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Visual Astronomy Display: November 2017

Highlights… Nataliea Lowson from the Australian Astronomical Observatory shares an Introduction to Telescopes; Looking forward to the newest SciFi flick? Even if it’s fun, just remember that the astronomy in movies can sometimes be a little dodgy… SciShowSpace explains; Using footage from Curiosity, JPL has made it possible to explore…

Illustrating Astronomy: E.L. Trouvelot at HCO

Celestial photography often stands as the legacy of the Harvard College Observatory in its early years. But its directors still recognized the value of old-fashioned observations of a human eye in real time. To assist their work at the telescope, they tended to hire assistants trained in astronomy and skilled…

Visual Astronomy Display: October 2017

Highlights… Farewell Cassini! Scientists across the globe said goodbye as Saturnian probe gave its final bow and crashed into the atmosphere of the ringed planet; NASA Goddard explores the meaning of the edge of the Solar System; The Parker Solar Probe might provide a definitive answer to one of astronomy’s…

Visual Astronomy Display: September 2017

Visual Astronomy Display for September 2017 Highlights… Annie Jump Cannon, a pioneering and record-setting astronomer at a time when women couldn’t even vote, is featured at My Girl Heroes; Even though we know a lot about Mars, the Red Planet still holds many mysteries, SciShowSpace explains; Cassini gears up for…

Annie Jump Cannon: Account of the Total Eclipse

[Background Note: Annie Jump Cannon traveled to Virginia Beach, VA to see the total solar eclipse of May 28, 1900. She wrote this journal shortly after observation. The journal is now part of the Papers of Annie Jump Cannon, 1863-1978 collection at the Harvard University Archives (HUGFP 125). This transcription of…

Eclipse Expeditions: From HCO and SAO out into the world

The eclipse of 21 August 2017 offers us the chance to witness a rare and awesome spectacle. The aesthetics of such an event have always excited the casual observer, but astronomers and other scientists often sacrifice the immediate visual beauty for their observations, by which interpretations they can illuminate a…

Visual Astronomy Display: August 2017

Visual Astronomy Display for August 2017 Highlights… The solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 is nearly here! Learn all about what it is and how you can enjoy watching it in this month’s play list!; SciShowSpace explores how Vera Rubin discovered the first direct evidence of Dark Matter; NASA will…

The First Computer: Williamina Fleming and the Horsehead Nebula

Working by day with glass-plate photographs of the night sky, the Harvard Computers of the late 1800s studied the stars in search of cosmic secrets. First among them was Williamina Fleming, an immigrant maid from Scotland. Her career in astronomy is highlighted by discoveries, stellar classification, and a work ethic…

Visual Astronomy Display: July 2017

Visual Astronomy Display for July 2017 Highlights… NASA JPL features a video about the Asteroid Hunters of the Catalina Sky Survey and PanSTARRS; Amy from Vintage Space explains why there are no stars visible in Apollo images taken on the Moon; Meet the newest astronauts at NASA!; Ariel Waldman shares…

Visual Astronomy Display: June 2017

Visual Astronomy Display for June 2017 Highlights… In addition to the above image, Science@NASA shares other amazing pictures of the largest planet in our solar system from amateur and professional astronomers alike; Active Galactic Videos shares five facts about Saturn; Heads up solar astronomers! In 2018 NASA will launch the…

Follow Phaedra on Social Media

We’ve created Twitter and Instagram accounts to keep you updated on Project Phaedra! Follow to learn more about our journey processing this collection, when new materials are available for transcription, and whatever neat highlights we find along the way. We’ve just sent our first batch of notebooks off to the…

Visual Astronomy Display: May 2017

Visual Astronomy Display for May 2017 Highlights… The Hubble Space Telescope brings us more evidence for water vapor plumes on Europa; Cassini takes a historic dive through the narrow gap between the planet Saturn and its rings, returning images for its closest look at Saturn’s atmosphere; NASA’s Kennedy Space Center…

New Guide to Data Archiving and Sharing

The Wolbach Library has developed a guide to archiving and sharing research data. You can find it posted on the library’s website. Why would you want to put your data on the web? First, archiving a copy of your data in another physical location–on somebody else’s server–is a great way…

Visual Astronomy Display: April 2017

Visual Astronomy Display for April 2017 Highlights… Planners at NASA’s Payload Operations Integration Center share how they decide what to tell the crew of the International Space Station what to do every day; Have you ever wondered how the Apollo astronauts learned to land on the Moon? Vintage Space did…

Visual Astronomy Display: March 2017

Visual Astronomy Display for March 2017 Highlights… The big news this month is all about TRAPPIST-1, the system of 7 Earth-sized planets orbiting a red dwarf 39 light years away; Have you ever heard the crackling sound of a meteor burning across the sky? DNews explores this unexpected phenomena; Cassini…

PHaEDRA will be at the Smithsonian Digitization Fair!

PHAEDRA has been accepted to the Smithsonian Digitization Fair! At our exhibit table, Wolbach librarians will be available to share information and developments in our efforts to digitize and transcribe astronomical logbooks from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The theme of this year’s Digitization Fair is “Bracing for Impact: Digitizing…

Visual Astronomy Display: February 2017

Visual Astronomy Display for February 2017 Highlights… NASA scientists analyze data from 6300 weather stations, sea surface temperature measurements and Antarctic research stations to determine how the average surface temperature of Earth is increasing; Astronaut Christina Koch talks about the Space Launch System, which will take astronauts beyond the International…

UAT v.2.0.0 Released

Today we are releasing Version 2.0.0 of the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus. This release cleans up minor errors, such as duplicate concepts and preferred label consistency. We have also changed all concept IDs to numeric identifiers, a change that will facilitate editing and management of the UAT going forward. Overview of…

A CryptoParty!

Just before the holiday break, partners from across Harvard, including the Wolbach Library, came together to host a Holiday CryptoParty. CryptoParties are, at their core, workshops at which attendees learn about privacy, security, and cryptography concepts and tools. This first (we think!) annual Harvard CryptoParty featured a theme: “Privacy, surveillance,…

Visual Astronomy Display: January 2017

Visual Astronomy Display for January 2017 Highlights… When Jocelyn Bell Burnell first discovered a pulsar in 1967, she wasn’t sure what to make of them. SciShowSpace explains how scientists figured out what they were and how they worked; Lettuce is growing on board the International Space Station once again; A…

Interested in Project PHAEDRA?

The history the HCO is coming together before our eyes. With the many different catalogues of the PHAEDRA items that were composed over the past 40 years, we have been hard at work to find any books missing from our collection. Already, we recovered one orphan notebook from Widener Library’s holdings at Harvard…

Updates on Project PHAEDRA

Over the past few months, our library staff has been working hard to unravel the mysteries of Project PHAEDRA. Consisting of over 100 boxes recently rediscovered that contain Harvard College Observatory’s notebooks, journals, and observations from the nineteenth century, this material has the potential to reveal aspects of the Observatory’s…

Visual Astronomy Display: December 2016

Visual Astronomy Display for December 2016 Highlights… The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum recounts the precarious re-entry of the Friendship 7 when it was thought that it’s heat shield was loose; David Eicher of Astronomy Magazine clears up rumors of an “Earth-like” planet orbiting the nearest star to our…

Status of the UAT Project

This is a short summary update of the status of the UAT project. http://astrothesaurus.org/ — 1) UAT v1.1.0 Published Online A few weeks ago we published version 1.1.0 to Research Vocabularies Australia (RVA), a controlled vocabulary discovery service from the Australian National Data Service (ANDS).  We’ve been collaborating with ANDS…