Guided Primary Source Analysis: Automatic Asteroid Finder

Automatic Asteroid Finder (Ein Asteroiden Selbstendecker)
Illustration of Automatic Asteroid Finder (Ein Asteroiden Selbstendecker ) from Fliegende Blätter (LC call no. AP105 .F6), v.59, Sept. 19, 1873: pg. 96 (no. 1470).

Use details from the illustration to describe what is happening in this image.

Do you think there was an automatic asteroid finder in 1873? Do scientists use automatic asteroid finders today? How do you know or how would you find out?

Read the article by Ruth S. Freitag linked to below. What did you learn? In what ways did your review of the text change how you “read” this image?

This illustration appeared in the September 19, 1873 edition of the Bavarian satirical weekly, Fleignede Blätter, which poked fun at German life. A translation of this article appears within the short article, “An Early Application of Automation to Astronomy” by Ruth S. Freitag, Library of Congress (retired). This article, in turn, is contained within Mark Littman’s Planets Beyond: Discovering the Outer Solar System.

H/T Jennifer Harbster, Library of Congress Inside Adams: Science, Technology & Business blog