Advertisement

An Astronomical Laboratory

  • Pieter C. van der Kruit
Chapter
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 416)

Abstract

Kapteyn’s ultimate aim was to determine the arrangement of the stars in space, but this could not be done unless parallaxes (distances) of stars were measured on a wholesale basis. He did extensive measurements on special plates, taken according to a scheme he had suggested by Anders Donner at Helsingfors (Helsinki). In 1896 he finally obtained his own laboratory, albeit on a temporary basis, housed in the unused residence of the Queen’s Commissioner. Kapteyn’s star, which was found during the preparations for the Cape Photographic Durchmusterung, had the highest proper motion on the sky at the time. The matter of the credit for its discovery led to some heated correspondence between Kapteyn and Gill, resulting from some melodramatic reporting in the journal ‘the Observatory’. Kapteyn came to the conclusion that stars were too distant for measuring individual parallaxes and that the way forward was through proper motions and statistical methods.

Keywords

Globular Cluster Proper Motion Photographic Plate Galactic Halo Galilean Satellite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Chapter  7. An Astronomical Laboratory

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
    www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/hr.html and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HRDiagram.png. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.
  3. [3]
    See www.eso.org/public/images/eso1118a/ and www.noao.edu/outreach/aop/observers/n891.html (Minimum credit line: Dale Cupp/Flynn Haase/NOAO/ AURA/NSF).
  4. [4]
    Respectively New York, Norton [1964, c1963] (DLC) 64010566; Princeton Univ. Press, ISBN 978-0-691-1483-5; Cambridge Univ. Press, ISBN 798-1-01838-9.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
  6. [6]
  7. [7]
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 75, 213–266 (1785). [1785RSPT...75.213H]Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, 157, 230–244 (1986), [1986A&A...157.230V]Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 107, 302–331 (1817). [1817RSPT..107.302H]Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Imperial Academy of Sciences of Saint Petersburg, re-issued recently under ISBN-10 11-4404-207-0.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
  12. [12]
    The original image is out of copyright. I gratefully acknowledge the preservation and scanning by ‘University of Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy Library’. See www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/225982.
  13. [13]
    Verslag van den Staat der Sterrewacht te Leiden en van de aldaar volbrachte werkzaamheden (1886–1888). [1888VeLdn..24.1V]Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    Verslag van den Staat der Sterrewacht te Leiden en van de aldaar volbrachte werkzaamheden (1890–1892). [1892VeLdn..28.1V]Google Scholar
  15. [15]
  16. [16]
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 46, 237–238 (1886). [1886/MNRAS..46.237V]Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Bulletin Astronomique, Ser. I, 12, 97–106 (1895). [1895BuAsI..12.97V]Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Astronomische Nachrichten, 146, 209–21 (1898). [1898AN....146.209V]Google Scholar
  19. [19]
  20. [20]
    Astronomische Nachrichten, 124, 177 (1890). [1890AN....124.177H]Google Scholar
  21. [21]
    Published in the Observatory, Vol. 25, pp. 158–161 (1902). [1902Obs....25.158C]Google Scholar
  22. [22]
    The Observatory 21, 106 (1898). [1898Obs....21.103.]Google Scholar
  23. [23]
    The Observatory, 21, pp. 409–410 (1898). [1898Obs....21.409.]Google Scholar
  24. [24]
    DSS2 is available at the Space Telescope Science Institute Website at stdatu.stsci.edu/dss/. For a Web animation, see groups.google.com/a/googleproductforums.com/forum/?fromgroups#!msg/gec-sky/kulxqfbRZvQ/JaolC-O5EDkJ.
  25. [25]
    The Observatory, 22, 99–101 (1899). [1898Obs....22.99G]Google Scholar
  26. [26]
    E. Kotoneva, E., K. Innanen, K., P.C. Dawson, P.R. Wood & M. de Robertis: A study of Kapteyn’s star, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 438, 957–962 (2005). [2005A&A...438.957K]Google Scholar
  27. [27]
    Astronomical Journal 112, 1595–1613 (1996). [1996AJ....112.1595E]Google Scholar
  28. [28]
    Press release heic0809, 2 April 2008; see www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic0809/.
  29. [29]
    Boston, Harvard Univ. Press (1932). The 1934 Dutch version, published by van Stockum & Zoon, Den Haag, is available electronically from the ‘Digital Library of Dutch Literature’ at www.dbnl.org/tekst/sitt003kosm01_01/.
  30. [30]
    E. Wylie-de Boer, K.C. Freeman and M. Williams, Astronomical Journal, 139, 636–645 (2010). [2010AJ....139.636W]Google Scholar
  31. [31]
    Guillem Anglada-Escudé, et al., Two planets around Kapteyn’s star: a cold and a temperate super-Earth orbiting the nearest halo red-dwarf, eprint arXiv. [2014arXiv1406.0818A]Google Scholar
  32. [32]
  33. [33]
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 95, 343–347 (1935). [1935MNRAS–95.343.]Google Scholar
  34. [34]
    Homepage of the Share Initiative is www.tsieuropean.co.uk.
  35. [35]
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 59, 341–345 (1899). [1899MNRAS..59.341D]Google Scholar
  36. [36]
    Annals of the Cape Observatory, 8, 2.i-2.175 (1900). [1900AnCap...8.2G]Google Scholar
  37. [37]
    The thesis is not available in electronic form. However, it was published in a different form as Determination of the mass of Jupiter and elements of the orbits of its satellites’ by W. de Sitter, D. Gill & W.H. Finlay, Annals of the Cape Observatory, 12, 1.1–1.173 (1915). [1915AnCap..12.1D]Google Scholar
  38. [38]
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 91, 706–738 (1931). [1931MNRAS..91.706D]Google Scholar
  39. [39]
    From www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0552.html. Credit line: National Optical Astronomy Observatory/Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy/National Science Foundation
  40. [40]
    W. de Sitter, Publications of the Astronomical Laboratory Groningen, 15, 3–12 (1906). [1906PGro....15.1D]Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    • 1
  1. 1.Kapteyn Astronomical InstituteUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations