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On Seeing an Image of a Spiral Nebula: From Whewell to Flammarion

Nasim, Omar W. (2009) On Seeing an Image of a Spiral Nebula: From Whewell to Flammarion. Nuncius, 24 (2). pp. 393-414. ISSN 0394-7394. (doi:10.1163/182539109X00624) (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)

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. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/182539109X00624

Abstract

The following proposes to give a biography of an image. The image chosen will be that of the 3rd Earl of Rosse's 'Great Spiral' or M51 as published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society for the year 1850. We will follow the image as it is reproduced, copied, interpreted, and re-published, in the mid to late nineteenth century, in the works of William Whewell, Stephan Alexander, Dionysius Lardner, George Chambers, and finally Camille Flammarion. The biography of Rosse's image of M51 will reveal a series of different kinds of juxtapositions and relations, all made in order to make the object more accessible to different kinds of inquiry. But I would also like to suggest that this aspect may be better viewed as a strategy involving the active intervention and adjustment of the image which is employed in order to make some claims about the object possible or more plausible than others. It is by tracing some of the paths taken by this image of the Great Spiral that I hope to reveal the relevance and significance of advocating the notion of a biography of an image for the purposes of understanding scientific representations more generally.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1163/182539109X00624
Subjects: A General Works
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 12:18 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 14:36 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/48634 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Nasim, Omar W.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1985-0497
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