Wednesday, May 27, 2020

UPDATE: Web & Cablecasts: Historic SpaceX Astronaut Launch Sat. Afternoon

      SpaceX Demo-2 Rollout (NHQ202005210011).jpg
The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule is shown as it is lifted onto the top of the Falcon 9 rocket, on Thursday, 2020 May 21, for the historic Demo-2 mission which is scheduled to launch two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station mid-day Saturday Afternoon, 2020 May 30.
(Image Sources: NASA, Wikipedia.org, By NASA/Bill Ingalls - https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/49919954072/in/photostream/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=90584767)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

UPDATE: This blog-post, originally posted Wednesday, 2020 May 27, has been updated as of Thursday, 2020 May 28, regarding the delay of the historic launch of the Crew Dragon capsule.

Web-casts and cable-casts, as well as traditional radio and television broadcasts, are set for coverage of the historic launch, rescheduled to Saturday afternoon, of two NASA astronauts bound for the International Space Station (ISS), using the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

SpaceX, founded in 2002 by billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, plans to launch two astronauts toward the International Space Station on Saturday Afternoon, 2020 May 30 (the original Decoration Day) at 3:22 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 19:22 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

The launch had been originally scheduled for Wednesday Afternoon, 2020 May 27 at 4:33:33 p.m. EDT / 20:33:33 UTC. However, the launch was scrubbed 16 minutes before the launch time, due inclement weather.

According to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, there was "too much electricity in the atmosphere." He added, "There wasn't really a lightning storm or anything like that, but there was a concern that if we did launch it could trigger lightning."

The rescheduled Saturday afternoon launch will be the first launch of astronauts, from American soil, since the end of NASA's Space Shuttle program in July of 2011. Since 2011, NASA has been leasing seats on Russian Soyuz flights, for sending American astronauts to the ISS.

If the Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission launch, on May 30, is delayed again due to poor weather or technical problems, the next launch window opens the next day, May 31 at 3:00 p.m. EDT / 19:00 UTC.

The Saturday afternoon launch will also be the first launch of astronauts into Earth orbit using a non-government space program. NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, who will be the crew of this historic flight, may stay on the ISS for 100 days or more.

SpaceX's Cargo Dragon or Dragon 1 spacecraft has flown 19 successful operational missions. These missions have flown supplies, only, to the International Space Station.

The May 30 launch will occur at the historic Launch Pad 39A at the John F. Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Florida. Launch Pad 39A was originally built by NASA for the Apollo space program which launched 12 astronauts who walked on the Moon between 1969 and 1972, as well as the historic Apollo 8 flight when, for the first time, three astronauts went into orbit of a planetary body other than the Earth (the Earth's Moon) on Christmas Eve in 1968.

Launch Pad 39A was modified in the late 1970s for use in the Space Shuttle program. SpaceX leases Launch Pad 39A from NASA for the launch of the company's Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on May 30.

In a rather unique collaboration, ABC-TV is partnering with the National Geographic Channel for comprehensive coverage of this historic launch on cable television, as well as Internet coverage on ABC News Live, the ABC News streaming-video web-cast. The National Geographic Channel (a.k.a. National Geographic, Nat Geo, and Nat Geo TV) is a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which owns the ABC radio and television networks) at 73 per-cent ownership and the National Geographic Society at 27 per-cent ownership; Walt Disney Television controls operational management of the National Geographic Channel.

The National Geographic Channel / ABC News Live streaming service begins a two-hour coverage block of the launch on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. EDT / 18:00 UTC; this cable-cast will also be simulcast on the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel. Traditional cable television news channels, such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, will likely provide comprehensive coverage for much of Saturday, as would the CBSN Internet streaming service.

Moments before the actual launch, the ABC television network will break into normal programming to cover the launch. Likely, the CBS and NBC television networks will do the same.

Also likely, some of the major radio networks, particularly the legacy networks ABC (which began in 1927 as the NBC Blue Network, known for news and public affairs programming) and CBS (which also began in 1927 and has became prominently recognized for news broadcasting since World War II) will cover the launch moments before lift-off.

On the Internet, in addition to the ABC News Live (also simulcast on the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel) and CBSN streaming services, both NASA and SpaceX will provide live streams of the launch.

Since the 1960s, the three traditional radio and television broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have provided extensive coverage of the launches of American astronauts. Today, the Internet provides even greater coverage of historic launches, such as the one scheduled for Saturday afternoon, in addition to coverage on the more traditional radio and television networks.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Live, Launch Coverage Internet Streams:
NASA: Link >>> https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive
SpaceX: Link >>> https://www.spacex.com/launches/
ABC News Live: Link >>> https://abcnews.go.com/Live/ 
CBSN: Link >>> https://www.cbsnews.com/live/
Discovery Channel: Link >>> https://www.discovery.com/
Science Channel: Link >>> https://www.sciencechannel.com/ 

SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 Mission:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2020.html#spacexlaunch

Photograph: Close-up of SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule:
Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2020/05/astro-calendar-2020-may-1st-private.html

SpaceX:
Link 1 >>> https://www.spacex.com/
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX

International Space Station (ISS):
Link 1 >>> https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station

Kennedy Space Center Historic Launch Pad 39A:
Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_Space_Center_Launch_Complex_39#Launch_Pad_39A

Related Blog Posts ----

SpaceX Public, On-Line Simulator: Docking w/ Space Station." Tue., 2020 May 19.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2020/05/spacex-public-on-line-simulator-docking.html

 

"Astro-Calendar: 2020 May / 1st Private, Crewed Space Launch May 27." Fri., 2020 May 1.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2020/05/astro-calendar-2020-may-1st-private.html

 

"Web-Cast: 1st Test Launch of SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket Tue. Afternoon." Tue., 2018 Feb. 6.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2018/02/web-cast-1st-test-launch-of-spacex.html

 

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
              Wednesday, 2020 May 27.
              UPDATED: Thursday, 2020 May 28.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

SpaceX Public, On-Line Simulator: Docking w/ Space Station

A foreward view of the International Space Station backdropped by the limb of the Earth. In view are the station's four large, maroon-coloured solar array wings, two on either side of the station, mounted to a central truss structure. Further along the truss are six large, white radiators, three next to each pair of arrays. In between the solar arrays and radiators is a cluster of pressurised modules arranged in an elongated T shape, also attached to the truss. A set of blue solar arrays are mounted to the module at the aft end of the cluster.
Image of the International Space Station (ISS), by an STS-132 crew member on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis, after leaving the station on 2010 May 23.
(Image Sources: NASA, Wikipedia.org, By NASA/Crew of STS-132 - http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-132/hires/s132e012208.jpg(http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-132/html/s132e012208.html), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10561008)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

In anticipation of the first SpaceX astronaut crew to be launched toward the International Space Station (ISS) on May 27, SpaceX has created an on-line, docking simulator the public can use, free-of-charge. Although such ISS dockings are usually done automatically by computer, this simulator shows what astronauts would do if they needed to dock manually.

The “ISS Docking Simulator” program (Internet link to on-line simulator near end of this blog-post) is based on a real touchscreen-panel interface (although the on-line version is not a touchscreen-interface) software that the SpaceX Company, founded in 2002 by billionaire tech wizard Elon Musk, created to train the NASA astronauts to fly the new Crew Dragon spacecraft. The actual SpaceX docking simulator is located at the company's plant in Hawthorne, California.

SpaceX plans to launch two astronauts toward the International Space Station on Wednesday, 2020 May 27 at 4:32 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 20:32 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This will be the first launch of astronauts, from American soil, since the end of NASA's Space Shuttle program in July of 2011. Since 2011, NASA ,has been leasing seats on Russian Soyuz flights, for sending American astronauts to the ISS.

If the May 27 launch is delayed by poor weather or technical problems, the next launch window opens on the original Decoration Day, May 30.

This launch will also be the first launch of astronauts into Earth orbit using a non-government space program. NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, who will be the crew of this historic flight, may stay on the ISS for 100 days or more.

SpaceX's Cargo Dragon or Dragon 1 spacecraft has flown 19 successful operational missions. These missions have flown supplies, only, to the International Space Station.

The May 27 launch will occur at the historic Launch Pad 39A at the John F. Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Florida. Launch Pad 39A was originally built by NASA for the Apollo space program which launched 12 astronauts who walked on the Moon between 1969 and 1972, as well as the historic Apollo 8 flight when, for the first time, three astronauts went into orbit of a planetary body other than the Earth (the Earth's Moon) in December of 1968.

Launch Pad 39A was modified in the late 1970s for use in the Space Shuttle program. SpaceX leases Launch Pad 39A from NASA for the launch of the company's Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on May 27.

Although many video games are action-packed, with objectives being achieved quickly, this is not true for the SpaceX simulator. This simulator shows that docking a spacecraft with the ISS is painstakingly slow and precise.

The simulator teaches the user to control the spacecraft, attempting to dock with the ISS, using the spacecraft's pitch, yaw, roll, and approach speed.

To be successful with this simulator, you have to carefully manipulate the controls. Although it is not real easy, the simulator includes some instructions to help the “virtual astronaut.”

