Observation, Working-Images, and Procedure: The ‘Great Spiral’ in Lord Rosse’s Astronomical Record Books and Beyond

Nasim, Omar W. (2010) Observation, Working-Images, and Procedure: The ‘Great Spiral’ in Lord Rosse’s Astronomical Record Books and Beyond. British Journal for the History of Science, 43 (3). pp. 353-389. ISSN 0007-0874. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007087410000051) (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/10.1017/S0007087410000051

Abstract

This paper examines the interrelations between astronomical images of nebulae and their observation. In particular, using the case of the ‘Great Spiral’ (M51), we follow this nebula beginning with its discovery and first sketch made by the third Earl of Rosse in 1845, to giving an account, using archival sources, of exactly how other images of the same object were produced over the years and stabilized within the record books of the Rosse project. It will be found that a particular ‘procedure’ was employed using ‘working images’ that interacted with descriptions, other images and the telescopic object itself. This stabilized not only some set of standard images of the object, but also a very potent conception of spirality as well, i.e. as a ‘normal form’. Finally, two cases will be contrasted, one being George Bond's application of this spiral conception to the nebula in Orion, and the other Wilhelm Tempel's rejection of the spiral form in M51.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History
D History General and Old World
Q Science
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History > Centre for the History of the Sciences
Depositing User: Omar Nasim
Date Deposited: 25 May 2015 12:15 UTC
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2016 14:49 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/48633 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Nasim, Omar W.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1985-0497
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