Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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The College and the Eclipse (of 1869)
The recent PBS Nova episode about this week’s eclipse — Eclipse Over America — contained a segment about Hanover-born, Dartmouth Professor of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Astronomy Charles Young, Class of 1853 (1834-1908). His creative spectroscopy work during the 1869 eclipse revealed what many people thought was a new element, as the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) notes:
In 1869, working in collaboration with William Harkness, he discovered a green line in the coronal spectrum, without any known counterpart in laboratory spectra. This led the two researchers to propose the existence of a new chemical element hitherto unknown on Earth, which they named “Coronium”. It took over 60 years for solar physicists to finally realize that the (in)famous green line belonged in fact to a highly ionized state of Iron, and indicative of the million-degree high temperature of the solar corona.
The section on Professor Young begins at 36:20:
Young died in Hanover on January 3, 1908.
Addendum: Young’s biography on the NCAR website notes:
Both his father and grandfather had been Professors of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Dartmouth College, where Young entered in 1849 at age fourteen and graduated from in 1853 at the head of his class.
An eighteen-year-old senior and valedictorian? When is the last time that happened?
Addendum: Charles Young’s papers are stored in Rauner.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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