Early astronomer commitment schemes

Today I learned that early astronomers were hella clever. I was looking up good colony sites or just interesting topographic features for each planet or other solar body that I think would make a good future BART stop in Transitory and came across this:

Early astronomers used anagrams as a form of commitment scheme to lay claim to new discoveries before their results were ready for publication. Galileo used smaismrmilmepoetaleumibunenugttauiras for Altissimum planetam tergeminum observavi (“I have observed the most distant planet to have a triple form”) for discovering the rings of Saturn.

Working on this game is an endless delight!

Huygens did it too.

Huygens observed Saturn and in 1656, like Galileo, had published an anagram saying “aaaaaaacccccdeeeeeghiiiiiiillllmmnnnnnnnnnooooppqrrstttttuuuuu”. Upon confirming his observations, three years later he revealed it to mean “Annuto cingitur, tenui, plano, nusquam coherente, ad eclipticam inclinato”; that is, “It [Saturn] is surrounded by a thin, flat, ring, nowhere touching, inclined to the ecliptic”

The Terraforming Wiki is very useful for my descriptions of the Solar Line stations.

Meanwhile, have a look at this cool delta-v subway map of the solar system!

I also direct your attention to the fabulous Interplanetary Transport Network wikipedia page.

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