France - 200 francs

France - 200 francs - 1997 - P159

This French from 1997 is dedicated to the famous engineer Gustave Eiffel (1832 - 1923), most famous for his construction of the Eiffel Tower. The note depicts several of his constructions but the reason for this note to be included on this site is the image of the Observatory of Nice on the front for which Gustave Eiffel constructed the dome in 1885.

Steven Tuesday 31 December 2013 at 1:42 pm | | space | No comments
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France - 50 francs (1993)

France - 50 francs - 1993 - P157

This one is an odd note in this space and astronomy theme blog but I couldn't resist mentioning it here. The note depicts French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. He was born in Lyon in 1900 and disappeared in an air mission on 31 July 1944 off Corsica. His most famous story is Le Petit Prince, first published in 1943. The novella is both the most read and most translated book in the French language, and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France. It was translated into more than 250 languages. 

Le Petit Prince is a poetic tale, with watercolour illustrations by the author, in which a pilot stranded in the desert meets a young prince fallen to Earth from a tiny asteroid. The prince begins by describing life on his tiny home planet: in effect, an asteroid the size of a house (which the narrator believes to be the one known as B-612). The story is philosophical and includes societal criticism, remarking on the strangeness of the adult world. For a synopsis of the story, please read the wiki article on the book. 

Steven Tuesday 31 December 2013 at 1:28 pm | | space | No comments

France - 50 francs (1946)

France - 50 francs - 1946-1951 - P127

Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier (1811 – 1877) was a French mathematician who specialized in celestial mechanics. Le Verrier's most famous achievement is his prediction of the existence of the then unknown planet Neptune, using only mathematics and astronomical observations of the known planet Uranus. Encouraged by physicist Arago, Director of the Paris Observatory, Le Verrier was intensely engaged for months in complex calculations to explain small but systematic discrepancies between Uranus's observed orbit and the one predicted from the laws of gravity of Newton. At the same time, but unknown to Le Verrier, similar calculations were made by John Couch Adams in England. Le Verrier announced his final predicted position for Uranus's unseen perturbing planet publicly to the French Academy on 31 August 1846, two days before Adams's final solution was privately mailed to the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Le Verrier transmitted his own prediction by 18 September in a letter to Johann Galle of the Berlin Observatory. The letter arrived five days later, and the planet was found with the Berlin Fraunhofer refractor that same evening, 23 September 1846, by Galle and Heinrich d'Arrest within 1 degree of the predicted location near the boundary between Capricorn and Aquarius.From 1844 to 1847, Le Verrier published a series of works on periodic comets, in particular those of Lexell, Faye and DeVico. He was able to show some interesting interactions with the planet Jupiter, proving that certain comets were actually the reappearance of previously-known comets flung into different orbits. He died in Paris, France and was buried in the Montparnasse Cemetery. A large stone celestial globe sits over his grave. He will be remembered by the phrase attributed to Arago: "the man who discovered a planet with the point of his pen."

On the front of this 50 francs note issued between 1946 and 1951 can Le Verrier be seen holding a calliper and the Paris Observatory in the background. The back of the note shows Neptune (Roman god of the sea), with two dolphins Capricorn and Aquarius (who symbolize the discovery of Neptune), six-pointed stars and two red curves indicate the plane of the ecliptic and celestial equator.

Steven Tuesday 31 December 2013 at 1:10 pm | | space | No comments

European Union - 500 euro (pre-euro design)

European Union - 500 euro - not printed - PNL

What's this? A note from the European Union? Well, yes and no. Before the design of the 1st series of Euro banknotes was chosen a competition was held where designers could enter with their proposal for the new banknotes. In September 1996 the competiton closed and 44 proposals were entered. In December 1996 the winner was announced: the design by Robert Kalina we now have in our wallets.

One of the other proposals was from Patricia Vouez Uccle and Monique Golaire from Belgium. There design for the 500 euro note shows a large satellite dish antenna. Their entire set can be viewed here and the other designs that didn't make it, can be seen here.

Steven Friday 13 December 2013 at 10:44 am | | space | No comments

Denmark - 50 kroner

Denmark - 50 kroner - 1950-1970 - P45

Ole Christensen Rømer (1644 - 1710) was a Danish astronomer who is most famous for calculating the speed of light for the first time (299,792,458 metres per second). But apart from calculating this he was a very busy man. King Louis XIV of France employed him after his formal education as a tutor for his son. When he returned to Denmark he was appointed Professor of Astronomy at the University of Copenhagen, he introduced the first national system for weights and measures in Denmark, introduced the Gregorian calendar, developed one of the first temperature scales, established several naval schools throughout the country, invented the first street lights in Denmark, made rules for building new houses, got the city's water supply and sewers back in order, ensured that the city's fire department got new and better equipment and was the moving force behind the planning and making of new pavement in the streets and on the city squares. Finally he served as chief of the police until his death.

His portrait features the front of this 50 kroner note. The structure on the right side of the front is the Rundetårn, or Round Tower, the former observatory of the University of Copenhagen from which Rømer made many of his observations. Today it's still in use for amateur astronomers.

Steven Wednesday 11 December 2013 at 08:27 am | | space | No comments

Croatia - Ruder Josip Boskovic

Croatia - 1 dinar - 1991 - P16

Croatia's first series of banknotes after their split from Yugoslavia shows the Croatian astronomer, physicist, mathematician, philosopher, diplomat, poet, theologian, Jesuit priest and polymath Ruder Josip Boskovic (1711 - 1787). He made many contributions to astronomy, including the first geometric procedure for determining the equator of a rotating planet from three observations of a surface feature and for computing the orbit of a planet from three observations of its position. In 1753 he also discovered the absence of atmosphere on the Moon.

His image was used on the notes of 1, 5, 10, 25, 100, 500 and 1000 dinars (all from 1991 and catalogued as P16-22), 2000, 5000, 10,000 dinars (all from 1992 and catalogued as P23-25) and the 50,000 and 100,000 dinars note (from 1993, P26 and P27). The rest of the series can be seen after the click.

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Steven Friday 06 December 2013 at 2:20 pm | | space | No comments
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Colombia - 20,000 pesos oro

Colombia - 20,000 pesos oro - 2005 - P454

This beautiful 20,000 pesos oro note from Colombia shows the astronomer Julio Garavito Armero (1865 – 1920). In 1892 he became the director of the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional de Colombia (the National Astronomical Observatory) in Bogotá (which can be seen on this banknote from Colombia). As an astronomer of the observatory, he did many useful scientific investigations such as calculating the latitude of Bogotá, studies about the comets which passed by the Earth between 1901 and 1910 (such as Comet Halley) and the 1916 solar eclipse (seen in the majority of Colombia). But perhaps the most important were his studies about celestial mechanics, which finally turned into studies about lunar fluctuations and their influence on weather, floods, polar ice and the Earthorbital acceleration. The International Astronomical Union named a lunar crater after him, the Garavito crater.

The Moon can be seen on the front of the note next to a portrait of Armero. On the back is an image of Earth as it is seen from the surface of the Moon.

Steven Friday 06 December 2013 at 1:36 pm | | space | No comments

Colombia - 200 pesos oro

Colombia - 200 pesos oro - 1992 - P429

The front of this 200 pesos oro note from Colombia shows José Celestino Mutis (1732 - 1808), a Spanish priest, botanist, mathematician and astronomer. He determined the longitude of Bogotá by the observation of an eclipse of a satellite of Jupiter and was a major influence on the construction of the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional de Colombia (the National Astronomical Observatory in Bogota). That observatory can be seen on the front and the back of the note.

