V.M. Slipher Bibliography

Papers, etc.

Slipher’s papers are at the Lowell Observatory Archives.

Other References: Historical

Berendzen, Richard, Richard Hart, & Daniel Seeley, Man Discovers the Galaxies (Science History Publications, NY, 1976).

Brémond, Alain, Vesto Melvin Slipher (1875-1969) et la naissance de l'astrophysique extragalactique. Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I (2008). [A 300-page doctoral dissertation, in French, with another 600 pages of annotated archives, including reprints of articles and correspondence, mostly in English].

Brémond, Alain, “V.M. Slipher's discovery of the rotation of spiral nebulae and the controversy with Bertil Lindblad,” Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage 12, 72-80 (2009).

Corwin, Mike & Dale Wachowiak, “Discovering the Expanding Universe,” Astronomy 13, 2, 18-22 (1985).

Fernie, J.D., “The Historical Quest for the Nature of the Spiral Nebulae,” PASP 82, 1189-1230 (1970)

Hetherington, Norriss S., “The Measurement of Radial Velocities of Spiral Nebulae,” Isis 62, 309-13 (1971).

Hoyt, William Graves, Planets X and Pluto (Univ. of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ, 1980).

Kirshner, Robert P., “Hubble’s Diagram and Cosmic Expansion,” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 101, 8-13 (2004).

Nemiroff, Robert & Jerry Bonnell, “The Shapley – Curtis Debate in 1920”
This wonderful site offers a great deal of information, including bibliographies.

North, J.D., The Measure of the Universe: A History of Modern Cosmology (Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, 1965; Dover, 1990).

Parker, Barry, “Discovery of the Expanding Universe,” Sky & Telescope 72, 3, 227-31 (1986).

Putnam, Roger Lowell & V.M. Slipher, “Searching out Pluto—Lowell’s Trans-Neptunian Planet X,” Sci. Monthly 34, 5-21 (1932).

Putnam, William Lowell, The Explorers of Mars Hill: A Centennial History of Lowell Observatory, 1894-1994 (Phoenix Pub. Co., West Kennebunk, ME, 1994).

Smith, Robert W., The Expanding Universe: Astronomy’s “Great Debate” 1900–1931 (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1982).

Smith, Robert W., “Beyond the Galaxy: The Development of Extragalactic Astronomy 1885–1965, Part 1,” Journal for the History of Astronomy 39, 91-119 (2008).

Strauss, David, Percival Lowell: The Culture and Science of a Boston Brahmin (Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, MA, 2001).

Struve, Otto & Velta Zebergs, Astronomy of the 20th Century (Macmillan, NY, 1962).

Slipher, V.M., “Nebulae,” Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc. 56, 403-09 (1917).

Slipher, V.M., “The Trans-Neptunian Planet Search,” Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc. 79, 435-40 (1938).

Tenn, Joseph S., “Lowell Observatory Enters the Twentieth Century—in the 1950s,” Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage 10, 65-71 (2007).

Thompson, Laird A., “Vesto Slipher and the First Galaxy Redshifts,” arXiv:1108.4864v2 [physics.hist-ph] (2011).

van den Bergh, Sidney, “Early History of the Distance Scale Problem,” in Mario Livio, Megan Donahue, Nino Panagia, eds., The Extragalactic Distance Scale (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1997), pp. 1-5.

Way, Michael & Deidre Hunter, eds., Origins of the Expanding Universe: 1912-1932, (Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series, vol. 471, 2013).

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Other References: Scientific

Several pubications by or about Slipher are posted at

Slipher, V.M., “On the Variable Velocity of Zeta Herculis in the Line of Sight,” Astronomical Journal 22, 190 (1902) [communicated by Percival Lowell].

Slipher, V.M., “A Spectographic Investigation on the Rotation Velocity of Venus,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 1, 9-18 (1903) [Bull. No. 3; also in Astr. Nach. 163, 35-52 (1903)].

Slipher, V.M., “On the Efficiency of the Spectrograph for Investigating Planetary Rotations and on the Accuracy of the Inclination Method of Measurement: Tests on the Rotation of the Planet Mars,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 1, 19-23 (1903) [Bull. No. 4].

Slipher, V.M., “On the Spectra of Neptune and Uranus,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 1, 87-90 (1904) [Bull. No. 13].

Slipher, V.M., “The Lowell Spectrograph,” Ap.J. 20, 1-20 (1904).

Slipher, V.M., “A List of Five Stars Having Variable Radial Velocities,” Ap.J. 20, 146-48 (1904).

Slipher, V.M., “Observations of Standard Velocity Stars with the Lowell Spectrograph (1905),” Ap.J. 22, 318-40 (1905).

Slipher, V.M., “The Spectrum of Mira Ceti,” Ap.J. 25, 235-36 (1907).

Slipher, V.M., “A Photographic Study of the Spectrum of Saturn,” Ap.J. 26, 59-62 (1907).

Slipher, V.M., “The Spectrum of Mars,” Ap.J. 28, 397-404 (1908).

Slipher, V.M., “The Spectra of the Major Planets,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 1, 231-38 (1909) [Bull. No. 42].

Slipher, V.M., “Peculiar Star Spectra Suggestive of Selective Absorption of Light in Space,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 2, 1-2 (1909) [Bull. No. 51].

