1880. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION. SCARCE AND NEAR FINE OFFPRINT IN ORIGINAL WRAPS OF HUGGINS'S DETAILED 1880 FOLLOWUP TO HIS VISIONARY BUT PRELIMINARY 1876 PAPER ON THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF STAR SPECTRA. INCLUDED IS A CUT SIGNATURE OF HUGGINS’S ABOVE WHICH IS PRINTED HIS ADDRESS IN LONDON; further still, the words "From the Author" are inscribed on the front wrapper of the offprint in a hand that clearly appears to be Huggins's (see image of note from Huggins's included only for the sake of comparison; specifically, the word 'the' is identical in both). In 1876 the author presented “a preliminary note on the subject of this paper, together with a diagram of the spectrum of Vega compared with that of the sun.” (Proceedings 30, 1879, 20). The invention of a more perfect driving clock by Grubb enabled Huggins to resume his work with greater success. In the paper offered here, Huggins describes in far greater detail “the special apparatus and the methods of working which have been employed”, both amplifying and expanding the earlier work (ibid).
“In 1868, English astronomer Sir William Huggins (1824–1910) was the first to apply spectroscopy and the Doppler shift (described elsewhere) to estimate the motion of the Solar System relative to the stars. He found that the Earth was receding from Sirius by about 29 miles per second after compensating for the effect of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Huggins did not determine how much of the proper motion was attributable to our Solar System and how much to the star” (History of Physics: The Wenner Collection). Item #916
CONDITION & DETAILS: Offprint issue in original wraps. Large Quarto. 13 by 9.5 inches (325 x 237mm). pp. 669-690. Large fold-out plate. Near fine condition; very slight soiling to the wraps. Both the offprint and the cut signature are housed in a custom quarter morocco and cloth clamshell box, gilt-lettered and -ruled at the spine; black lettered on the front board. Further images available upon request.