The ‘Landmark’ and ‘Groundwork’ of Stars: John Herschel, Photography and the Drawing of Nebulae.

Nasim, Omar W. (2011) The ‘Landmark’ and ‘Groundwork’ of Stars: John Herschel, Photography and the Drawing of Nebulae. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 42 (1). pp. 67-84. ISSN 0039-3681. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.11.019) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.11.019

Abstract

This paper argues for continuity in purpose and specific results between some hand drawn nebulae, especially those ‘descriptive maps’ by John F. W. Herschel and E. P. Mason in the late 1830s, and the first photographs made of the nebulae in the 1880s. Using H. H. Turners’ explication in 1904 of the three great advantages of astrophotography, the paper concludes that to some extent Herschel’s and Mason’s hand-drawings of the nebulae were meant to achieve the same kinds of results. This is surprising not only because such drawings were conceived and achieved over forty-years earlier, but also because the procedures used in the production of these pictorially and metrically rich images were those directly inspired by cartography, geodesy, and land-surveying. Such drawings provided the standard for what was depicted, expected and aimed at by way of successful representations of the nebulae; standards that seemed to have been used to judge the success of nebular photographs. Being conditions of expectation and possibility for later photography, these drawings were themselves made possible by such techniques of representation and measurement as isolines and triangulation, so fundamental to Imperial and ‘Humboltian science

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Ebenezer Porter Mason; Cartography; Draughtsmanship; Observation; Scientific Representation; Philosophy of Scientific Practice
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
C Auxiliary Sciences of History
D History General and Old World
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Q Science
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History > Centre for the History of the Sciences
Depositing User: Omar Nasim
Date Deposited: 25 May 2015 12:11 UTC
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2016 14:49 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/48632 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Nasim, Omar W.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1985-0497
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