Home » News & Blogs » An invitation to the American Astronomical Society and a return to Havana
Bookmark and Share
Cosmic Diary

An invitation to the American Astronomical Society and a return to Havana

30 Dec 2009, 23:00 UTC
An invitation to the American Astronomical Society and a return to Havana
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

When you read this, I will be in the United States, either celebrating the arrival of the New Year in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, or participating in the 215th conference of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, DC.

I have never been to an AAS meeting before, and as they represent major events on the astronomical calendar, this will be an exciting experience. I will give an invited talk in the Historical Astronomy Division of the AAS, on the theme of the first hundred years of astronomical spectroscopy. My talk will contemplate the famous declaration by the French philosopher, Auguste Comte, in 1835, that the chemical composition and temperatures of the stars will forever remain unknown to us. One hundred years after Comte, thanks to the concerted efforts of many physicists and astronomers, the tortuous path was taken from the first studies of stellar spectra by Huggins, Secchi and others in the 1860s to the initial application of physics to stellar spectra in the 1920s and beyond. This work led to the revealing of the secrets hidden in the starlight, and eventually to quantitative information on the chemical composition of stars as well as to measurements of their surface temperatures. ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod