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HUGGINS, WILLIAM. - THE FIRST DETERMINATION OF THE MOVEMENT OF A STAR.

Further Observations on the Spectra of some of the Stars and Nebulae, with an Attempt to determine therefrom whether these Bodies are moving towards or from the Earth, also Observations on the Spectra of the Sun and of Comet II., 1868. received April 23, - Read May 14, 1868. (Part II "Observations of the Sun" Received April 30, 1868).

lyn42262

(London, Taylor and Francis, 1868). 4to. No wrappers as extracted from "Philosophical Transactions", Vol. 158 - Part II, pp. 529-564 and 1 lithographed plate. Clean and fine.. ¶ First appearence of this milestone paper, announcing the very first determination of the movement and velocity of a star. (Sirius). This discovery of the motion in the line of sight, the radial velocity, is of exceeding importence in astronomy, for it can be determined by shifts in the position of the spectral lines, without regard tothe distance of the star.

In this paper Huggins applied to spectroscopic astronomy the principle enunciated by Doppler in 1841 that the positions of spectrum lines change as the object moves to or from the spectator. After consulting,in 1867 with James Clerk Maxwell, but wholly independent of him, Huggins presented to the Ropyal Society early in 1868, this paper with the observation on the spectrum of Sirius, from which a motion from the earth could be deduced of ab. 25 miles pr. second.

"William Huggins (1824-1910), English astronomer, a pioneer in spectroscopy and photography. He examined spectroscopically the chemical constitution of stars and comets, and the gaseous nature of planetary and diffuse nebulae; he applied the Doppler Principle to the measurement of the radial velocities of stars, and published an atlas of representative stellar spectra" (Ripley: Source Book in Astronomy).

12 139 SEK

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