Menu

ENHA-35

***************************************************************************
*                                                                         *
*           ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER FOR THE HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY            *
*                                                                         *
*      Published by the Working Group for the History of Astronomy        *
*                  in the Astronomische Gesellschaft                      *
*                                                                         *
*                      Number 35,  March 25, 1999                         *
*                                                                         *
*                     Edited by: Wolfgang R. Dick                         *
*                                                                         *
***************************************************************************

Contents
--------

1. Steven J. Dick: Commission 41 2000 and 2001 Time Ball Initiative

2. History of Astronomy Discussions in California

3. History of Astronomy Colloquium in Goettingen

4. The Fifth Annual Conference of The North American Sundial Society

5. Colloquium Announcement: 400 Years of Astronomy on Merseyside

6. Conferences 1999

7. New Books

Acknowledgements

Imprint

...........................................................................
Item 1                                          ENHA No. 35, March 25, 1999
...........................................................................

Commission 41 2000 and 2001 Time Ball Initiative
------------------------------------------------

By Steven J. Dick, Washington, D.C.

(From: IAU Comm. 41 Newsletter, 1997-2000 Triennium, October 1998,
Issue # 3. See
http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~pbrosche/iaucomm41/news/c41_news_03.html .
Also published in "Elektronische Mitteilungen zur Astronomiegeschichte"
Nr. 37, 22. Januar 1999, Item 2.)


In conjunction with the arrival of the years 2000 and 2001, the U. S.
Naval Observatory and IAU Commission 41 "History of Astronomy" are
coordinating a worldwide time ball drop on New Year's Eve. The concept is
that as the new year sweeps around the world, time balls will be dropped at
midnight local time beginning in New Zealand, then Australia, South Africa,
Sweden, UK, and the Naval Observatory in Washington. These are the
currently active time balls that we are aware of. If you are aware of any
others, please let me know.

As you know, time balls were historically an important means of time
dissemination, and therefore an important part of the history of practical
astronomy. At the beginning of the century, 19 were being dropped in the
United States alone. We believe that this worldwide coordinated effort
will not only draw attention to the historical importance of time balls and
also to a small part of the history of astronomy, but also to the modern
means of time dissemination via the Global Positioning System.

Each site will be responsible for any associated celebratory activities.
At the Naval Observatory in Washington, we plan to invite the public to
celebrate the beginning of 2000 and 2001 by watching the time ball drop
from a mast near the dome of one of our telescopes. In conjunction with
this we will offer tours of the Observatory and views through the
telescope. These celebratory events will undoubtedly draw a good deal of
publicity; in the United States a consortium of broadcast media is planning
25 hours of continuous coverage worldwide for the new Millennium.

Information on the first time balls, erected in Portsmouth and Greenwich,
is found in Ian R. Bartky and Steven J. Dick, "The First Time Balls,"
Journal for the History of Astronomy, 12 (1981), 155-74. On the first
North American time balls see Ian R. Bartky and Steven J. Dick, "The
First North American Time Ball," Journal for the History of Astronomy, 13
(1982), 50-54; For the spread of time balls in the United States see Ian R.
Bartky, "Naval Observatory Time Dissemination Before the Wireless," in Sky
with Ocean Joined, Steven J. Dick and LeRoy Doggett, eds. (Washington,
1983), 1-28. The latter contains numerous illustrations of time balls, as
does Bartky's article "The Bygone Era of Time Balls," Sky and Telescope
(January, 1987), 32-35.

...........................................................................
Item 2                                          ENHA No. 35, March 25, 1999
...........................................................................

History of Astronomy Discussions in California
----------------------------------------------

March 27, 1999, Van Nuys, California: Society for the History of
Astronomy, 83rd meeting. 8:30 AM: coffee, doughnuts, conversation.
9 AM: "From the Tears of St. Lawrence to Falling Rubies and Tourmalines:
Meteors Past and Present (and a Bit of the Future)", led by Steve Edberg,
Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Then: "No Small Dreams: Designing the Hale
200-inch Telescope", led by Tony Cook, Griffith Observatory. Then a late,
leisurely lunch. Meet at Los Angeles Valley College Planetarium, 5800
Fulton, Van Nuys. For SHA information, contact Margot Wood, President,
210 S. Guadalupe Ave., Redondo Beach, CA 90277 USA. +1 310-379-8339.

June 5, 1999, Oakland, California: Northern California Historical
Astronomy Luncheon and Discussion Association, 49th meeting. 9:30 AM:
refreshments and conversation. 10 AM: "Prehistory and History of
Calculus", led by Alan R. Fisher, Chabot Observatory. Then lunch at a
local restaurant. 2 PM: "Lunar Probes", led by Nancy Cox, San Francisco
Amateur Astronomers. Meet at Chabot Observatory, 4917 Mountain Blvd.,
Oakland, CA 94619. For NCHALADA information, contact Norman Sperling,
Everything in the Universe, 185 John Street, Oakland, CA 94611.
Phone & fax: +1 510-547-6523. e-mail: nsperling@california.com .
Starting March 31: www.everythingintheuniv.com .

Both SHA and NCHALADA are informal, with participants pointing out
perspectives from many disciplines, sometimes wittily. Neither group has
formal officers, by-laws or dues. Contributions are appreciated to offset
refreshments and postage. People who bring munchies are very popular.


(Provided by Norman Sperling)

...........................................................................
Item 3                                          ENHA No. 35, March 25, 1999
...........................................................................

History of Astronomy Colloquium in Goettingen
---------------------------------------------

(From: "Elektronische Mitteilungen zur Astronomiegeschichte" Nr. 38,
17. Maerz 1999, Item 2. Translation provided by the authors.)


The annual convention of the Astronomische Gesellschaft will be taking 
place in Goettingen this year under the rubric "New Astrophysical
Horizons". At this occasion there will be a Colloquium of the Working
Group for the History of Astronomy on

           Monday, September 20, 1999, starting at about 10 am.

The Local Organizing Committee has approved the following general theme:

          The history and function of nonverbal representations
           in astronomical and astrophysical research practice

This primarily involves images or other forms of pictorial registration 
(e.g., photographs, video tapes) of observational data. For more details 
please see below.

The recommended conference language is English. Participants who want to
attend the AK meeting only, but not the (rest of) the AG meeting, will have
to pay a reduced conference fee of 30,- DEM.

Please direct any questions about the content, offers to deliver brief
talks together with a one-page English abstract, typed by typewriter, or as
a text file in ASCII, or as an rtf file in Word95/97, or a TeX file, if
possible no later than

                               31 May 1999

to:
Dr. habil. Klaus Hentschel
Institute for History of Science
University of Goettingen
Humboldtallee 11
D-37073 Goettingen
Phone +(49)-551-398412
E-mail: khentsc@gwdg.de

Organisational questions, technical requests, etc. may be directed to:

Dr. Axel D. Wittmann
Universitaets-Sternwarte
Geismarlandstr. 11
D-37083 Goettingen
Phone +(49)-551-395045
Fax +(49)-551-395043
E-mail: wittmann@uni-sw.gwdg.de



	  The history and function of nonverbal representations
	   in astronomical and astrophysical research practice


Colloquium of the Working Group for the History of Astronomy (Arbeitskreis
Astronomiegeschichte), in Goettingen, on Monday, 20 September 1999


Pictorial or graphical records form an integral part of the history of 
astronomy, from its very beginnings down to modern-day electronically
manipulable CCD-imaging.

Examples include: star-position charts, lunar maps, sunspot sketches and 
photographs, spectral atlases, graphical data representations (such as the
Hertzsprung-Russell or the Maunder diagrams), spectroheliograms, planet
drawings, images from satellites and outer space, photometer curves, and 
many more.

How direct is this graphic conversion by man or machine of the subject of
observation or registration?  What problems emerge in the translation
process?  How does the constant search for improvements in the
representational form develop?

One instance is the rise of photography, which was welcomed with the hope
that henceforth "Nature herself" would become the recorder, thus doing away 
with the problems of human bias and artistic deficiency (Fox Talbot's "The
Pencil of Nature", 1844).

In practice, though, the retouching of photographic prints was as inescapable
as the necessity of the observer to select the 'best' (also aesthetically 
speaking) among the available images. Well into the 1890s, lithography
remained the preferred means in spectroscopy of depicting the optical 
spectrum, despite its high production costs. 

