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In the 1890s, George Ellery Hale, Director of the Yerkes Observatory, attempted to detect the solar corona when the Sun was not in eclipse. His failure to detect the corona optically led him to see if he could discover any indications of coronal heat with the use of bolometers. At first, Hale wanted to find coronal heat during a total eclipse in order to determine whether the heat was significant enough to be measurable out of eclipse. Hale would often try to enlist the aid of others traveling to distant eclipse sights by asking them to perform certain bolometric observations. Ernest Fox Nichols's work with the modified Crookes radiometer led Hale to attempt to appropriate Nichols for his coronal research. Hale's scheme backfired when Nichols insisted on measuring stellar heat, not coronal heat. Although Hale was initially disappointed, Nichols's results at Yerkes made Hale realize the potential value of radiometric research in astrophysical problems.
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