Observations of Sun Spots, 1739-1743

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About this Item

Creator
Winthrop, John, 1714-1779.
Collection Title
Papers of John and Hannah Winthrop, 1728-1789 1728-1789
Language
English
Description
.01 cubic feet (1 volumes)
Date
1739-1743
Repository
Harvard University Archives
Rights
The Papers of John and Hannah Winthrop are open for research.
Identifier
colonialnorthamerica.library.harvard.edu/hua07010c00085

Content Notes

Eleven-page notebook containing John Winthrop's handwritten observations and calculations. Titled by Winthrop "Observations of 'Spots' on ye Sun with ye Naked Eye," this is the first known record of his scientific observations and records what he saw while examining the sun "with an 8 foot telescope from 6 a.m. til sun set" on the Boston Commons and concluding with "a considerable aurora borealis" that night (April 20, 1739). It has been speculated that his reference to the aurora borealis in these observations may indicate that he recognized the interrelation of the aurora borealis and sun spots, a concept which was not definitively established until the mid-nineteenth century.