When does such a change in preference occur? 
What are the repercussions in the research practice?
What influence do external technological developments have?
How did and how do astronomers and astrophysicists interact with
  illustrators, engravers, lithographers, photographers, and other
  specialists in the graphic arts involved in the drafting or finishing
  of their figures for publication or teaching? 
What criteria are used in such reworking - are they really unassailable?
What heuristics are used to discriminate between facts and artefacts? 
What specifically happened in controversies over illustrations (like the
  one about the notorious Martian channels), and what technical
  alternatives for representations existed at the various times?

Aside from documenting observational results, images have other functions
as well: they must convince the reader or viewer, clarify complicated 
processes by means of simplified illustration, or be a mnemonic aid to the 
beginner in visualizing specific patterns.

How are and were the classes of stellar spectra or solar spots learned?
What role did pictures have in teaching?

Historical studies of astronomical and astrophysical representations are
our main emphasis, but scientists in the field are also invited to think
about the current functions of imaging (e.g., unsharp masking, speckle 
deconvolution, or image compression) and the ever changing techniques
used, which inevitably will soon become part of history as well.

                                            Klaus Hentschel, Axel Wittmann


Editors's note:
Links to the Meeting of the Astronomische Gesellschaft and to history of
astronomy as well as general information on Goettingen may be found at
http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~pbrosche/aa/goett1999/ .
Later, the programme of the colloquium will be published there.

...........................................................................
Item 4                                          ENHA No. 35, March 25, 1999
...........................................................................

The Fifth Annual Conference of The North American Sundial Society
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Set aside the weekend of October 8-10, 1999 to be in Hartford, Connecticut
(USA) for an entertaining, informative, social conference! Meet fellow
dialists, share your experiences and enthusiasm, and come away with new
bits of knowledge relating to one of humanity's oldest inventions! We will
begin early on Friday October 8 (you can register the night before) and
will go through midday on Sunday the 10th.

Each year our conference features several stimulating presentations on
dialing - covering such areas as history, art, technology, instruments,
theory and current practice. Presenters include scholars and hobbyists,
longtime dialists and newly emerging novices. In addition to these
presentations, we also encourage members to bring items for a show-and-tell
session or for display during the meeting.

The conference also includes a Saturday bus tour which this year will take
us through Hartford and its suburbs to visit 7 interesting dials (including
3 by NASS members) and will conclude with a visit to the Albert Waugh
collection of rare books on dialing at the University of Connecticut. This
collection includes 162 titles covering 423 years of dialing practice.

Hartford is readily accessible by air, train, bus or car. The city is
served by Bradley International Airport. Amtrak trains run regularly from
New York. The Trailways and Greyhound bus terminals are within a few
blocks of the conference hotel. And Hartford is at the intersection of two
major Interstates: 91 and 84.

The dates of the conference this year have been selected to give attendees
an opportunity to view the beautiful Fall Foliage in New England. A drive
north along Interstate 91 into Vermont in the week following the conference
would take you right into the peak viewing region. The gorgeous colors
usually reach their peak in Connecticut around October 15. Other
attractions in Hartford include The Mark Twain House - which Twain designed
and lived in while he wrote his most famous novels; and the Wadsworth
Atheneum - the oldest public art museum in the country. Other sites within
driving distance include The American Watch and Clock Museum (Bristol), Old
Mystic Seaport (Mystic) and Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge MA).

Final registration details will be included with the June issue of The
Compendium. (If you would like to receive registration information as soon
as it becomes available, send a note to Fred Sawyer and I will put you on
the notification list.)


CALL FOR PAPERS

Papers on topics related to sundials, dialing or dialists - whether dealing
with history, art, technology, instruments, theory or current practice, are
welcome!

Presentations should be 15-25 minutes in length and may be published in The
Compendium, the society's quarterly journal.

Please submit title, time requirements, and an abstract of not more than
200 words to

Frederick W. Sawyer III, 8 Sachem Drive, Glastonbury CT 06033 USA
(fax: 860-403-5295, email: frederick.sawyer.es.72@aya.yale.edu)

no later than June 15, 1999.