SpaceX's “ISS Docking Simulator”: Link >>> https://iss-sim.spacex.com/

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 Mission:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2020.html#spacexlaunch

Photograph of SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule:
Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2020/05/astro-calendar-2020-may-1st-private.html

SpaceX:
Link 1 >>> https://www.spacex.com/
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX

International Space Station (ISS):
Link 1 >>> https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station

Kennedy Space Center Historic Launch Pad 39A:
Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_Space_Center_Launch_Complex_39#Launch_Pad_39A

Related Blog Posts ----

"Astro-Calendar: 2020 May / 1st Private, Crewed Space Launch May 27." Fri., 2020 May 1.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2020/05/astro-calendar-2020-may-1st-private.html

 

"Web-Cast: 1st Test Launch of SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket Tue. Afternoon." Tue., 2018 Feb. 6.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2018/02/web-cast-1st-test-launch-of-spacex.html


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
              Tuesday, 2020 May 19.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

NASA Contest: Help Design Mini Moon Rovers By June 8

                              http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/observatory/pix/siderostat_moon.jpg
This is an image of the waxing crescent Moon taken in the 1980s by Francis G. Graham using the rather unique 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center - Pittsburgh's science and technology museum from 1939 to 1991). Francis Graham, who founded the American Lunar Society, is now Professor Emeritus of Physics, Kent State University. (Image Source: Friends of the Zeiss)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Help provide ideas and suggestions for future Moon missions, in a NASA public prize competition. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is seeking suggestions for advancing science on the Moon through miniature payloads, possibly including mini-rovers (perhaps as small as a home Roomba® vacuum cleaner) that could explore the lunar surface. There are $160,000 in monetary prizes being offered.

The NASA news release states:

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, is running a public prize competition to design miniaturized payloads for future Moon missions. The “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload” challenge is seeking instrument designs that could help support a sustained human lunar presence, demonstrate and advance the use of resources found on the Moon, and enable new science. Future exploration of the Moon and beyond will require tools of all shapes and sizes – from sweeping orbiters to the tiniest of rovers. In addition to current planned scientific rovers, NASA could one day send even smaller rovers to help scout the Moon’s surface. These tiny robots would provide mission flexibility and collect key information about the lunar surface, its resources and the environment. The data collected by these rovers would be helpful for future lunar endeavors and NASA’s Artemis program.

NASA is looking for ways to create a sustained presence on the Moon for astronauts. To do so, NASA needs to find the resources on the Moon that can be transformed to help keep people alive and help them perform their scientific mission, as re-supply missions from Earth would be very expensive. Needed resources, that could possibly be found and transformed from lunar resources, include breathable air, water for drinking and food production, building materials for shelter, rocket propellants, among other necessities.

NASA needs to find new ways to prospect, map, and determine the resources available on the Moon that can supply a small lunar base. NASA and JPL are seeking the public's help in creating new, miniaturized technologies to carry-out this project, which would support NASA's Artemis Program for exploration of the Moon by male and female astronauts.

Deadline for submissions: Monday, 2020 June 8 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 21:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

More information on NASA / JPL “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload” challenge:
Link >>> https://www.herox.com/NASApayload

Challenge Guidelines: Link >>> https://www.herox.com/NASApayload/guidelines

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
              Tuesday, 2020 May 12.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

Friday, May 1, 2020

Astro-Calendar: 2020 May / 1st Private, Crewed Space Launch May 27


CCP SpaceX Demo-2 Dragon (3).jpg
SpaceX Crew Dragon Spacecraft, as it undergoes final processing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida for the Demo-2 launch on May 27, with two astronauts. This will be the first launch of astronauts from American soil since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, as well as the first launch, ever, of astronauts on a private space vehicle into Earth orbit.
More information: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2020.html#spacexlaunch
(Image Sources: SpaceX, NASA, Wikipedia.org, By SpaceX - https://images.nasa.gov/details-KSC-20200411-PH-SPX01_0003 (direct link), CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=89261776)

Astronomical Calendar for 2020 May ---
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2020.html#may

 Related Blog Post ---

"Astro-Calendar: 2020 April / 175th Anniversary (April 10): Great Pittsburgh Fire."

Wednesday, 2020 April 1.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2020/04/astro-calendar-2020-april-175th.html


Source: Friends of the Zeiss.
              Friday, 2020 May 1.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

            More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Centennial: 'Great Debate' on Scale of Universe

ESO-VLT-Laser-phot-33a-07.jpg
Image from Earth of the center (laser points directly at center) of our Milky Way Galaxy, which was once thought to comprise the entirety of the Universe. This image was taken by European Southern Observatory astronomer Yuri  Beletsky from Paranal, Chile on 2007 July 21.
(Image Sources: Wikipedia.org, By ESO/Y. Beletsky - https://web.archive.org/web/20081121184421/http://www.eso.org/gallery/v/ESOPIA/Paranal/phot-33a-07.tif.html, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7398904)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Just a century ago, the size of the Universe, and our place in the Milky Way Galaxy, were still largely not understood. One-hundred years ago today, on Monday Afternoon, 1920 April 26, two prominent astronomers debated these issues during the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.

