Diapositives of photographs of sunspots taken by Elizabeth Beckley with the Kew Photoheliograph

Made:
1870 in Kew
photographer:
Elizabeth Beckley
maker:
Kew Observatory

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the photoheliograph at Kew
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the photoheliograph at Kew
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the photoheliograph at Kew
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the photoheliograph at Kew
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the photoheliograph at Kew
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the photoheliograph at Kew
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the photoheliograph at Kew
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the photoheliograph at Kew
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the photoheliograph at Kew
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

No 6 of a selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the photoheliograph
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

No 13 of a selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

No 10 of a selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

No 15 of a selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

No 18 of a selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

No 26 of a selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

No 32 of a selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

No 38 of a selection photographs 34 of 39 (Nos.1-2, 4-11, 13-15, 18-22 & 24-39) of sunspots taken on the
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

39 photographs of sunspots taken on the photoheliograph at Kew Observatory by Elizabeth Beckley in 1870, Sept 21-24, 26-29.

This series of thirty-nine photographs was taken at Kew Observatory in September 1870 (21-24 and 26-29) by Elizabeth Beckley. She used the Kew Photoheliograph – the first instrument designed specifically to photograph the Sun. They show sunspots moving across the solar surface as the Sun rotates, with the dates and times recorded at the top of each image.

Money was tight at Kew and so Beckley, the teenage daughter of the observatory’s mechanical engineer, was employed cheaply to take daily photographs of the Sun. She went on to work at Kew for over ten years and was one of the first female employees of an astronomical observatory. The Kew astronomer Warren De La Rue praised her ability to capture photographs ‘even on very cloudy days, when it would be imagined that it was almost impossible’. Detailed analysis of photographs by Beckley and other ‘lady computers’ around the world would go on to be fundamental to astronomical work.

The photograph were given to the museum by Beckley's daughter, Mrs E Whipple, in 1982.

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Details

Category:
Art
Object Number:
1982-684
Measurements:
image: 125 x 110 mm
type:
black-and-white print - photograph
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • photograph
  • positive - photograph
  • photographic print
credit:
Mrs E Whipple

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