Slipher, V.M., “The Spectrum of Halley’s Comet in 1910 as Observed at Lowell Observatory,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 2, 3-16 (1911) [Bull. No. 52].

Slipher, V.M., “Detection of the Rotation of Uranus,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 2, 19-20 (1912) [Bull. No. 53].

Slipher, V.M., “On the Spectrum of the Nebula in the Pleiades,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 2, 26-27 (1912) [Bull. No. 55].

Slipher, V.M., “The Radial Velocity of the Andromeda Nebula,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 2, 56-57 (1913) [Bull. No. 58].

Slipher, V.M., “The Detection of Nebular Rotation,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 2, 66 (1914) [Bull. No. 62].

Slipher, V.M., “Spectrographic Observations of Nebulae,” Pop. Astron. 23, 21-24 (1915).

Slipher, V.M., “Spectral Evidence of a Persistent Aurora,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 3, 1-1A (1916) [Bull. No. 76].

Slipher, V.M., “Nebulae,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 56, 403-09 (1917).

Slipher, V.M., “The Spectrum of Lightning,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 3, 55-58 (1917) [Bull. No. 79].

Slipher, V.M., “The Spectrum and Velocity of the Nebula N.G.C. 1068 (M 77),” Lowell Obs. Bull. 3, 59-62 (1917) [Bull. No. 80].

Slipher, V.M., “Radial Velocity Observations of Spiral Nebulae,” Observatory 40, 304-06 (1917). [letter]

Slipher, V.M., “A New Type of Nebular Spectrum,” Lowell Obs. Bull. 3, 63-67 (1918) [Bull. No. 81].

Slipher, V.M., “Unusual Nebular Spectra,” PASP 30, 346-47 (1918).

Slipher, V.M., “On the General Auroral Illumination of the Sky and the Wave-Length of the Chief Aurora Line,” Ap.J. 49, 266-75 (1919).

Slipher, V.M., “On Spectrographic Methods of Measuring the Diurnal Rotation of the Planets,” Observatory 43, 391-93 (1920).

Slipher, V.M., “The Spectrum of Venus, ” Lowell Obs. Bull. 3, 3.85-3.89 (1921) [Bull. No. 84].

Slipher, V.M., “Two Nebulae with Unparalleled Velocities,” Popular Astronomy 29, 128 (1921).

Slipher, Vesto Melvin, “Dreyer Nebula No. 584 Inconceivably Distant; Dr. Slipher Says the Celestial Speed Champion is ‘Many Millions of Light Years’ Away,” New York Times, 19 January 1921, p. 6.

Slipher, V.M., “The Spectrum of the Corona as Observed by the Expedition from Lowell Observatory at the Total Eclipse of June 8, 1918,” Ap.J. 55, 73-84 (1922).

Slipher, V.M., “Spectrographic Observations of the Rotation of Spiral Nebulae,” Pop. Astron. 29, 272-73 (1922).

Slipher, V.M., “Further Notes on Spectrographic Observations of Nebulae and Clusters,” Pop. Astron. 30, 9-11 (1922).

Slipher, V.M., “Observations of Mars in 1924 Made at the Lowell Observatory: II. Spectrum Observations of Mars,” PASP 36, 261-62 (1924).

Slipher, V.M., “On the Spectral Proof of Water and Oxygen on Mars,” Observatory 53, 79-81 (1930).

Slipher, V.M., “The Discovery of a Solar System Body Apparently Trans-Neptunian,” Lowell Obs. Circular 13 March 1930 [Pluto] [also in JRASC 24, 282-84 (1930)].

Slipher, V.M., “Spectrographic Studies of the Planets (George Darwin Lecture),” MNRAS 93, 657-68 (1933).

Slipher, V.M., “Spectra of the Night Sky, the Zodiacal Light, the Aurora, and the Cosmic Radiations of the Sky,” JRASC 27, 365-69 (1933).

Adel, Arthur & V.M. Slipher, “The Constitution of the Atmospheres of the Giant Planets,” Phys. Rev. 46, 902-06 (1934).

Adel, A., V.M. Slipher, & E. Barker, “The Absorption of Sunlight by the Earth’s Atmosphere in the Remote Infrared Region of the Spectrum,” Phys. Rev. 47, 580-84 (1935).

Adel, Arthur & V.M. Slipher, “Difference Bands in the Spectra of the Major Planets,” Phys. Rev. 47, 651-53 (1935).

Adel, Arthur, V.M. Slipher, & R. Ladenburg, “The Sodium Content of the Head of the Great Daylight Comet Skjellerup 1927K,” Ap.J. 86, 345-62 (1937) and 88, 207-08 (1938).

Slipher, V.M., “The Spectrum of the Variable Nebula NGC 2261,” PASP 51, 115-16 (1939).

Slipher, V.M., “The Direction of Rotation in Spiral Nebulae,” Science 99, 144-45 (1944).

Howell, Ellen S., Barry L. Lutz, & V.M. Slipher, “Gas and Dust Production by Comet P/Halley (1910 II),” Ap.J. 371, 776-84 (1991).

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Other Works: Popularizations, History, etc.

Slipher, V.M., “The Lowell Observatory,” PASP 39, 143-54 (1927).

V.M. Slipher

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