THE ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF THE PACIFIC
“108th ANNUAL MEETING”
Santa Clara, 1996

HISTORY SESSIONS
Presented by the ASP History Committee

Astronomy in California
Sunday, 23 June, the Westin Hotel
INVITED LECTURES

ASTRONOMY AND THE ORIGINS OF MODERN SCIENCE
Richard S. Westfall, Indiana University
    The Copernican revolution and its Keplerian improvement initiated the collapse of the hierarchical, partitioned view of nature which was universally accepted before the sixteenth century. The new astronomy always remained central to the upheaval in scientific thought, known as the Scientific Revolution, that culminated in Isaac Newton.
    Richard S. Westfall is professor emeritus of the history of science at Indiana University. He is an authority on the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century and the author of the highly-acclaimed scientific biography of Isaac Newton, Never at Rest, and of a condensed version, The Life of Isaac Newton.

UNDER CALIFORNIA SKIES: ASTRONOMY AND THE CALIFORNIA INDIANS
E. C. Krupp, Griffith Observatory
    Although most people are unfamiliar with the California Indians, at the time of European contact, California was–with the possible exception of the Mississippi Valley–the most populated region in the U.S. and Canada and one of the most linguistically diverse areas in the entire world. California Indians carried out practical observation of the sun, moon, and stars, and incorporated celestial images and events into their mythology, their ceremonies, and their sacred symbols. Their astronomy was California's first astronomy, and this program will reveal what we now know about California's first astronomers.
    E.C. Krupp is an astronomer and the director of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Formerly a two-term board member of the ASP, he is also a recipient of the Society's Dorothea Klumpke-Roberts Award for contributions to public understanding of astronomy. He is recognized internationally as an expert on ancient and prehistoric astronomy and has published four books on that subject, including Echoes of the Ancient Skies and Beyond the Blue Horizon. His newest book, Skywatchers, Shamans, and Kings: Astronomy and the Archaeology of Power, will be published in November 1996. He has visited and photographed more than 1300 ancient and prehistoric sites throughout the world. His three children's books on astronomy are illustrated by his wife, Robin Rector Krupp. As a contributing editor to Sky & Telescope, he writes a monthly column on astronomy and culture.

LICK OBSERVATORY STARS--FROM LICK TO SHANE
Dorothy Schaumberg, Mary Lea Shane Archives of Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz
    Four very colorful "stars" built the Lick Observatory: James Lick, Thomas E. Fraser, Richard S. Floyd, and Edward S. Holden. They were followed by many other stars, but this talk can include only a few of them, beginning with James E. Keeler and closing with C. Donald Shane and his wife, Mary Lea Shane, who founded the Lick Observatory Archives and for whom it is now named. These were talented, interesting people who contributed to making the Lick Observatory one of the world's great centers of astronomy.
    Dorothy Schaumberg is the curator of the Mary Lea Shane Archives of the Lick Observatory, a department of the university library at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 1969, she began helping Mary Lea Shane in the establishment of the Archives and was named curator upon the death of Mary Lea in 1983. Over the years, the Archives has grown into a major resource of prime material for researchers in the history of astronomy.

HOW MT. WILSON OBSERVATORY BECAME THE ASTRONOMICAL CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE
Ronald Brashear, Huntington Library
    In the first half of this century, the Mount Wilson Observatory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington quickly became the mecca for astronomers around the world. Its success can be traced to its founder and first director, George Ellery Hale, and his abilities to convince philanthropists to fund astronomy, to assemble a fine research staff, and to be the leader in the organization of scientific research. The talk will relate the history of the first fifty years of Mount Wilson and its importance to the development of modern astronomy.
    Ronald Brashear is the curator of History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at the Huntington Library. He studied the history of astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University and now oversees a collection which includes the papers of the Mount Wilson Observatory and of Edwin Hubble.

CALTECH ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS FROM HALE TO GREENSTEIN (1920-1972)
Donald E. Osterbrock, Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz
    The California Institute of Technology is one of the outstanding research centers in the world. George Ellery Hale started it on its way, and a host of astrophysical theorists and observers from Richard Tolman and "Ike" Bowen to Willy Fowler, Jesse Greenstein and John Bolton made it great. This talk, illustrated by many slides, will tell their story and the story of their telescopes.
    Donald E. Osterbrock is a research astronomer and former director of Lick Observatory, a Bruce medalist of the ASP, and a historian of American astronomy in the big-telescope era. He has written on Lick, Mount Wilson, and Palomar Observatories, and his latest book, Yerkes Observatory 1892 - 1950: The Birth, Near Death, and Resurrection of a Scientific Research Institution, will appear in 1997.

JPL AND THE EXPLORATION OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM
John R. Casani and Bruce C. Murray, California Institute of Technology
    An unprecedented period of scientific discovery began with the flyby of Mariner 2 of Venus in 1962 and culminated with the flyby of Neptune and Triton in 1989. Every planet except Pluto was visited. The NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory pioneered the critical new technology to enable deep space communications and navigation, and its scientists and engineers developed many of the planetary instruments and spacecraft for what is now regarded as a "Golden Age" of planetary exploration. We will review this lustrous epoch, relating the succession of major planetary discoveries to the underlying technological advances, especially in the Mariner and Voyager programs.
    John R. Casani (JPL) and Bruce C. Murray (Caltech) worked together as engineer and scientist respectively on the Mariner 4 Mars flyby (1965), Mariners 6 and 7 Mars flybys (1969), and Mariner 10 flyby of Venus and Mercury (1973-75). Casani became the project manager of Voyager in 1976, and Murray was the Director of JPL from 1976-82. Subsequently, Casani was the manager of the Galileo mission to Jupiter (1977-1989). He is currently JPL's Chief Engineer. Murray returned to the Caltech campus full-time where he continues to teach and work with graduate students on Mars exploration and satellite monitoring of terrestrial arid region degradation.

 

Presented by the ASP History Committee
Katherine Bracher, Whitman College
Roy Garstang, University of Colorado
Kevin Krisciunas, Joint Astronomy Center
Donald E. Osterbrock, UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz
W.T. Sullivan, III, University of Washington
Joseph S. Tenn, Sonoma State University (chair)
Craig B. Waff, Grolier Encyclopedia
Thomas R. Williams, Rice University
Donald K. Yeomans, Jet Propulsion Lab

JST
1998-02-11