Article ID: CBB001320842

A New Looking Glass: Historic Harvard Plates (2013)


Nothing in the world compares to a collection of some 500,000 historic photographic plates of telescope images obtained overa century by the Harvard College Observatory (HCO). The glass plates originated from Harvard astronomers' frequent and systematic survey of the sky in both the northern and southern hemispheres between 1885 and 1991 At the HCO today, scientists are making digital copies of the images, not simply to preserve artifacts but to push a new field of research forward. Data collected over such a long period are invaluable to time domain astronomy (TDA), which hunts for clues to unknown stellar and galactic phenomena revealed by the variation in the brightness of stars and galactic nuclei over time. Jonathan Grindlay leads the Digital Access to a Sky Century @ Harvard (DASCH) project. He explained its promise to American Scientist contributing editor Catherine Clabby.

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Authors & Contributors
Orchiston, Wayne
Malaquias, Isabel Maria
Fernandes, Joǎo
Bonifácio, Vitor
Pound, Robert V.
Dufner, Barbara
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Physics in Perspective
Women's Studies
Spontaneous Generations
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Franz Steiner Verlag
Verlag Harri Deutsch
University of Minnesota Press
ArtDeCiel Pub.
Springer International
Springer International Publishing
Photography, astronomical
Astronomical observatories
Einstein, Albert
Bernhard Schmidt
Schaeberle, John Martin
Vasconcellos, Ernesto Julio de Carvalho
Millman, Peter M.
Costa Lobo, Francisco Miranda da
United States
Oklahoma (U.S.)
New Zealand
19th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
21st century
20th century
Harvard University
Lick Observatory
Hubble Space Telescope
Harvard College Observatory

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