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Horsehead described in EE Barnard's 1913 paper

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#1 WeltevredenKaroo

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:38 PM

We can count ourselves fortunate to have optics good enough and low-cost enough to spot objects like the HH from our backyards. EE Barnard needed a 40-inch to spot it. His 1913 paper (starting near the bottom of p.500) is solid praise indeed for our scope suppliers today.

#2 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:18 PM

His exit pupil was 2.2mm, which might be considered a bit on the small side for such a dim, low contrast object.

Considering the state of knowledge at the time, Barnard's perspicacious conjectures point to a formidably analytical mind. He is one of my more admired scientists, all the more so because of his limited formal education.

#3 george golitzin

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:43 PM

I'm a huge fan of Barnard--one of the things I found especially interesting is that, in arguing that the dark nebulae were indeed dust clouds (rather than holes in the sky--a position he begins to take in the 1913 paper you cite), he ultimately relied on his visual observations of objects such as B33. To be sure, the convincing evidence is in the widefield photographs he pioneered on Mt. Wilson (see his beautiful Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way), but for the quintessential visual astronomer, the proof was at the eyepiece. He writes in his 1919 paper catalogin the dark nebulae (On the dark markings...):

I did not at first believe in these dark obscuring masses. The proof was not conclusive. The increase of evidence, however, from my own photographs convinced me later, especeially after investigating some of them visually...

You can download his plates at the Georgia tech site above, and I heartily recommend the fine biography by William Sheehan (The Immortal Fire Within: the Life the Work of EE Barnard).

-geo

#4 cliff mygatt

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:50 AM

Barnards atlas is available for purchase again and is a great tool for looking at Dark nebulae and I agree with George and Glenn, Barnard is one of the greatest visual observers of all time and his biography is a must read for amateur astronomers, you will be inspired! Good Luck!

#5 WeltevredenKaroo

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:33 PM

Thanks to all for the comments. Cliff, I'd be inspired, but also in the alms house—copies available from A'zon USA start at US$92 and go to $356. That's not counting the air delivery to S Africa. Seems like I'll have to content myself with the eyepiece candy in the Atlas, freshly downloaded from Georgia Tech, thanks to George. Glenn, I've spotted the 'notch' effect quite a number of times with a 180/1800 Mak and eyepiece with exit pupil 1.8mm and 48' afov. A 100mm f/6 achro with exit pupil of 2.3mm actually does a better job with the IC434/HH complex once Alnitak is out of the FOV. Local skies in deserty conditions typically lim visual mag 7.5.

#6 azure1961p

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:24 PM

Folks on EE and other great observers, isn't there a single source online or in book form that comprises his observing logs and drawings? We always get these snippets but where is the mother lode already. Same goes for Percival Lowell, Schiaparelli and so on. Imagine what fantastic book it'd be that comprised of all their work in words and illustration.

I've yet to see a published portfolio/log book however.

Pete

#7 WeltevredenKaroo

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:47 PM

Pete, PM sent = Dana

#8 azure1961p

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:18 AM

Thanks Dana - much appreciated.

Pete






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