Keekin at the nicht
Keekin at the nicht
Afore we cuid look for life, we haed first tae keek at the nicht, an tak the swatch o the sindry planets. An for tae dae this man haed tae mak ever better lenses an lang scowps tae see throu. It wis the astrologues, the men that made the starns an planets thair business, that makkit the first lang scowps. In thae earlier days, astrologues lookit baith at the planets as cheils tae learn aboot, an tae foretell whit wis tae come as fowk commonly thocht the comin an gauin o the planets cuid affect oor lifes on the Yird. The first kenspeckle Scots astrologue wis Jeems Gregory (1638-1675) fae Aiberdeen. In 1666 he becam professor o mathematics at the Versity o Saunt Aundraes, an fae 1674 o Embra, but dee’d young. In his wark Optica Promota (1663) he descrived the sindry pairts o the reflecting langscowp that he hisel makkit. It haed intil’t a parabolic mirra for tae pit richt ony lichts gauin asklent that made the eemages blearie. It wis anither North East cheil, Jeems ferguson (1710-1776) fae Rothiemay in Aiberdeenshire, that mair or less estaiblisht the airt o the astrologue in Scotland as a respectit academic body. He biggit models for tae shaw hoo the planets gaed aboot oor Sun Gird an set furth papers anent the oreeginal an makkin o the universe.
Throu the 18ct an 19t centuries educate men an weemen in Scotland, that haed the time an siller, stertit makkin uiss o the langscowps an ither split-new graithen for lookin at the planets an starns as a middle an upper cless intress. But oot o thair siller, an the fundit colleges, a wheen observators noo sprung up aboot the kintra. Ane o the first wis at the Versity o Glesca, the first purpose-biggit ane at ony versity in the hail Unitit Kinrik, an steidit at Dowhill in 1760. It wis cryed the Macfarlane observator. Wark stertit on anither ane at Caltoun Hill in Embra in 1776 but it didna get aff the grund for want o siller, tho the first society o astrologues in the hail UK – The Astronomical Institute of Edinburgh – wis foondit in the city in 1811. No lang efter, in 1824, Embra haed its first observator at Caltoun Hill. An observator wis opent at Lairgs, in Ayrshire, in 1808, an cryed efter its foonder Major General Sir Tamas Brisbane, an aboot the year 1826 anither ane wis opent at the Crumell Touer at King’s College, Aiberdeen. The Dundee manufacturer John Mills (1806-1889) wis the first tae bigg an observator in Dundee, his ain private ane on the braes o Dundee Law, but it wisna til 1935 that Dundee’s first publict ane – the Mills Observator - wis estaiblisht. The auldest publict observator in Scotland is The Coats that wis estaiblisht on Oakshaw Street in Paisley in 1882.
Tamas Henderson (1798-1844) fae Dundee wis appyntit the first Real-Astrologue for Scotland in the 1820’s an did kenspeckle wark in estaiblishin the lang lengths atween the starns. Scotland’s first female astrologue wis Mary Fairfax Mrs Somerville (1780-1872) fae Jethart in the Borders. A lady o mony airts and pairts, she wis the first wumman electit tae the Royal Astronomical Society an becam namely efter her wark The Mechanism of the Heavens wis set furth in 1831. For a lang time this wis used as a text buik in some colleges. The first lady tae haud the poseetion o the Real-Astrologue for Scotland is Professor Catherine Heymans, a graduate o the Versity o Embra, appyntit in 2021.
Whiles sindry astrologues doun throu hunners o year haes held opeenions anent ither life, but as a body thir scientists daesna say ae thing or anither anent UFOs. Thay keek at the starns, thay ettle efter possible planets that cuid haud life, whiles offer us the gaithert data, an airt us tae the stark facts. But athoot the wark o thir fowk we wad hae naething tae reason wi.