In what came to be known as the “Great Debate,” the two participants were Harlow Shapley and Heber D. Curtis. The debate lectures were delivered in the afternoon, while a panel discussion on the issues occurred that evening. The following year, the debate was published in the May issue of the Bulletin of the National Research Council, including rebuttals to the arguments in the previous year's debate.

The 1920 debate did not follow a normal debate structure. Rather, the two participants simply gave lectures on their respective viewpoints on the issues, which included responses to the other's viewpoints, but no rebuttals were given during the actual debate. At the time, both were seeking the directorship of prominent astronomical observatories, so part of the motivation of the speakers, particularly Harlow Shapley, was to impress the respective university administrations and boards of trustees.

Harlow Shapley, at the time, had been working at the Mount Wilson Observatory in southern California since 1914. In 1921, he would become Director of the Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

As Harvard College Observatory Director, on Wednesday Evening, 1941 November 19, Dr. Shapley gave the keynote address at the dedication of a rather unique 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, in the public observatory of the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center – Pittsburgh's science and technology museum from 1939 to 1991). A strong supporter of amateur astronomy, in the 1940s he also helped to establish a national organization for amateur astronomers, The Astronomical League.

At the time of the Great Debate, Heber Curtis was working at the Lick Observatory in northern California. Starting at Lick Observatory in 1902, he surveyed nebulae, which would be an integral issue in the Great Debate, particularly the nature of spiral nebulae.

The study of nebulae had been started by Lick Observatory Director James E. Keeler, when Dr. Keeler had returned to Lick Observatory as newly appointed Director in 1898. He had previously been Director of the Western University of Pennsylvania's Allegheny Observatory. However, Dr. Keeler suddenly died in 1900, leading Dr. Curtis to take-on his study of spiral nebulae. Later in 1920, Dr. Curtis would become Director of the newly-built, three-dome Allegheny Observatory, operated by the renamed University of Pittsburgh.

The nature of spiral nebulae observed by astronomers near the end of the 19th century was hotly debated by scientists of that era. Some thought the spiral nebulae were simply nearby gas clouds. Other scientists believed that they were distant “island universes,” or galaxies similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy.

For the 1920 annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, a debate was scheduled on the issue (actually, this was one of 14 issues disputed during the debate). Heber Curtis, who had been studying nebulae, was convinced that the spiral nebulae were independent galaxies outside of our Milky Way Galaxy. Further, Dr. Curtis conjectured that the Earth's Solar System was near the center of our rather small Milky Way Galaxy.

Dr. Curtis said, during the debate, "if the spirals are island universes it would seem reasonable and most probable to assign to them dimensions of the same order as our galaxy. If, however, their dimensions are as great as 300,000 light years [as Shapley asserted for our galaxy], the island universes must be placed at such enormous distances that it would be necessary to assign what seem impossibly great absolute magnitudes to the novae which have appeared in these objects."

Harlow Shapley, who spoke first, argued that the spiral nebulae were gas clouds within our Milky Way Galaxy, and that our galaxy was (or nearly was) the totality of the Universe. During the debate, he also stated, "Recent studies of clusters and related objects seem to me to leave no alternative to the belief that the galactic system is at least ten times greater in diameter - at least a thousand times greater in volume - than recently supposed." He also countered Dr. Curtis saying that our Solar System was really far from the center of our much larger galaxy / Universe.

During a graduate work fellowship at Princeton University, Dr. Shapley had been studying globular clusters. As the common observation at that time was that globular clusters were more concentrated in one-half of the sky, he concluded that this part of the sky included the center of the galaxy. By using Cepheid variable stars as a sort-of measuring-rod, he determined that our galaxy was much larger than most astronomers of the time thought, and our Sun was further from the center of the galaxy, as well.

As Dr. Shapley was a younger, ambitious astronomer, Dr. Curtis was a little older and more established in the astronomy field. Dr. Curtis maintained the current opinion of most astronomers that our galaxy was rather small, with our Sun close to the center of the galaxy. He demonstrated that novae in our galaxy were much brighter than novae seen in spiral nebulae, concluding that the spiral nebulae were separate and distinct galaxies in their own right. He disputed Dr. Shapley's larger size of the Milky Way Galaxy, as he did not believe that Cepheid variable stars derived valid stellar distances.

Nothing conclusive came from the Great Debate. The data used by both astronomers were not of a high enough quality to determine the true nature of spiral nebulae.

In later years, it was determined that both scientists were correct in some matters and wrong in other matters. Dr. Curtis was correct that the Milky Way was just one of billions of galaxies in our huge Universe. However, Dr. Shapley was correct that the Milky Way galaxy is much larger than originally believed and our Sun was far from the center of the Milky Way.

By 1924, Edwin Hubble, who had started working at Mount Wilson Observatory in 1919, was able to prove that the spiral nebulae were actually galaxies, far from our own Milky Way Galaxy. Using the newly completed 100-inch Hooker Reflector Telescope (then, the world's largest telescope), he was able to identify Cepheid variable stars (used by astronomers to determine stellar distances) in several spiral nebulae, including Andromeda and Triangulum.

Dr. Hubble was able to demonstrate that these Cepheids were much too far away to be part of our own galaxy, and hence, must be in another galaxy. Consequently, he fundamentally changed the scientific view of the Universe, as well as ending the debate, in Dr. Curtis' favor, which had been the focus of the 1920 Great Debate.

About a decade later, Dr. Shapley was proven correct regarding the fact that our Milky Way Galaxy is much larger than originally believed. And, that our Solar System is far from the center of the galaxy.

Robert J. Trumpler had proven the existence of interstellar absorption. Combined with a better understanding of stellar distances and distribution of globular clusters, it became clear that our Sun was not near the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Under the auspices of the George Ellery Hale Lecture series, Dr. Shapley and Dr. Curtis delivered the lectures in the Baird Auditorium of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History, in Washington DC. The National Academy of Science's own building in Washington was not finished until 1924; from then on, annual meetings occurred in the Academy's building.

The 1920 Great Debate became the first of several such great debates regarding current issues in astronomy. To mark the 75th anniversary of the original Great Debate, other such great debates were held in the 1990s, and they continued to occur in the Baird Auditorium. These other great debates occurred in 1995 (Distance Scale to Gamma-ray Bursts), 1996 (again, regarding the Scale of the Universe), and 1998 (Nature of the Universe).

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Internet links to more detailed information on the Great Debate:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/bio/greatdebate.html

Heber D. Curtis: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heber_Doust_Curtis

Harlow Shapley: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#hshapley

Edwin Hubble: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Hubble

James E. Keeler: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/bio/KeelerJ.htm

Harlow Shapley and Buhl Planetarium Assist in Creation of The Astronomical League:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/AstroLeague.html

Related Blog Posts ---

"100 Years Ago: Shapley Discovers True Magnitude of Milky Way & True Location of Earth in Galaxy." 2018 Jan. 8.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2018/01/100-years-ago-shapley-discovers-true.html

 

"75th Anniversary: America's 5th Public Observatory." 2016 Nov. 19.

Harlow Shapley gave keynote address at the dedication of the rather unique 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science / Buhl Science Center, Pittsburgh's science and technology museum from 1939 to 1991.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
              Sunday, 2020 April 26.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

Monday, April 13, 2020

50th Anniversary: NASA's Most Successful Failure

                                 see caption
Apollo 13 Service Module, as seen from the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), Aquarius, as the Service Module was jettisoned just hours before the Command Module, Odyssey, returned to Earth. This photograph shows the damage caused by the oxygen tank explosion.
(Image Sources: NASA, Wikipedia.org, By NASAScan by Kipp Teague - Apollo 13 Image Library (image link), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71871333)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

What could have been a second tragedy for America's Space Program became, what has been called by NASA Astronaut Jim Lovell, NASA's “successful failure.” NASA's planning and ingenuity, following the explosion of an oxygen tank as the Apollo 13 spacecraft, with astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise, cruised toward the Moon, ended the Moon mission but brought the astronauts home safely.

It was exactly 50 years ago, as of the posting of this blog-post, on Monday, 1970 April 13 at 10:07:53 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) / April 14, 3:07:53 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) that the Apollo 13 Service Module's No. 2 Oxygen Tank exploded, which also caused Oxygen Tank No. 1 to fail. As Daylight Saving Time did not begin until the last Sunday in April (April 26) in 1970, today this time equates to 11:07:53 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT).

This occurred less than a year after the triumphant Apollo 11 mission, when the first two humans, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, landed and walked on the Moon on 1969 July 20. It also occurred nearly a half-year (in November of 1969) after the mission of Apollo 12, the second flight to land astronauts on the Moon. And, just a little more than two years after the Apollo 8 mission, when three astronauts successfully orbited another planetary body, the Earth's Moon, for the first time in history on Christmas Eve in 1968.

