Pure Maths Colloquium: Deborah Kent
This talk is part of the Pure Maths Colloquium at the University of St Andrews. Check out our upcoming talks at https://theran.lt/pure-colloquium/.
|Deborah Kent University of St Andrews
|“The triumphant vindication of the American observations”? The Spanish eclipse expedition of 1870
Equipped with the latest technology and dreams of glory, international observing parties trekked around the globe in the second half of the 19th century in quest of new astronomical results. As developments in photography fueled a race to capture an image of the solar corona, scientists also hoped for insight about both the size of the universe and the chemical composition of the Sun. North American eclipse paths in 1860 and 1869 especially played into the scientific agenda articulated by mid-century mathematical practitioners in the United States. Results from 1869 heralded as huge success on American shores were met with suspicion in Europe. Americans viewed joint expeditions in 1870 and 1871 as opportunities to vindicate their work.