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