It also occurred a little more than three years after NASA's first tragedy, when astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were killed when a flash-fire engulfed their Apollo 1 space capsule during a pre-launch ground test on 1967 January 27. In later years, NASA would experience two more tragedies when astronauts would die with the explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle on 1986 January 28 and the re-entry dis-integration of the Space Shuttle Columbia on 2003 February 1.

The loss of oxygen to Outer Space, from the two oxygen tanks, meant that the Apollo 13 astronauts no longer had that oxygen to breathe or to generate spacecraft electricity. The Apollo 13 Service Module, where the explosion occurred, was no longer operable. The Command Module, which housed the three astronauts during the flight to the Moon, had to be shut-down to preserve its limited resources for re-entry when returning to Earth.

So, the astronauts had to use the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) as a lifeboat for their trip back to Earth, as the LEM had fully-charged batteries and full oxygen tanks. With its own life systems, and now that the Moon mission had been scrubbed, the LEM was available for the mission of keeping the astronauts alive for the trip back to Earth.

NASA had anticipated the possible need to use the LEM for this purpose, but had always considered the need unlikely. Had the oxygen tank explosion occurred on the return trip to Earth, after the LEM had been used to reach the Moon and then jettisoned before leaving lunar orbit, the astronauts would have had no lifeboat and would have perished in Deep Space.

But, there were two problems. First, the LEM was designed to house two astronauts on the short trip to the lunar surface and accomodate them for two days. Now, the LEM would have to house three astronauts for several extra days.

Second, the LEM was not designed to return to Earth, as it had no shielding for re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. So, the astronauts could ride the LEM all the way to the Earth's atmosphere. But to return to our planet, they would have to move back into the Command Module (the only part of the spacecraft with shielding that would allow them to re-enter the atmosphere) and jettison the LEM and the Service Module.

Consequently, the trip back to Earth was a difficult one for the crew. There was limited electrical power, a shortage of drinking water, and the LEM cabin was chilly and damp.

The removal of carbon dioxide from the LEM cabin became a critical item of concern, as the Command Module's cartridges for removing carbon dioxide were not compatible with the LEM system. NASA ground controllers and the crew were able to improvise a solution to this problem.

To return the astronauts to Earth, NASA had two options. The “direct abort” return path would return the astronauts to Earth before reaching the Moon. But, it was not known whether the explosion had damaged the Service Module's main propulsion system, and whether the Service Module's fuel cells could last long enough to implement this option.

So, NASA controllers decided Apollo 13 should take the longer route, by swinging around the Moon before returning to Earth. Consequently as the spacecraft swung around the Moon, on 1970 April 14 at 7:21 p.m. EST / April 15, 0:21 UTC, Apollo 13 traveled farther from the Earth than any other spacecraft with a human crew: 248,655 statute miles / 400,171 kilometers from Earth, a record held to this day in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Following Apollo 13's return to Earth, NASA set-up an investigative review board to determine what happened and what changes should be made to prevent future such problems. The investigation found fault with pre-flight testing of the oxygen tanks and the fact that flammable Teflon and aluminum were used inside the tanks storing very combustible oxygen.

Oxygen tanks were re-designed for Apollo 14 and subsequent missions. Thermostats were upgraded. As stirring fans had to be removed, a third oxygen tank was added in a different location to isolate it from the other two tanks and the fuel cells; this would ensure that no tank went below half-full.

All electrical wiring would now be sheathed in stainless steel, and the fuel cell oxygen supply valves were redesigned. Monitoring systems, in both the spacecraft and in Mission Control, were beefed-up to allow for earlier alert of potential problems. An emergency supply of 5 gallons / 19 liters of water was added to the Command Module, and an emergency battery was added to the Service Module. And, transfers of electrical power between the Command and Lunar Excursion Modules were made easier.

Although Apollo 13 did not land on the Moon, some mission experiments were completed. One experiment allowed the Saturn V rocket third stage to slam into the Moon, as a good test of the nuclear-powered seismograph left on the Moon by Apollo 12 (the solar-powered seismograph left on the Moon by Apollo 11 did not survive the first two-week lunar night); previous missions had sent the third stage into solar orbit.

An experiment to measure the amount of atmospheric electrical phenomena during the launch to Earth orbit (Apollo 12 had been struck by lightning shortly after launch) indicated a greater risk during marginal weather. A series of photographs taken by Apollo 13 confirmed that that Earth cloud heights could be determined by synchronous satellites.

The Apollo 13 mission objective was to explore the Moon around the area known as Fra Mauro. This mission was re-assigned to Apollo 14.

