Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Consensus view on what meteors were in 1840

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    489

    Consensus view on what meteors were in 1840

    Cosmo!

    What was the scientific consensus in England circa 1840 on what meteors were? Additionally what were the thoughts on the mechanism that brought them to earth where they becoming meteorites? How wide spread were these ideas?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Depew, NY
    Posts
    11,767
    Subscribe.
    Solfe

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    489
    Subscribe?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    36,940
    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Subscribe.
    Expound?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    21,848
    This would probably be a good time to read whatever you can find about Denison Olmsted... but maybe that's why you specified 1840.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,150
    This link goes to the SAO/NASA APS site and calls up science papers from 1830-1840 on meteors.

    http://cdsads.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/b...teor&version=1

    Read away.
    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)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    8,577
    Here's a page on German wikipedia about Ernst Chladni, translated into English by Google's excellent autotranslate;

    https://translate.google.com/transla...ch&prev=search

    With his 1794 published book "On the origin of the found by Pallas and other similar iron masses and some related natural phenomena" and other publications, he raised the then revolutionary and initially very controversial thesis that found on Earth meteorites their Have origin in space and are remnants from the formation phase of the planets of our solar system .

    It was in many ways groundbreaking work for the advancement of scientific views since the end of the 18th century. However, it was initially rejected by recognized and famous scholars of his time - including Georg Christoph Lichtenberg , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Alexander von Humboldt - especially since measurements of Lichtenberg students Benzenberg and Brandes had allegedly revealed that the meteors are purely atmospheric origin. [1] [2] Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, however, considered that Chladni might be right in his hypothesis, and indeed was the one who encouraged him to work on the origin of the meteorites. [3]

    But just a few years later, several attested observations and scientifically based descriptions of meteorite events (eg the meteor shower of L'Aigle in 1803) as well as refined chemical analyzes on the found meteorites (inter alia by Edward Charles Howard ) confirmed his research results. Chladni is today considered one of the founders of modern meteorite research .
    In 1795 a large meteor fell in Wold Newton, not far from where I live; the meteorite was exhibited in London, and was one of the pieces of evidence that tipped the balance against the atmospheric origin theory. If you think about it, hailstones and snow have atmospheric origins, so maybe the smaller meteors might somehow have similar origins; but a large lump of chondrite like the Wold Newton object would be very tricky to explain in this way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    8,577
    Another link, mentioning the Wold Newton stone, and Chladni's (Chladno's) influence on opinion (which was not very significant at that time)
    https://web.archive.org/web/20070809...ryarticle.html
    By 1803, some were becoming less sceptical.
    "The meteor did not burst at L'Aigle, but at the distance of half a league from it. I saw the awful traces of this phenomenon: I traversed all the places where it has been hard; I collected and compared the accounts of the inhabitants; at last I found some of the stones themselves on the spot, and they exhibited to me the physical characters which admit of no doubt of the reality of their fall...In this account I have confined myself to a simple relation of facts...and I shall consider myself happy of...I have succeeded in placing beyond a doubt the most astonishing phenomenon ever observed by man." The French Academy of Science was forced to recognize and acknowledge that stones did indeed fall from outer space.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    26,565
    It makes a nice story about how science can embrace results that are initially met with skepticism-- when it meets good evidence.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,705
    It's curious, given the objective evidence, why it seems to have taken so long to reach a consensus. Tycho, with the help of a Prague astronomer, noted the Moon had greater parallax than the great 1577 comet. [That's my interpretation of what I've read.] He also noted that the tail continually opposed the Sun. He argued that comets were much farther than the Moon, at least 3x farther for the 1577 comet. Kepler also supported a non-meteorlogical story for comets. He reasoned that sunlight somehow pushed their tails so he suggested solar sails might work.

    Then Galileo came along and muddied the ephemeral waters with his support for a meteorological explanation. Was his influence that great or was there counter-objective evidence? Was there too little appreciation for parallax measurements of comets, perhaps given they are non-point sources?
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    26,565
    And then there's the issue that perhaps meteors were viewed differently than comets-- on grounds that comets are large and rare, and meteors are small and common. What's more, meteors involve both the atmosphere and outside the atmosphere, so their story is trickier than comets. The ultimate irony is that "meteorology" is not the study of meteors!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,150
    This is a nice account, matter-of-fact in nature, worth a look. And who is a co-author?

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/108163

    An Account of the Fall of a Meteoric Stone in the Cold Bokkeveld, Cape of Good Hope
    Thomas Maclear and Michael Faraday
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
    Vol. 129 (1839), pp. 83-87 (5 pages)
    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)

  13. 2019-Jul-08, 06:39 PM
    Reason
    duplicate jpg

  14. 2019-Jul-08, 06:57 PM
    Reason
    Clean-up of the attachments

  15. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,705
    Note: I improved the attachments with corrected grammar and include highlights where erroneous claims were made, though they seemed logical at the time.

    Here is a nice work (1966) on the 19th century scientific views for meteors.

    I made a bullet list to help with the chronology...

    Meteor History 1 of 2.jpg
    Meteor History 2 of 2.jpg
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  16. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,705
    It is interesting that during all those earlier years there seems to have been no serious compilation of annual patterns that would have made a huge difference in those earlier conclusions. [Example supporting Ken's post.]
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  17. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,705
    Correction for the 1870 bullet... it was 1887 for Hugonoit, not 1897.

    Also...
    ..... 1866 -- Herschel attempts but is unsuccessful in obtaining a useful spectrum of meteors.
    ..... 1924 -- Trowbridge is successful in obtaining a useful spectrum of meteors (due to better equipment).
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  18. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    489
    Thanks to all for the many replies - much appreciated!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •