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Category Archives: Historical

Wolbach Library and the Glass Plate Collection

A glass plate negative backlit by a white light. The plate has a spray of dark stars and a few large groupings of stars.

We are happy to share that HCO’s Astronomical Photographic Glass Plate Collection is now part of the Wolbach Library! This change was initiated to ensure that all projects associated with the Plates, including ongoing digitization efforts, are able to take full advantage of the resources available through Wolbach’s connections to…

May Star Notes Update

Hello everyone, This is Sydney and Nico, Star Notes and Project PHaEDRA researchers. We hope you are all doing well and excited for the summer! As always, thank you for remaining interested in our work and for volunteering your time to help with our research and learn about the history…

April Star Notes Update

Hello everyone, This is Sydney and Nico, Star Notes and Project PHaEDRA researchers. We hope you are all doing well and enjoying the beginning of spring! As always, thank you for remaining interested in our work and for volunteering your time to help with our research and learn about the…

March Star Notes Update

Hello everyone, This is Sydney and Nico, Star Notes and Project PHaEDRA researchers. We hope you are all doing well and looking forward to the Spring! As always, thank you for remaining interested in our work and for volunteering your time to help with research and learn about the history…

February Star Notes Update

Hello everyone, This is Sydney and Nico, Star Notes researchers. We hope you are all doing well, and that the start of this year has treated you well! As always, thank you for remaining interested in our work and for volunteering your time to help with research and learn about…

January Star Notes Update

Hello everyone, This is Sydney and Nico, Star Notes researchers. We hope you are all doing well, that you have had safe and wonderful holidays, and Happy New Year! Sydney, who you may have already seen on the Zooniverse Star Notes talk boards, is a new hire as the Assistant…

September Star Notes Update

Hi everyone, Hope you’re doing well! We’re so thankful for the hard work of our volunteers; we know it’s been a busy summer, so thanks for spending some of it with us! We still have the remaining notebooks of Frances Woodworth Wright on our project, but look out for the…

“The Theory of Light” by Thomas Preston

Dr. Thomas Preston (1860-1900) was an Irish scientist, notable for his 1897 discovery of the Anomalous Zeeman Effect. In addition to his work in magnetism and spectroscopy, Preston was an adept textbook author during the late-19th century when the emerging professionalization of the sciences elicited demand for formal educational materials….

August Star Notes Update

Hi everyone, Hope you’re all doing well! As always, we really appreciate your dedication as volunteers. We currently have the notebooks of Frances Woodworth Wright on our project. Wright (1897-1989) earned a Bachelor’s degree from Brown in 1920 and received a PhD in astronomy from Barnard in 1958. She taught…

“A New Method of Finding a Ship’s Position at Sea” by Capt. Thomas H. Sumner

On November 25, 1837, American sea captain, Thomas H. Sumner, departed Charleston, South Carolina on a ship bound for Greenlock, Scotland. While en route, he discovered a new methodology in celestial navigation, later eponymously titled, the “Sumner line” or the circle of equal altitude. On December 17th, after days of…