Coldplay knows it, when you try your best but you don’t succeed, it hurts. But it hurts more when you thought you’ve finally done it, but you actually have not.
That’s exactly how an astronomer felt when he announced he discovered a star only to be told it was actually just the planet Mars.
Astronomer Mistook Mars for a Star He Believed Was Undiscovered
The Astronomer’s Telegram is an online publication known for being the first to disseminate any information on latest discoveries and groundbreaking astronomical findings. In March 2018, the ATel received a report from a certain Peter Dunsby, who, according to reports, is a cosmology professor at the University of Cape Town. The report submitted detailed Dunsby’s discovery of a certain star.
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But the ATel ended up taking their statement on the said “discovery” back and apologize to their readers after it was found out that what Dunsby saw was just the Red Planet. Yes, the astronomer mistook Mars for a star.
Dunsby believed in good faith that the astronomical object he saw was definitely an undiscovered star but was heavily disappointed too when he knew he just mistook Mars for a star.
We can’t really blame Professor Dunsby, who wouldn’t get excited over a discovery, right? But the astronomer admitted that it put him in an embarrassing situation. When asked about the incident, he said, “Lesson for today: check, check, triple-check, and then check some more.”
And perhaps, it’s a lesson that not only the professor has to keep in mind.
For the record, though, nobody really knows who discovered Mars—Copernicus was just the first one to raise the possibility of it being a planet and Galileo was the first to observe it using a telescope—and we may never know who actually did; but one thing’s for sure, it’s not Professor Dunsby.