Historical – Page 5 – Galactic Gazette
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“All Closed and Lenses Covered”: The Boyden Station in Arequipa

***In Fall 2019, the Wolbach Library displayed a small exhibit on the history of the Boyden Station entitled, “A Peculiar Sense of Proprietorship,” which directly addressed the imperialist actions of Harvard astronomers in Peru. The accompanying blog is still available here: https://wolba.ch/gazette/arequipa/. The blog and exhibit were adapted from Alex McGrath’s master’s thesis, “You Take …

Poem from a Volunteer

The following poem was posted on one of the Talk Board pages for our Zooniverse project, Star Notes. Jean Laurie was kind enough to allow us to post her poem here. Harvard Ladies Order StarsFor Williamina Fleming From Argentina come stars packed in wooden crates,minute gleams, silver trails of hydrogensnapped and trapped in glass plates;each …

Astronomers in a Chemists’ War

In August 1914, as the ‘Great War’ began, a pair of French scientists started working on a machine to detect enemy artillery fire using recorded sound. Charles Nordmann, the leader of the two and a career astronomer, was best known for his failed attempts at the turn of the century to detect solar radio emissions. …

Sir Arthur Eddington and The World War One Eclipses

Just weeks after the start of World War One, German astronomer Erwin Finlay-Freundlich led an expedition into Russian-controlled Crimea to photograph the total solar eclipse on August 21, 1914. An American expedition, led by William Wallace Campbell from the Lick Observatory, arrived in Kiev with similar intentions. Earlier that spring, the Royal Astronomical Society in …

June Zooniverse Newsletter

June Star Notes Update Hi everyone! Sam here, one of the researchers behind Star Notes. We hope that you are all staying safe and healthy during this time. First off, we stand with Zooniverse’s commitment to fight systemic racism in STEM by supporting the Black Lives Matter and #ShutdownSTEM movements. We hope to build a …

The “First and Second Civil War Comets”

Horace Parnell Tuttle’s career in astronomy began when failing eyesight forced his older brother, Charles Wesley Tuttle, to abandon his own fledging astronomical career. Charles redirected his academic pursuits, enrolling in Harvard Law School, and Horace replaced his older brother at the Harvard College Observatory. Educated in the early days of the Observatory by both …

Major Philip Sidney Coolidge (1830 – 1863)

On September 19, 1863, Major Philip Sidney Coolidge died leading the 16th U.S. Infantry into battle at Chickamauga, presumably. A great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson on his mother’s side, and a man who by all accounts lived “a strangely roving adventurous life,” Boston newspapers disagreed over his fate into the early months of 1864. First, he …

George Phillips Bond: HCO and The Civil War

William Cranch Bond, a Boston clockmaker and the founding Director of the Harvard College Observatory, died on January 29, 1859. In less than a month, his son and longtime assistant, George Phillips Bond became the Observatory’s second Director and the Phillips Professor of Astronomy at Harvard College. At the height of his career, the younger …