A peek into our collections, one object at a time

When You Wish Upon a Shooting Star

January 26, 2018
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shooting stars
Pleiades, Smithsonian Libraries

Sidereus Nuncius, sometimes called Starry Messenger, is a short work written by Galileo Galilei in 1610. Above is the verso of Galileo’s drawings of the Pleiades star cluster, which makes an exceptional background for our shooting stars.

The edition is available for view online in the Smithsonian Libraries’ Heralds of Sciencecollection, a set of books donated to the Libraries by noted book collector and founder of the Burndy Library, Bern Dibner. The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology is named in his honor.