If you are wondering what is the speed of light, the answer is approximately 186,282 miles per second. This answer was discovered 340 years ago by Danish astronomer Ole Roemer, and was published in an European science journal, called Journal des sçavans. To mark this occasion, Google has dedicated an animated doodle on its homepage. The Google doodle shows Roemer pacing back and forth in his lab making calculations based on his observations of Jupiter and its moon lo. Also Read - Google's offline dinosaur game in new Olympics avatar: Here's how to can play
Before Roemer, noted physicist and mathematician Galileo Galilei had tried to determine the speed of light, and failed. Roemer, born on September 25 1644 in Arhus, would begin his research much later in 1673. To measure the speed of light, Roemer observed the time lapse between Jupiter eclipsing its moon lo. While he took the measurements from Copenhagen, his peer Giovanni Domenico Cassini took similar measurements from Paris. With this experiment, they found that light seemed to take about 10 to 11 minutes to cross a distance equal to half the diameter of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. This estimation works out to 220,000 kilometers per second, a value that is 26 percent below the actual value. Also Read - Best camera phones under Rs 35000 to buy in July 2021: Pixel 4a, Mi 11X, and more
Roemer’s findings were initially not accepted by the Royal Observatory in Paris, but they started gaining support after the backing of scientists like Isaac Newton. Since then, Roemer has been honored with a plaque at the Observatory of Paris, a museum t Denmark that displays his instruments, and has also featured on the country’s bank notes. The Ole Roemer Medal is also given annually by the Danish Natural Science Research Council for outstanding research. Also Read - Timex Helix Smart 2.0 with temperature sensor, heart rate sensor launched: Details here
Roemer died at the age of 65 in 1710.