For post-flight educational goals, some Command Module interior components were displayed at the Museum of Natural History and Science (now known as the Kentucky Science Center) in Louisville until the year 2000. The exterior shell of the Command Module was displayed at the Musée de l'air et de l'espace (English: Air and Space Museum) in Paris. Later, the Command Module shell and internal components were reassembled and are now on display at the Cosmosphere museum in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Apollo 13 -
Link 1 >>> https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/missions/apollo13.html
Link 2 >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIiZyBbZ2Dk
Link 3 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_13

Related Blog Posts ---

"American Lunar Society Founder on 50th Anniversary: 1st Humans Walk on Moon !" Tue., 2019 July 16.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2019/07/american-lunar-society-founder-on-50th.html

 

"Tell NASA Your, or Your Family's, Apollo 11 Moon Landing Memories: Oral History Project." Wed., 2019 May 15.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2019/05/tell-nasa-your-or-your-familys-apollo.html

 

"American Lunar Society Founder on 50th Anniversary: 1st Humans Orbit Moon. Mon., 2018 Dec. 24.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2018/12/50th-anniversary-incredible-legacy-of.html

 

"Pittsburgh Museum Displays Historic Apollo 11 Moon Mission Artifacts. Wed., 2018 Oct. 24.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2018/10/pittsburgh-museum-displays-apollo-11.html

 

"50th Anniversary: NASA's 1st Tragedy of the Space Era." Fri., 2017 Jan. 27.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2017/01/50th-anniversary-nasas-1st-tragedy-of.html

 

"30th Anniversary: Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster." Thur., 2016 Jan. 28.

 Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/01/30th-anniversary-challenger-space.html

 

"NASA questions Apollo 13 commander's sale of list." Fri., 2012 Jan. 6.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/01/nasa-questions-apollo-13-commanders.html

 

"The Challenger Disaster Viewed at Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium." 2006 January.
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/bio/2006ChallengerBuhl.htm 

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
              Monday, 2020 April 13.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Centennial: Death of Telescope-Maker & Astronomer John Brashear

                                                      
Name-plate on the John Brashear family crypt in the basement of the University of Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory.
(Image Sources: John Brashear Autobiography, Wikipedia.org, By John Brashear - A Man Who Loved the Stars: The Autobiography of John A. Brashear, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4725142)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

“WE HAVE LOVED THE STARS TOO FONDLY TO BE FEARFUL OF THE NIGHT.”

Today, many people throughout the world recognize that sentence as the epitaph on a crypt (in which the ashes of John Brashear, and the ashes of his wife Phoebe, are interred) in the basement of the University of Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory (which was directly below the 30-inch Keeler Memorial Reflector Telescope), for a man who was beloved in the late 19th century and early 20th century. This was John A. Brashear who passed-away from a form of food poisoning this day, one hundred years ago (1920 April 8) at the age of 79.

The epitaph is slightly paraphrased from a poem by Sarah Williams, “The Old Astronomer to His Pupil Tycho Brahe,” which John Brashear and his wife, Phoebe, both loved.

John Brashear was foremost one of the greatest producers of fine telescopes and precision scientific instruments of his era. A perfectionist, he produced telescopic and spectroscopic optics and other scientific apparatus of a precision unheard-of up until that time. At a time when scientific research was at the technical limits of its reach, Brashear optics and equipment greatly extended that reach.

His business started as the John A. Brashear Company in 1881. His telescopes, spectroscopes, and other scientific instruments were sold to astronomical observatories and other scientific installations and organizations throughout the world. Previously, he had been a millwright in a rolling steel mill on the South Side of Pittsburgh, building telescopes as a hobby in his spare time.

John Brashear was an astronomer who, at one time, was Acting Director of Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory. However, he refused a permanent appointment to the position.

He was an educator, who had limited post-secondary education himself—his six doctorates were all honorary degrees. However, he was Acting Chancellor of the Western University of Pennsylvania (predecessor of the University of Pittsburgh), again refusing a permanent appointment to the position.

And, he was an adviser to several major industrialists such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Charles Schwab.

For Andrew Carnegie, he was part of the three-member Plan and Scope Committee which developed the Carnegie Technical Schools, now known as Carnegie Mellon University. He was also one of the original Directors of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Institute, including the Museums of Natural History and Art, the Music Hall, and the city's Carnegie Library system.

For Henry Clay Frick, he organized the Henry Clay Frick Educational Commission (now the Henry Clay Frick Educational Fund of the Buhl Foundation) that would provide grants to public school teachers, which would enable them to study, travel, and do research work. Originally endowed with $250,000, Henry Clay Frick later added $62,500 to the endowment. This would be equivalent to $8,509,144.74 in today's dollars!

The Henry Clay Frick Educational Commission also underwrote the cost of free public tours of the Allegheny Observatory several days of the week, during the warm-weather months. As part of the design of the new, three-dome Allegheny Observatory, which opened in 1912 (the original one-dome Allegheny Observatory had opened in 1861), the original 13-inch Fitz-Clark Refractor Telescope was dedicated to public use, in essence the second public observatory (the Cincinnati Observatory, which opened in 1845, was the first public observatory).

