Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Peder Horrebow, Astronomer

Peder Horrebow
Born: 14/5/1679
Died: 15/4/1764
Favourite Spice Girl: Baby

Peder Horrebow was born in Denmark in 1679 despite the advice of several doctors, the town mayor and his own mother, who referred to her son as 'just a nasty spell of heartburn' well into his 20s.

His love of astronomy was kindled in early childhood, watching the constellations whilst lying in the snow in the back yard of the family home until his parents relented on his seventh birthday and let him sleep in the house.

He bought his first telescope at the age of fifteen from his uncle but after concluding that Jupiter smelled like vinegar it became clear that his equipment was in fact a rollmop herring with a piece of beer bottle in the end. 

He eventually acquired accurate equipment as a 21st birthday present from his parents on the understanding they never had to speak to him ever again. This led to his paper published in 1737 that put forward the theory that the most distant object in the galaxy was his father.

In 1728, all of Horrebow's research papers were destroyed in the Great Fire Of Copenhagen. His house was then burned down in 1729 in the Minor Fire Of Copenhagen and the bottom of his coat caught fire in the Really Specific Fire Of Horrebow. His spate of bad luck ended with the Banning Horrebow's Mother From Owning Matches of 1730.

His greatest discovery was a method for establishing latitude using stars as reference points, which was used by sailors across Denmark for over three hours before they realised it didn't actually work.

He fathered 20 children in total, due to his belief that his penis could be converted into pointing to true North if tempered for long enough in a vagina.

His legacy is a crater on the moon named after him, after astronomers noticed it looked like his mother's mouth whenever Horrebow said he was coming to visit.

No comments: