Script for 'The Night Sky in May', 1958-05
Scope and Contents
An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in May' on the Plough overhead, Arcturus in the south, Leo in the west, and Jupiter below Arcturus near Spica in Virgo; the retrograde motion of the planets, the difficulty in observing this motion and the lack of perspective in the sky; the misleading impression of distance given if apparent brightness is relied on, the proper motion of stars, and the importance of their distribution in this galaxy and their movements; the difficulties and errors of these measurements and the improvement in accuracy attained over the years; Edmond Halley and the motion of Arcturus since Ptolemy's catalogue, Arcturus being a 'high velocity star', stars which generally do not move in the galactic plane, and the actual motion of the Sun about the galactic centre; the astronomy of the nineteenth century; the contemporary vogue for astrophysics; the modern astronomer's attitude to figures in astronomy being due to the figures involved; and the 'Cosmic year'.
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