Although working hard to provide funding and facilities for the advancement of professional astronomy, John Brashear was insistent that the Allegheny Observatory display the wonders of the Universe to the common man. So, in addition to providing a public observatory as part of the Allegheny Observatory complex, he made sure the complex was easily accessible to the general public. He had the new Allegheny Observatory built in a new city park, at the extreme north end of the city, to avoid industrial smoke and light pollution, within one block of a major streetcar line.

He also insisted that a lecture hall be added as part of the complex, so the general public could learn more about astronomy.

John Brashear almost single-handedly raised the funds to build the new Allegheny Observatory. But there were obstacles, such as the Panic (recession) of 1893. In 1894, Andrew Carnegie advised him to wait “until coke sells at a dollar a ton and we will build the Observatory.”

By 1905, John Brashear was still short $65,000 for an observatory building which would include three telescopes: 30-inch Thaw Photographic Refractor, 30-inch Keeler Memorial Reflector, and the original 13-inch Fitz-Clark Refractor. In what may have been one of the first “challenge grants,” Henry Clay Frick promised to fund half of that amount, if John Brashear could raise the other half by October.

Due to his wife’s failing health, John Brashear was committed to his annual Summer vacation at Muskoka Lakes in Canada. From there, by long-distance correspondence, he raised $20,000. After returning to Pittsburgh, he raised the rest of the amount, and a wee bit more, by H.C. Frick’s deadline. In addition, the Carnegie-Illinois Steel Company, thanks to Company President Charles Schwab, donated all of the steel for the superstructure; Andrew Carnegie had sold his steel interests in 1901.

John Brashear received many honors later in his life, including six honorary degrees, fellowships in respected scientific and educational organizations, as well as invitations from all over the world to lecture and write for learned societies. He was beloved by the Pittsburgh community, as well as by astronomers throughout the world. In 1915, in recognition of John Brashear's 75th birthday, postcards, telegrams, and gifts were sent to him as the city and the nation celebrated his birthday. Everyone simply knew him as “Uncle John.”

                                      Brashear John.jpg 
(Image Sources: John Brashear Autobiography, Wikipedia.org, By John Brashear - A Man Who Loved the Stars: The Autobiography of John A. Brashear, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4725101)

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

John A. Brashear:
Link 1 >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/bio/BrashearJ.htm
Link 2 >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/Brashearphotobio.htm#BIO
Link 3 >>> johnbrashear.tripod.com/index.html/#bios 
Link 4 >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/

Andrew Carnegie: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc/

Henry Clay Frick: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/frick.html

Allegheny Observatory: Link >>> http://www.pitt.edu/~aobsvtry/

Related Blog Posts ---

"Historic Brashear Telescope Factory Time Capsule Found & Opened." Wed., 2015 March 25.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2015/03/brashear-telescope-factory-time-capsule.html

 

"Brashear House & Factory: Nomination to National Register of Historic Places." Thur., 2012 October 11.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/10/nomination-to-national-register-of.html

 

Centennial: New Allegheny Observatory Dedication." Tue., 2012 Aug. 28.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/08/centennial-new-allegheny-observatory.html

 

Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory: New History Film." Thur. 2012 April 19.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/04/pittsburghs-allegheny-observatory-new.html

 

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
              Wednesday, 2020 April 8.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Astro-Calendar: 2020 April / 175th Anniversary (April 10): Great Pittsburgh Fire


While the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 is better known, this is a painting (1846) of the Great Pittsburgh Fire on April 10, 175 years ago (1845), by witness William Coventry Wall. Started on a very windy day by a woman who started an outdoor fire to heat wash water, which she had left unattended, the Great Pittsburgh Fire consumed one-third of this city of, then, more than 20,000 population (which already had four daily newspapers), representing around two-thirds of the wealth of the city (between $6 million and $12 million damage). While the fire destroyed 1,200 buildings and displaced 12,000 people, only two deaths were reported.
More information: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fire_of_Pittsburgh
(Image Sources: Wikipedia.org, By painting by William Coventry Wall, Carnegie Museum of Art (photo by Moira Burke) - File:WLA cma View of the Great Fire of Pittsburgh 1846.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17312244)

Astronomical Calendar for 2020 April ---
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2020.html#apr

 Related Blog Post ---

"Astro-Calendar: 2020 March / "Galactic Tick Day": March 21"

Monday, 2020 March 2.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2020/03/astro-calendar-2020-march-galactic-tick.html


Source: Friends of the Zeiss.
              Wednesday, 2020 April 1.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

            More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >