Amateurs in the Antipodes: the common denominators of nineteenth and early twentieth century South African, Australian and New Zealand Astronomy - Part 1

Orchiston, Wayne (2006) Amateurs in the Antipodes: the common denominators of nineteenth and early twentieth century South African, Australian and New Zealand Astronomy - Part 1. Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa, 65 (9 & 10). pp. 148-159.

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Abstract

This paper provides a comparison of amateur astronomy in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand during the critical period 1850-1935, when international astronomy witnessed the transition from positional astronomy to astrophysics. In the positional era, amateur astronomers were able to make a major contribution, but this opportunity was increasingly denied them once astrophysics became the norm. Of greater interest to many amateur astronomers was the advent of Comet 1P/Halley in 1910, which simply signposted the end in a succession of impressive naked eye comets, not to mention transits of Mercury and Venus and total solar eclipses (see Table I). All of these served to heighten public awareness of and interest in astronomy and convert increasing numbers of people to amature astronomy. For the purposes of this paper, an "amateur astronomer" is defined as: "Someone involved in astronomy for the love of it, who normally does not earn a primary income from astronomy".

Item ID: 3690
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: amateur astronomy; South Africa; New Zealand
ISSN: 0024-8266
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2009 22:31
FoR Codes: 02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0299 Other Physical Sciences > 029999 Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences @ 100%
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