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The "computers" would manually measure each star with respect to the dozen or so reference stars within that particular plate, and then perform calculations to determine the star's right ascension and declination.
The data were then reduced anew at the US Naval Observatory in Washington cadeau du ciel online dating the leadership of Sean Urbanusing the reference stars measured by the Hipparcos astrometry satellite. Different observatories around the world were charged with surveying specific declination zones see table.
They are typically archived at their original observatories. These plates were to be reproduced and distributed as a set of charts, the Carte du Ciel, in contrast to previous sky charts semejanzas entre etica y moral yahoo dating had been constructed from the celestial coordinates of stars observed by transit instruments.
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The plate measurements as rectangular coordinatesas well as the formulae to transform them to equatorial coordinates, were published in the original volumes of the Astrographic Catalogue, although the accompanying equatorial coordinates are now of only historical interest.
To compensate for plate defects, each area of the sky was photographed twice, using a two-fold, corner-to-centre overlap pattern, extended at the zone boundaries, such that each observatory's plates would overlap with those of the adjacent zones.
One problem was that the work took much longer than expected. The plates were turned over to a large number of semi-skilled "computers" to determine the positions of the stars on each plate.
Combination of the Astrographic Catalogue with Hipparcos[ edit ] The vast amount of work invested in the Astrographic Catalogue, taking plates, measuring, and publishing, looked for a long time as giving only a marginal scientific profit.
Kuzmin between and Specifically, the Astrographic Catalogue positions were transferred from the decades-old printed catalogues into machine readable form undertaken at the Sternberg Astronomical Institute in Moscow under the leadership of A. A Century of Work Pays Off".
As a result, French astronomy in particular fell behind and lagged for decades. In total, some 4. The Carte du Ciel[ edit ] The still-more-ambitious Carte du Ciel component of the programme was undertaken by some of the participating observatories, but neither completed nor even started by others.
They yielded a catalogue of positions and magnitudes down to about A more serious problem was that while many European astronomers were preoccupied with this project, which required steady, methodical labor rather than creativity, in other parts of the world notably the United States astrophysics was becoming far more important than astrometry.
The brightest stars were over-exposed on the plates, not measured, and therefore missing in the resulting catalogues.
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Other Links[ edit ] Henry Chamberlain Russell for further details of the Australian contribution  IAU Commission 8 Working Group, includes a photograph of nuns measuring the Vatican plate collection —  Histoire de l'Observatoire de Toulouse with a section on the Carte du Ciel  A compilation of historical material by the Torino Observatory.
Publication of the measurements proceeded from toand resulted in printed volumes of raw data. Urban, Sean; Corbin, Thomas June Before its modern meaning, the word "computer" meant a person who performs calculations.
Some believe it is also the story of how the best European observatories of the 19th century lost their leadership in astronomical research by committing so many resources to this one undertaking.
For decades the Astrographic Catalogue was largely ignored.
Many factors, such as reference catalogue, reduction technique and print formats were left up to the individual institutions. For the Astrographic Catalogue, 20 observatories from around the world participated in exposing and measuring more than 22, glass plates see table.
The proper motions of all the Tycho Catalogue stars could then be derived especially thanks to the Astrographic Catalogue, but additionally using star positions from more than other ground-based catalogues.
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As a result of the Astrographic Congress of more than 50 astronomers held in Paris in April20 observatories from around the world agreed to participate in the project, and two goals were established: But today, astronomers are very much indebted to this great effort because of the possibility of combining these century-old star positions with the results from ESA's Hipparcos space astrometry satellite, allowing high accuracy proper motions to be derived for 2.
The data were difficult to work with because they were available neither in machine-readable form nor in equatorial coordinates.
It is currently the basis for deriving positions for all fainter stars on the sky. The charts proved to be excessively expensive to photograph and reproduce, generally via engraved copper plates photogravureand many zones were either not completed or properly published.
The positional accuracy goal was 0. Decades of labour were expended internationally before the project was superseded by modern astronomical techniques.
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