Astronomy: Another for the Amateurs

Hunched at the eyepiece of his telescope early in the morning of December 29 in the Japanese city of Hamamatsu, Kaoru Ikeya suddenly grew tense. He had spotted an unfamiliar blob of light in the constellation of Ophiuchus. Five minutes later, 240 miles away in Kochi, Tsutomu Seki located the same strange object. Both checked their star maps, then hurriedly mounted their bicycles and pedaled furiously to the nearest telegraph office. There they dispatched the word to the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory. Incredibly, the same two amateur astronomers who had independently but...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!