Steven Friday 06 December 2013 at 1:24 pm | | space | No comments
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Chatham Islands - Woytek's Astronomer

Chatham Islands - 8 dollar - 2001 - PNL

The Chatham Islands is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean about 680 kilometres southeast of New Zealand. It consists of about ten islands within a 40-kilometre radius, the largest of which are Chatham Island and Pitt Island. The Chatham Islands were never really well known until the new millennium was upon us and people realized that the peak of Mount Hakepa on Pitt Island would be the first piece of land to catch the rays of the sun on the first morning of the new millennium. The 'Chatham Islands Note Corporation' (CINC) was formed and prepared an issue of notes to celebrate the occasion (and cash in on the millennium mania of course). So a series of fantasy banknotes was issued which was followed by a second series in 2001.

This second series sparks the interest of this theme blog because of its depiction of a statue. All the notes in this fantasy series show statues by Woytek, a Polish-born sculptor living in Germany. The sculptures are located on Mount Hakepa on Pitt Island and are part of a theme and a message that can be seen on the notes and is ‘Care for each other and our world’. One of those statues is of 'The Astronomer' and is depicted on the notes of 8 and 15 dollar.

Chatham Islands - 15 dollar - 2001 - PNL

Steven Friday 06 December 2013 at 12:38 pm | | space | No comments

Central African States - 10,000 francs

Central African States - 10,000 francs - 2002/2011 - P210

This note from the Central African States (a monetary union of Congo, Cameroun, Central African Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad) of 10,000 francs has "transport and communication" as its theme. On the back of the note we can see a satellite dish. The note is used in all member states of the monetary union.

Steven Friday 06 December 2013 at 12:21 pm | | space | No comments

Canada - 5 dollar

Canada - 5 dollar - 2013 - P106

© Bank of Canada
© Bank of Canada

The banknote that started this theme blog on space and astronomy banknotes: the Canadian 5 dollar note issued in 2013. It's the last issue in the new polymer series of banknotes.

The back of the note depicts Canada's involvement in the International Space Station with the Canadarm2, the Dextre and the Mobile Base. We also see an astronaut and the image of Earth in the background. The Canadarm2 is the centrepiece of Canada’s contribution to the International Space Station. The 17 metre-long robotic arm plays a major role in the assembly and maintenance of the station. It routinely makes repairs, moves equipment and supplies, captures and docks unpiloted spacecraft and, at times, supports spacewalking astronauts. Launched in April 2001, Canadarm2 is a larger, more advanced version of the original Canadarm, which was retired in July 2011.

The Dextre, which is short for Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, is a sophisticated two-armed robot that attaches to Canadarm2. It acts as a space handyman and performs routine upkeep and repair work outside the International Space Station so that astronauts can devote their time to scientific research. Launched in March 2008, Dextre is sometimes referred to as “the Canada Hand” since it rides on the end of Canadarm2 and manipulates small components that require precise handling.

The Mobile Base is a moveable work platform and storage facility. It serves as a base for Canadarm2 and Dextre. The astronaut depicted on the $5 note represents all Canadians who have contributed to the space program and the scientific research conducted on board the International Space Station.

One of the Canadian astronauts was commander Chris Hadfield who had the honour of presenting the new banknotes from the International Space Station.

Steven Friday 06 December 2013 at 11:46 am | | space | No comments

Canada - 100 dollar

Canada - 100 dollar - 2004 - P105

The previous series of banknotes from Canada (and the last one on paper) had "Canadian journey" as its theme. The series celebrated the history, culture and achievements of Canada. This 100 dollar note was the highest denomination in that series.
On the front is a portrait of Sir Robert Borden, Prime Minister. The themes of exploration and innovation on this particular note are illustrated with images of Canadian achievements in cartography and communications. A map of Canada created by Samuel de Champlain in 1632 is paired with a birchbark canoe and juxtaposed with depictions of a satellite image of the country, Radarsat-1 (Canada's first commercial Earth observation satellite), and a telecommunications antenna. An excerpt from Miriam Waddington’s poem, Jacques Cartier in Toronto, and its French translation by Christine Klein-Lataud, summarizes humanity’s eternal quest for discovery.

