Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Reflections on the Astronomy of GlasgowA story of some 500 years$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Clarke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748678891

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678891.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 24 July 2021

The Wilsons

The Wilsons

Chapter:
(p.77) Chapter 4 The Wilsons
Source:
Reflections on the Astronomy of Glasgow
Author(s):

David Clarke

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678891.003.0004

The story of Alexander Wilson's genius commences with his kite experiments to fly thermometers expertly made by himself, to measure the temperature of the atmosphere. This was done in collaboration with a Glasgow student, Thomas Melvill, who later proposed that light contained monochromatic elements. Wilson's thermometers were loaned to Sir William Herschel for experiments which discovered infra-red radiation. Wilson made his fortune as a type founder; he underpinned the success of the Foulis Press, producers of Homer's works set in ‘Glasgow’ Greek font. Appointed (1760) as first Regius Professor of Astronomy, his observations of sunspots revealed solar surface ‘depressions’, now known as the Wilson Effect. He also wrote a tract on how stellar motions are affected by universal gravity. Using his own manufactured thermometers, he investigated snow temperatures at different depths and of the forming of mists. Similar studies were taken up by his son, Patrick, on succeeding to the Chair; he is cited as the first person to investigate the notion of ‘dew-point’. Patrick Wilson is best known in respect of stellar aberration studies and his observational proposal involving water-filled telescopes. The chapter concludes with descriptions of local meteor events and of the Possil Meteorite fall of 1804.

Keywords:   Thomas Melvill, Monochromatic elements within light, Foulis Press, Glasgow Greek font, Sir William Herschel, Wilson Effect, Dew-point, Possil Meteorite, Stellar Aberration, Water-filled telescopes

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.