Famed astronomer in dump site shock

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19 years 7 months ago #3625 by albertw
Famed astronomer in dump site shock was created by albertw
Swiped without any permission from the wonderful Fingal Independent www.unison.ie/fingal_independent/stories...10152&issue_id=11097

Famed astronomer in dump site shock

By Hubert Murphy

A SMALL Fingal community is vying with Scotland and England to rightfully claim the birthplace of one of the greatest mathematicians and astronomers of all time.

And with the 750th anniversary of his death in two years time, the hamlet of Hollywood, between Ballyboughal and Naul, could be the centre of the universe for scholars from all over the world!

However, the birthplace of Joannes de Sacrobosco (John of Holywood) could be under threat as it is included in a list of areas for a possible ‘Superdump.’

His native area is between Hollywood and Naul and in the vacinity of the Brownstown dump threat.

Sacrobosco was born and raised in a manor at Hollywood and went on to become one of the foremost thinkers of medieval times.

What’s more he is one of the rare breed of people to have a lunar crater named after him by NASA!

Schoolchildren in nearby Ballyboughal and Naul are reading many items on mathematics and the earth which were brought to the attention of the world by a man who was born just a few miles away.

His book, ‘De Sphaera’ was a best seller for more than 400 years and nobody dared question the findings of the Fingal man, such was the esteem in which he was held.

De Sacrobosco was born around 1200 and went on to become a professor of mathematics (one of the first) at Paris University until his death in 1256.

The Holywood family, from which the area derived its name, lived in the region for many centuries but only adopted the English version of the name around 1400, using de Sacrobosco at the time when Joannes was creating waves right across the world.

For centuries both England and Scotland have also claimed him, but with his anniversary looming, Fingal can rightfully claim him.

The English claim he was a monk, born in Halifax, Yorkshire while the Scots say he came from Nithsdale.

John mixed with some famous names, including St. Thomas Aquinas and de Sacrobosco became famous for his ability to write textbooks, detailing many aspects of astronomy. His writings were the foremost findings on the subject and only challenged by Copernicus and Henry Newton in later centuries.

The Fingallian expanded on the idea of Ptolemy’s astrolabe, a graduated quadrant, from which one could judge the height of the sun in the sky and then translate that into the correct time of day, very much in the realms of a sundial.

John never made it home to Hollywood, dying in Paris but the university made sure he would be remembered, a public funeral arranged to honour his name and his tomb placed in the church of St Mathurin in Paris.

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section

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