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Thread: Any good book on Peter Van de Kamp?

  1. #1
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    Any good book on Peter Van de Kamp?

    I'm doing a video on the history of Barnard's star, and I haven't found a source complete enough to get a handle on him. He seems quite a controversial figure, and I don't want to give the wrong impression. Thanks.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

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  2. #2
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    You may already have found this obituary, but it might be a good place to start looking for references.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1996PASP..108..556F

  3. #3
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    When I was about 15, around 1970, I corresponded with Dr. van de Kamp briefly. He sent me copies of his recent papers on Barnard's star, plus photocopies of his notes on various star systems and suspected planets. I am hunting for those papers now in some of my file boxes. He was exceedingly kind and helpful, a good man.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

  4. #4
    The first few chapters of Looking For Earths is about Peter Van de Kamp, just finished reading the book again a couple of days ago.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
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  5. #5
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    Cool; I'll check it out. And thanks for the obit, Stupendousman. I'm surprised Van de Kamp doesn't have a bio book. Most astronomers do, it seems. I'm reading Barnard's right now and it's great.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  6. #6
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    The obituary mentioned instrumental effect as a cause for false indications of a large planet around Barnard's Star. I saw some specifics in a Sky and Telescope article decades ago, in which it was reported that the objective of the 24" Sproul refractor was disassembled and remounted in a new cell in the late 1940s. This somehow made subtle changes in the telescope's imaging characteristics and made it difficult to reconcile plates taken before and after the change.

  7. #7
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    Michael Mayor's New Worlds in the Cosmos also has a few chapters on van den Camp and Barnard's Star.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    The obituary mentioned instrumental effect as a cause for false indications of a large planet around Barnard's Star. I saw some specifics in a Sky and Telescope article decades ago, in which it was reported that the objective of the 24" Sproul refractor was disassembled and remounted in a new cell in the late 1940s. This somehow made subtle changes in the telescope's imaging characteristics and made it difficult to reconcile plates taken before and after the change.
    That article appeared in Astronomy, not Sky & Telescope:

    "Does Barnard's Star Have Planets?" by Ken Croswell, Astronomy, March 1988, pages 6 to 17.

    Also see pages 90 to 99 of Ken Croswell's book Planet Quest.

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