Two Moons

In 1610, Galileo used an anagram to announce his discovery of what he believed to be two moons orbiting another planet: smaismrmilmepoetaleumibunenugttauiras.

Remarkably, Johannes Kepler, after considerable effort, managed to decipher the code, Salve umbisteneum geminatum Martia proles ("Hail, twin companionship, children of Mars"), thereby confirming his own prediction that Mars has two moons.

More remarkable still, Galileo's cypher had in fact declared: Altissimum planetam tergeminum observavi ("I have observed the highest of the planets -- Saturn -- three-formed")!

[Galileo had mistaken Saturn's rings to be twin moons.]

["The Great book of Nature lies ever open before our eyes and the true philosophy is written in it," Galileo wrote in his Saggiatore. "But we cannot read it unless we have first learned the language and the characters in which it is written... It is written in mathematical language and the characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures."]

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