If you have items for show-and-tell or for display, please provide details
so that appropriate time and space can be allocated. For information on
the conference, address inquiries to NASS at the above address.


(Provided by Frederick W. Sawyer III)

...........................................................................
Item 5                                          ENHA No. 35, March 25, 1999
...........................................................................

Colloquium Announcement: 400 Years of Astronomy on Merseyside
-------------------------------------------------------------

Merseyside Maritime Museum, NMGM

Saturday 16th October 1999

Programme:

09.30 Registration
09.45 The Telescopes of William Lassell (Jeff Hall, University of
   Liverpool)
10.10 Isaac Roberts (Philip Pennington, University of Liverpool)
10.35 Solar Eclipse Observations  (Dr Eric Jones, Proudman
   Oceanographic Laboratory)
11.00 Coffee
11.30 The Mars Observations of Dawes and Lassell (Dr Patrick Moore)
12.30 Lunch
13.40 Astronomy at Bidston Observatory (Martin Suggett, NMGM)
14.05 George Higgs and the Solar Spectrum (Alan Bowden, NMGM)
14.30 Liverpool to Leeds and Preston to Chester: The English Corridor
   of Astronomical Innovation, 1630 to the present day'. (Dr Allan
   Chapman, University of Oxford)
15.30 Tea
15.50 The Astrophysics Research Institute, the Liverpool Telescope and
   modern Astronomy on Merseyside (Prof. Mike Bode, John Moores University)
16.50 Plenary discussion and concluding remarks
17.30 End of Conference

The cost is pounds 15 per delegate, payable in advance, including
lunch and tea / coffee

Contacts are Phil Pennington (tel.: 01744 739959)
or e-mail: ggastro@liverpool.ac.uk

...........................................................................
Item 6                                          ENHA No. 35, March 25, 1999
...........................................................................

Conferences 1999
----------------

(From: "Elektronische Mitteilungen zur Astronomiegeschichte" Nr. 38,
17. Maerz 1999, Item 4.)


Further conferences in the year 1999 were reported in previous issues
of ENHA. For a complete list of all conferences announced see the
following URL:

http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~pbrosche/hist_astr/ha_meet.html


April 23-25, 1999, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain
Mallorca Gnomonic Meeting
Further information: J.M. Vallhonrat, c/. Atenes, 3, 08006 Barcelona,
Spain, Phone: 34-93-2017578, Fax: 34-93-2040212, e-mail: scg@troc.es

June 21-29, 1999, La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Oxford VI International Conference on Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy
in Culture and the S.E.A.C. 1999 Annual Meeting
Registration and further information: Dr. Juan Antonio Belmonte, 
Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, C/ Via Lactea S.N.,
38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain, Phone: 34-922-605265 or 34-922-263454,
Fax: 34-922-605210 or 34-922-263295, e-mail: jba@iac.es
URL: http://www.iac.es/oxford6/oxford6.htm

October 15-16, 1999, Leiden, The Netherlands
Symposium of the Anton Mensing Scientific Instrument Project
Further information: Peter de Clercq, Museum Boerhaave,
Lange St. Agnietenstraat 10, Postbox 11280,
2301 EG Leiden, The Netherlands, e-mail: declercq@xs4all.nl
URL: http://www.sic.iuhps.org/mtle1999/

...........................................................................
Item 7                                          ENHA No. 35, March 25, 1999
...........................................................................

New Books
---------

(From: "Mitteilungen zur Astronomiegeschichte" Nr. 13, Dez. 1998, p. 3.
Also published in "Elektronische Mitteilungen zur Astronomiegeschichte"
Nr. 38, 17. Maerz 1999, Item 6. Partial translations by the editor.)


