AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 1. HAD I: Special Topics in the History of Astronomy
Special, Sunday, January 5, 2003, 2:00-6:00pm, East Room (Sheraton)

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[1.01] Telescopes for solar research; from Scheiner's Helioscopium to De la Rue's Photoheliograph.

P. Abrahams (Lake Oswego, OR)

Early telescopes used for solar observation were usually standard instruments, equipped with a filter or used in projection mode. The occasional exceptions were telescopes designed or modified for viewing, drawing, or photographing the sun.

Christoph Scheiner observed sunspots regularly & systematically for 15 years, beginning early in 1611. A simple projection telescope was replaced with his Helioscopium, which was probably the first equatorially mounted telescope.

Robert Hooke published a booklet in 1676 titled `Helioscopes', filled with an array of highly ingenious telescope designs, some of which were designed for solar observation and some of which were constructed and used.

Warren De la Rue designed a photographic solar telescope, built by Andrew Ross in 1857 for the use of the Royal Society to establish a continuous record of solar activity. This photoheliograph was responsible for several important discoveries.

Improvements in solar instruments led to advances in knowledge of the sun, and the contributions of some early solar telescopes and their makers will be recognized in this paper.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mailto:telscope@europa.com

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