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Portrait of Christian Huygens
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Christian Huygens

Christian Huygens was a Dutch physicist and astronomer who lived between 1629-1695. He found new methods for grinding and polishing lenses, making telescopes more powerful. Using a telescope he had made, Huygens first identified Saturn's rings and Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

In 1656, Huygens invented the first pendulum clock and greatly increased the accuracy of timekeeping devices, which had previously used springs. He also studied momentum and centrifugal force, and proposed the original wave theory of light.


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Science, Evolution, and Creationism

How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more

Mars Polar Regions

The North and South Poles on Mars are similar to the polar regions on Earth in many ways. They are the coldest places on the planet, with wintertime temperatures dipping to a frigid -150 C (about -238...more

Huygens Probe to Titan

The Huygens space probe, built by the European Space Agency, landed on Saturn's giant moon Titan in January 2005. Huygens transmitted measurements of Titan's thick atmosphere, and images of the mysterious...more

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin was an English Naturalist who lived between 1809-1882. In 1859, with the publication of The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, he challenged existing views on the appearance...more

Christian Doppler

Christian Doppler was an Austrian mathematician who lived between 1803-1853. He is known for the principle he first proposed in Concerning the coloured light of double stars in 1842. This principle is...more

Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin was an American scientist and statesman who lived between 1706-1790. At a time when little was known about electricity, he carried out many experiments to learn of its dangers and possible...more

Edmond Halley

Edmond Halley was an English astronomer who lived between 1656-1742. Using historical records, his own observations, and Newton's universal law of gravitation, he reasoned that the comets which had appeared...more

William Herschel

William Herschel was born in Germany and lived in England while he worked as an astronomer. He lived between 1738-1822. He built reflecting telescopes of high magnification, that let him observe the universe...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA