October 25, 2014
image by Tiziano Niero, Mira (VE), Italy
|What is the plain, Anglo-Saxon name Carpenter doing in the midst of these ancient Greeks and more recent Frenchmen? The latter are all mathematicians, and the Greeks were astronomers. Carpenter was also an astronomer - both of them. The name Carpenter was originally bestowed to honor a nineteenth century British astronomer, James Carpenter, who was a pioneer in spectral observations but is remembered now as the co-author of the Nasmyth and Carpenter classic, The Moon: Considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite. In 1985 the IAU added the name Edwin Carpenter (1898 - 1963) as a co-honoree. Dr. Carpenter was chairman of the University of Arizona Department of Astronomy from 1936 to 1963. I met him when I became an astronomy student at UA in 1960. I was grateful to him for allowing me to use the 4.3" James telescope, a wonderful Clark refractor that I learned to observe with. He also permitted me to help with the Steward Observatory 36" during public nights, which led to occasional views of the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter with a huge telescope that I controlled. Like a number of fresh craters in the north polar area, Carpenter has two central peaks - perhaps one for each Carpenter.
Yesterday's LPOD: 5° Beyond the Limb
Tomorrow's LPOD: Still Balmy After All These Years