People love to celebrate … everything. On January 18, Thesaurus Day is a celebration of the power of words. This date is the birthdate of Peter Mark Roget, who is best known for creating Roget’s Thesaurus. His name is so synonymous with this type of reference book that the publisher trademarked it. The original version of his Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, Classified, and Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas was published in 1852 and contained 15,000 words; it has grown with each subsequent version. Roget’s was also the first book of this type that arranged synonymies in topical order, and it is this feature that many credit with the success of his thesaurus over others.
Scientists waited more than a decade for the science missions of the Discovery Channel Telescope to begin. This instrument is one of the most sophisticated telescopes in the world and the 5th largest optical telescope in the country. Its placement in the Coconino National Forest at a dark sky site located in Happy Jack means the telescope is situated in one of the darkest and, therefore, best places from which to view the night sky. This privately funded telescope will supplement the ability of Lowell Observatory to continue pioneering work in astronomy. DCT is expected to obtain high-quality data more than 300 nights a year because of Arizona’s climate and clear skies.