Australian solar eclipse expeditions: the voyage to Cape York in 1871

Lomb, Nick (2016) Australian solar eclipse expeditions: the voyage to Cape York in 1871. Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, 19 (1). pp. 79-95. ISSN 1440-2807

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Techniques such as photography and spectroscopy only became available to study solar eclipses in the 1860s. The first subsequent total eclipse of the Sun to be visible from Australia was one in December 1871 that was visible from far north Queensland. Initiated by the Royal Society of Victoria, astronomers in Melbourne and Sydney cooperated to organise the Australian Eclipse Expedition aboard the steamship Governor Blackall to a suitable observing location. Though on the day of the eclipse clouds prevented viewing, this was an important expedition that was complex to organise and involved dealings with colonial Governments and with relatively large sums of money that Australian scientists had not previously experienced. With a newspaper reporter as part of the expedition along with two photographers the expedition was well recorded and provides a clear insight into the activities of late nineteenth century astronomers and other scientists.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Open Access.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2016 03:51
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2017 23:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: nineteenth century eclipse expeditions; 1871 total solar eclipse; Eclipse Island; Royal Society of Victoria; Governor Blackall; Melbourne Observatory; Sydney Observatory
Fields of Research : 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020109 Space and Solar Physics
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences

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