Read More: Live Science
Astronomer Peter Dunsby just made a groundbreaking discovery, after noticing a very bright "star" pop up in his field of view at an observatory at the University of Cape Town that was not present two weeks prior. Too bad Dunsby was perhaps thousands of years late … the bright object was the planet Mars. Though no one knows for sure who discovered the Red Planet, Galileo Galilei observed the giant red orb — whose diameter spans a whopping 4,222 miles (6,794 km) — in 1609; and Martian fascination has arguably not waned since. Before realizing his marvelous mistake, Dunsby posted a note on the Astronomer's Telegram, a publication for very short (under 4,000 characters) reports by astronomers, detailing his observations, in which he described the bright object had shown up between the Lagoon and Trifid nebulas, both nestled in the constellation Sagittarius. About 40 minutres later, the Telegram issued a correction: "The object reported in ATel 11448 has been identified as Mars. Our sincere apologies for the earlier report and the inconvenience caused." And, not to let Dunsby go quietly into the night, the Telegram also sent out a cheeky tweet: "For Discovery of Mars. Congratulations, Prof. Peter Dunsby!"