100 Jahre Landessternwarte Heidelberg-Koenigstuhl, 1898-1998 [100 years
Observatory Heidelberg-Koenigstuhl, 1898-1998. - In German]. Heidelberg
1998. 48 pp., numerous illus., Paperback DM 5.00 + postage
[Distribution: Landessternwarte Heidelberg-Koenigstuhl, attn. Dr. Holger
Mandel, Koenigstuhl 12, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany,
Tel.: +49 (0) 6221 509-0, Fax: +49 (0) 6221 509-202]

Geomagnetism and aeronomy (with special historical case studies).
Proceedings of the session during the IAGA General Assembly in
Uppsala/Sweden, August 1997. Bremen-Roennebeck, 1998. ca. 450 p., ill.,
DM 40.00, US$ 25.00
[Contains also contributions on history of astronomy. Distribution:
W.Schroeder, Science Edition, Hechelstr. 8, D-28777 Bremen-Roennebeck,
Germany]

Kepler, Johannes: Gesammelte Werke. Band 20,2 [Collected works. Vol 20,2].
Manuscripta astronomica (II). Commentaria in Theoriam Martis. Bearbeitet
von [Edited by] Volker Bialas. Unter Mitwirkung von [With support by]
Friederike Boockmann, Johanna Kuric, Inge Noeggerath.
Munich: Beck, 1998. 651 pp., ISBN 3-406-40592-4, Semi-parchment DM 198.00;
ISBN 3-406-40593-2, Paperback DM 168.00
[Contains previously unpublished notes by Kepler on his "Astronomia Nova"
(calculations, derivations, demonstrations, summaries, preliminary
thoughts and conclusions). Text in Latin, comments by the editor in
German.]

Orchiston, Wayne: Nautical astronomy in New Zealand : the voyages of James
Cook. Wellington, New Zealand: Carter Observatory, 1998. 131 p., 31 fig.,
22 tabl., ref., 21 x 29,5 cm, ISBN 0-473-05303-9, pb. (Occasional papers ;
No. 1)
[Distribution: Carter Observatory, P.O. Box 2909, Wellington, New Zealand.
Prices: Asia, Canada & USA: $NZ 38.00; UK & Europe: $NZ 39.00; Please pay
by cheque or bank draft in New Zealand Dollars. Prices include airmail
postage.]

Schroeder, Wilfried (Ed.): From Newton to Einstein. (A Festschrift
in honour of the 70th birthday of Hans-Juergen Treder). Bremen-Roennebeck,
1998. 450 p., illus., DM 40.00, US$ 30.00 (pb).
[Distribution: W.Schroeder, see above] 

...........................................................................

Acknowledgements
----------------

For information we thank all authors and in addition: 

Volker Bialas, Gerard Gilligan, Carlos Jaschek, Holger Mandel, Wayne
Orchiston, Wilfried Schroeder.

...........................................................................

Imprint
-------

Electronic Newsletter for the History of Astronomy (ENHA)

Published by the Working Group for the History of Astronomy in the
Astronomische Gesellschaft

Editor: Dr. Wolfgang R. Dick <wdi@potsdam.ifag.de>

All items without an author's name are editorial contributions.
Articles as well as information for the several sections are appreciated.

Subscription for ENHA is free. Readers and subscribers are asked for
occasional voluntary donations to the working group.

Copyright Statement:
The Electronic Newsletters for the History of Astronomy may be freely 
re-distributed in the case that no charge is imposed. Public offer in
WWW servers, BBS etc. is allowed after the editor has been informed. 
Non-commercial reproduction of single items in electronic or printed media
is possible only with the editor's permission.


Arbeitskreis Astronomiegeschichte / Working Group for the History of
Astronomy: 

URL: http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~pbrosche/astoria.html

Chairman: Prof. Dr. Peter Brosche, Observatorium Hoher List der
Sternwarte der Universitaet Bonn, D-54550 Daun, Germany, 
Tel.: +49(0)6592 2150, Fax: +49(0)6592 985140

Secretary: Dr. Wolfgang R. Dick, Bundesamt fuer Kartographie und
Geodaesie, Aussenstelle Potsdam, Postfach 60 08 08, D-14408 Potsdam,
Germany, Tel.: +49(0)331 316 618, E-mail: wdi@potsdam.ifag.de

Bank Acct. of the Working Group of the Astronomische Gesellschaft:
Acct # 333 410 41, Sparkasse Bochum (BLZ 430 500 01)
Contributions from foreign countries: acct # 162 18-203, Postgiroamt
Hamburg, BLZ 200 400 20
Please sign with: "Fuer Arbeitskreis Astronomiegeschichte" 

***************************************************************************