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Photograph - Eta Argus Nebula, taken with Great Melbourne Telescope, 1883 Image Reg. No: MM 030401

Experimental photograph of Eta Argus Nebula taken by Joseph Turner with the Great Melbourne Telescope, probably early 1883.

In 1882 astronomers in Britain and America began to successfully use the more sensitive dry plates to photograph nebulae and comets, which had previously not been clearly photographed with wet plates. Astronomers at Melbourne Observatory began experiments using the Great Melbourne Telescope to photograph nebulae in 1882, with mixed results. Assistant Astronomer Joseph Turner got good results taking photos of portions of Orion Nebula with a four minute exposure, but had no success with Eta Argus Nebula, despite exposures of up to 45 minutes.

Government Astronomer Robert Ellery noted in his annual report for 1882/3 that 'The great obstacle to obtaining photographs of faint objects is the difficulty of keeping such a large telescope steady during a period necessary for the exposure of the plate, so that, when a sufficient exposure has been obtained, the stars are all considerably enlarged from the vibrations and small movements of the telescope in the interval.'
Description Of Content:
Stars in nebula Eta Argus
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Victoria: Local Government Department Office of Trade Measurement (formerly Weights & Measures Branch)
Discipline: Technology

More information

Tagged with: nebula, stars
Themes this item is part of: Melbourne Observatory Collection, Science & Measurement Collection, Great Melbourne Telescope, Positional Astronomy at Melbourne Observatory, Weights & Measures at Melbourne Observatory, Melbourne Observatory & Standard Time in Victoria, Astrographic Catalogue, Transits of Venus, 1874 & 1882, Buildings at Melbourne Observatory, Star Observations & Personal Equation, Meteorology at Melbourne Observatory, 1863-1908, Melbourne Observatory, 1863-1944, Melbourne Observatory, 1863-1944, Geodetic Survey of Victoria, 1858-1872
Primary Classification: ASTRONOMY
Secondary Classification: Research
Tertiary Classification: observational photographs
Format: Photograph
Photographer: Mr Joseph Turner - Melbourne Observatory, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia, 1883
Place & Date Made: Melbourne Observatory, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia, 1883

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