Nebuleuse de la Lyre

Paul Henry French
Prosper Henry French

Not on view

Astronomers at the Paris Observatory, brothers Paul and Prosper Henry inherited in 1872 a project begun twenty years earlier--the mapping of the heavens by means of painstaking observation, calculation, and notation. When their survey approached the Milky Way, the brothers found that the galaxy proved too dense and complex to chart by eye. They solved the problem by constructing a photographic telescope with an extraordinarily
precise mechanism for tracking the stars across the night sky during exposures as long as one hour.
This photograph of the Ring Nebula in the constellation Lyra shows but a three-degree section of the firmament, 1,956 light-years from earth. Once a star similar to our own sun, the nebula was formed when the star exploded, releasing gasses from its outer shell into space.

Nebuleuse de la Lyre, Paul Henry (French, Nancy 1848–1905 Paris), Albumen silver print from glass negative

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