’ve tried several times, but failed dismally.

  6. oldbrew says:

    B@T – sorry, you don’t unless they’ve already been uploaded to the internet somewhere.

    Sites like tinypic will do that – but that’s not intended as a plug, there are various others.
    After that, just put the link to the photo in the comment.