Trouvelot Jupiter 1877 and 1880
Étienne Trouvelot's images of Jupiter in 1877 and 1880. RASC archivist Randall Rosenfeld will be speaking about the images during his talk.
Speaker Series: Truth at the eyepiece

Join RASC archivist Randall Rosenfeld as he explores why hand-drawn astronomical pictures look odd to us, and the implications for what “truth at the eyepiece” may really mean.

Thursday, May 21, 2020
7:00 p.m. EDT
Register here

They’re visions from the past — hand-drawn records that are other-worldly
in many ways.

Since the advent of telescopic astronomy four centuries ago, it has been a constant that visual records of observations should only show what is seen at the eyepiece and no more. The integrity of astronomy as an observational science depends on this.

Looking back over the images, however, can be an unsettling experience for some. Many of these pictures don’t at all resemble what we perceive at the eyepiece now, despite the claims of the original observers for the faithfulness of their visions. What is going on here?

This edition of SkyNews and The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Speaker Series surveys some of the issues involved in confronting the images.

Join RASC archivist Randall Rosenfeld as he explores why these pictures look odd to us, and the implications for what “truth at the eyepiece” may really mean.

Chris Beckett will also be on the call, an acute modern visual observer with an interest in the older records of observation and what they can reveal about the phenomena and the phenomena of observation.

You can register for the talk here. The full list of Speaker Series talks and recaps is available here.

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