Plaskett Report for January 1922

Director J. S. Plaskett was absent on lecture tour 6 days. Besides usual administrative and correspondence work observed 31 spectra on 4 nights. Measured 12 Oe and Oe5 spectra for radial velocity. Prepared MS of Volume II, No. 3 of the Publications of the DAO for publication. Made tests of  ultraviolet spectrograph and designed and had constructed curved plate holders for same

Research Astronomer W. E. Harper was ill one day. Obtained 58 spectra on 5 nights. Measured 8 spectra for radial velocity. Measured 20 spectra of standards for absolute magnitude and spectral type. Made preliminary survey for absolute magnitude and type of about 400 G-type stars.

[The monthly Colonist article, Talks on Astronomy, was written by W. E Harper, Ed.]

Astronomer R. K. Young obtained 77 spectra on 5 nights and measured 90 spectra of standards for absolute magnitude and spectral type. Measured 10 spectra for radial velocity. Made preliminary survey of about 700 spectra for absolute magnitude and spectral type. Obtained period of BD +66 878 (a spectroscopic binary).

Assistant Astronomer H. H. Plaskett obtained4 high dispersion and 6 single prism plates on 3 nights. Remeasured 15 spectra for wavelength and radial velocity. Began and completed the calculations for the universal constants – the mass of the electron and the value of Planck’s constant h – from measures of wavelengths obtained from spectra of the Oe and Oe5 stars secured with the 72-inch telescope,. These will be among the most accurate determinations of these important constants yet made. [Emphasis added, Ed.] Gave considerable time to study o the structure of matter wurg view to forming a theory to account for the appearance of stellar spectra.

Clerk-Stenographer Miss H. R. Keay engaged in regular work on correspondence. accounts and recording plates. The MS of Volume II, Number 2, of a paper “The Pickering Series and Bohr’s Atom,” and of two “Colonist” articles have been typed. The proof of Volume I, Numbers 26, 27, 28 has been read and corrections have been entered on Volume II, Number 1.

Instrument Maker Foreman T. T. Hutchison kept the telescope and dome in operating order and assisted in observing on 14 nights and was also engaged in the wiring the temperature case of the ultraviolet spectrograph.

Thomas Tenant Hutchison’s family lived in Esquimalt and Thomas had worked during the construction of the telescope. Here is a photo of him from the Esquimalt Archive Collection

The observing weather has been considerably better than in December and observations were made on 17 nights but many of these were broken by clouds and other disturbances. These monthly reports can hardly be used for comparison of progress as there is so much variation in the kind of work done here.  But very satisfactory progress in the work of the observatory can be recorded.