Steven Friday 06 December 2013 at 11:40 am | | space | No comments

Bulgaria - Dr. Petar Beron

Bulgaria - 10,000 lev - 1997 - P112

The back of the note depicts a telescope, an astrolabe and a drawing of Saturn. The front of the note shows Dr. Petar Beron, a Bulgarian scientist.

Dr. Petar Beron (c. 1795, Kotel-March 21, 1871) was a famous Bulgarian educator. He created the first modern Bulgarian primer, called the Fish Primer because of the dolphin drawn on its front cover. Petar Beron was born around 1800, probably in 1795, in the town of Kotel in a rich family of handcraftsmen and merchants. In Kotel he received his primary education at the church school of Stoyko Vladislavov and Rayno Popovich. He furthered his education in Bucharest, where he entered the school of Greek educator Konstantin Vardalach. The latter, famous pedagogist and encyclopaedist at the time, has significantly influenced Beron's development as a scientist and philosopher.

In 1824 he was forced to leave Bucharest, because he participated in a "Greek plot", and went to Bra?ov, another Romanian town, where he compiled the Fish Primer. This book is fundamental for the Bulgarian Renaissance and an achievement for the young scholar. In 1825 Beron enrolled as a student at Heidelberg University where he studied philosophy for two years before he transferred to Munich to study medicine. On July 9, 1831, after successfully defending a doctoral dissertation, Beron earned the Doctor of Medicine title. The dissertation was in Latin and concerned a methodology of obstetrics and gynecology.

The young physician worked in Bucharest and Craiova, but after several years of general practice quit his job and started a business in merchandise. Fifteen years later, having made a fortune, he went to Paris where he rented an apartment, where he started his real scientific career. His ambition was to study all the human knowledge by that time and to make a nature-philosophical evaluation by creating a new Panepisteme. His encyclopaedism was remarkable. Dr. Beron spoke nine languages and wrote about 30 volumes, not counting two dictionaries, an atlas, his doctoral dissertation and the Fish Primer.

There are certain facts, which come to show Dr. Beron's standing among scientists of the time. On the session of the Royal Academy of Science in London, held on June 20, 1850, Sir John Lee presented his work On the System of Atmospherology and acknowledged Beron's activity. In 1853 Dr. Beron was invited by the Association of Natural Sciences in Athens where he read an article titled Earth before the Deluge. In 1855 he published his Slavic Philosophy in the German language, where an outline of his Panepisteme is featured. In 1858 Origins of Physical and Natural Sciences and of Metaphysical and Moral Sciences was printed in the French language.

The next two years were devoted to a huge cosmographical atlas with descriptions. The maps in the atlas were designed by the famous Bulgarian painter Nicolaus Pavlovich. But the height of his scientific endeavours was the Panepisteme, in seven volumes, which was published in French in the beginning of 1861. Until the end of his life on March 21, 1871 he was devoted to this interesting and creative task.

Almost the same images appear on the 10 lev note from 1997 and 2008 (P117a/b):

Bulgaria - 10 lev - 1997/2008 - P117a/b

Steven Wednesday 04 December 2013 at 10:18 am | | space | No comments

Brazil - 100 cruzeiros

Brazil - 100 cruzeiros - 1956 - P153

This 100 cruzeiros note is the one from 1966. There have been other versions as well in 1943, 1949, 1956, 1963 and 1964. The back of the note shows an allegory of science, including a telescope. The front of the note depicts emperor Don Pedro II, the second and last emperor of Brazil, who was devoted to science and was friends with many scientists.

The other versions of this note after the click.

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Steven Wednesday 04 December 2013 at 09:54 am | | space | No comments
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Bangladesh - 100 taka

Bangladesh - 100 taka - 2002 - P39

The back of this 100 taka note from Bangladesh shows the National Assembly building with next to it a satellite dish antenna.

