Name: Europa "Astronomy"
Date of Issue: 28 May 2009
Denominations: 36p, 43p, 51p, 54p, 56p, 77p
Early civilizations recognized only five planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn — the ones bright enough to show up easily to the naked eye. It wasn’t until after the invention of the telescope in 1608 that Astronomers using it discovered three more planets: Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846), and Pluto (1930). (Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006).
The telescope was actually invented in the Netherlands, but the Italian mathematician and philosopher Galileo Galilei and Englishman Thomas Harriot, became the first people to view the night sky through telescopes exactly 400 years ago. That moment is now generally regarded as the birth of modern astronomy.