[FPSPACE] Fwd: [HASTRO-L] Astronomy history via ADS full text statistics?

LARRY KLAES ljk4 at msn.com
Tue Jan 1 18:10:17 EST 2013


Yes indeed, David, I have been meaning to read that paper for a while now. I think someone did make a match between a canal and Valles Marineris, which is certainly understandable. And some of those cities on the Martian desert which were canal hubs were the massive Tharsis volcanoes. Yet still, a world without a Dejah Thoris is a lesser place in certain ways. Larry

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-----Original Message-----
From: David Portree
Sent: 1/1/2013 10:29:25 PM
To: ljk4 at msn.com , fpspace at friends-partners.org
Subject: RE: [FPSPACE] Fwd: [HASTRO-L] Astronomy history via ADS full text statistics?
Larry:

Carl Sagan wrote an ICARUS piece on the correlation of the martian canal network with Mariner 9 data in the 1973-1974 period. He used a rigorous methodology and found almost no correlation. So at least as late as that scientists were looking at the canal issue.

David S. F. Portree

dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>
dportree at usgs.gov<mailto:dportree at usgs.gov>

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/beyondapollo/

http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/people/david-portree




________________________________
From: ljk4 at msn.com
To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2013 17:14:19 +0000
Subject: [FPSPACE] Fwd: [HASTRO-L] Astronomy history via ADS full text statistics?



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-----Original Message-----
From: dfischer at ASTRO.UNI-BONN.DE
Sent: 1/1/2013 3:24:07 PM
To: HASTRO-L at listserv.wvu.edu
Subject: [HASTRO-L] Astronomy history via ADS full text statistics?
The three-part article on Martian canals in the astronomical literature

http://airminded.org/2012/12/22/the-canals-of-mars-1861-1970-i/
http://airminded.org/2012/12/30/the-canals-of-mars-1861-1970-ii/
http://airminded.org/2013/01/01/the-canals-of-mars-1861-1970-iii/

is probably more interesting for its methodology than for its conclusions
(which, after so many graphs and words, is simply that there was
"lingering interest" in Martian canals for decades after Antoniadi
seemingly closed the issue in 1909) - is this a valid approach to
"data-mine" vast amounts of literature? There is *no* way to find out
whether an article represents an original study pro or contra the
existence of the canals or is simply a historical review!

Incidentally if you run "Martian canals" through
http://books.google.com/ngrams/ - which some historians *are* promoting as
a new great tool to figure out the popularity of certain terms over time -
you get basically the same graph: nothing at all before the 1880's, a peak
around 1908 - and "lingering interest" til today, with a modest second
peak around 1960. All that in about 2 seconds ...

Daniel

P.S.: Here's something else to ponder re. methods - the "small step"
affair. Neil Armstrong always contended - including in his authorized
biography - that he came up with his famous words between touchdown and
stepping out of the LEM. Yet now his brother has claimed in an interview -
see e.g.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/9770712/Neil-Armstrongs-family-reveal-origins-of-one-small-step-line.html
and
http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/30/16252879-how-neil-armstrong-practiced-that-one-small-step-line-for-the-moon
and
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2255346/Did-Neil-Armstrong-lie-origins-small-step-speech-And-did-fluff-lines.html
- that he was shown the line by Neil on a piece of paper before Apollo 11
even left Earth. Not that this has any impact on the history of space
research but it throws some light on the value of oral history. Figuring
out which light is left as an exercise to the reader ...

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