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Paper: Another Unsung Lowell Observatory Achievement: The First Infrared Observation of a Comet
Volume: 471, Origins of the Expanding Universe: 1912-1932
Page: 181
Authors: Marcus, J. N.
Abstract: Carl Lampland was the first to observe a comet in the infrared, a feat little known today because he failed to formally publish his data. I have retrieved the radiometry of this comet, C/1927 X1 (Skjellerup-Maristany), taken in broad daylight, from Lampland's logbook in the Lowell Observatory archives, and present a preliminary reduction of it here. There are similarities between Lampland's pioneering achievement and V. M. Slipher's discovery of the redshifts of the spiral nebulae (and thus, arguably, the expansion of the Universe). Each astronomer used state-of-the-art instrumentation, received rave reviews at American Astronomical Society meetings where their novel data were presented, and suffered under-recognition in ensuing decades. A common thread in these poor outcomes was their lackadaisical approach to formal publication — in Slipher's case, publishing in internal or secondary outlets, and in Lampland's case, not publishing at all.
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