Ole Romer, Danish astronomer

Ole Romer, Danish astronomer

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Ole Romer (1644-1710), Danish astronomer. Romer studied at the University of Copenhagen and after his studies there, joined the observatory of Uraniborg on the island of Hven, near Copenhagen, in 1671. Over several months he observed 140 eclipses of Io (a moon of Jupiter). By comparing the times of the eclipses with Giovanni Domenico Cassini, who had observed the same eclipses in Paris, the difference in longitude of Paris and Uraniborg was calculated. With this information they worked together and recognised that times between eclipses got shorter as Earth approached Jupiter, proving that there was a finite speed of light. He introduced the first national system for weights and measures in Denmark in 1683 and developed one of the first temperature scales.

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