Steven Wednesday 04 December 2013 at 09:42 am | | space | No comments

Australia - 100 dollar

Australia - 100 dollar - 1984 - P48

The back of this 100 dollar banknote from Australia shows the astronomer John Tebbutt and his observatory. John Tebbutt (1834-1916) was an Australian astronomer, credited with discovering the "Great Comet of 1861" (C/1861 J1).

Tebbutt was born at Windsor, New South Wales, the only son of John Tebbutt, then a prosperous store keeper. Tebbutt's father had retired from store keeping about the year 1843 , purchased a tract of land at the eastern end of the town of Windsor known as the peninsula, and built a residence there. This became the site of the observatory built by his son, who at 19 years of age had begun his observations of the heavens with an ordinary marine telescope and a sextant. 

About nine years later, on 13 May 1861, Tebbutt discovered the 1861 comet, one of the most brilliant comets known. There was no means then of telegraphing the intelligence to England where it became visible on 29 June. Tebbutt was acknowledged as the first discoverer of this comet, and the first computer of its approximate orbit. In 1864 he built, with his own hands, a small observatory close to his father's residence, and installed his instruments consisting of his 3¼-inch telescope, a two-inch transit instrument, and an eight day half-seconds box-chronometer. 

A branch of the British Astronomical Association was established at Sydney in 1895 and Tebbutt was elected its first president. In 1904 in his seventieth year he discontinued systematic work, though he retained his interest in astronomy and continued to do some observing, and in the following year the Royal Astronomical Society of London recognised his work by awarding him the Jackson-Gwilt Medal of the society.

In 1908, Tebbutt published his Astronomical Memoirs, giving an account of his 54 years' work, and he was much gratified in 1914, during the visit of the British association, by a visit to his observatory of a small party of astronomers. He died at Windsor on 29 November 1916.

An artist's impression of the Great Comet:

Steven Sunday 01 December 2013 at 4:19 pm | | space | No comments

Algeria - 2000 francs

Algeria - 2000 francs - 2011 - P144

This 2000 francs note shows the scientific side of Algeria. On the front there is a satellite, an auditorium at an university, a double helix DNA strand and a laboratory. This note was issued in 2011. 

Steven Sunday 01 December 2013 at 4:12 pm | | space | No comments
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Armenia - 100 dram

Armenia - 100 dram - 1998 - P42

On the front of the note we see Armenian astrophysicist Victor Hambartsumyan and a map of the solar system. The back shows the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory and a telescope. 

Viktor Hambardzumyan (1908–1996) was a Soviet Armenian scientist, and one of the founders of theoretical astrophysics. He worked in the field of physics of stars and nebulae, stellar astronomy, dynamics of stellar systems and cosmogony of stars and galaxies, contributed to Mathematical physics.

Hambardzumyan was the President of the International Astronomical Union from 1961 till 1964, was twice elected the President of the International Council of Scientific Unions (1966–1972), was a member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, and foreign member of the Royal Society, the US National Academy and the Indian Academy of Sciences. Among his numerous awards are Stalin Prize (1946,1950), Hero of Socialist Labor (1968,1978), State Prize of the Russian Federation, Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Bruce Gold Medal from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, National Hero of Armenia. Hambardzumyan was the founder of Byurakan Observatory.

The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory was founded in 1946 on the initiative of Hambardzumyan, who became the first director of the observatory, and main directions of astrophysical investigations were determined by him. The first studies at the Byurakan Observatory related with the instability phenomena taking place in the Universe, and this trend became the main characteristic of the science activity in Byurakan.

You can find more on the observatory here, and on its founder Hambardzumyan in this biography. His main scentific accomplishments can be found in this wiki.

Steven Sunday 01 December 2013 at 2:59 pm | | space | No comments