Fridtjof Nansen's High Latitude Lunar Images

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seriousreader
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Fridtjof Nansen's High Latitude Lunar Images

Post by seriousreader » Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:41 am

I would like APOD to show a photograph of the mock moons and axial luminous patches that Fridtjof Nansen sketched during his polar exploration of 1893-96, along with the Nansen sketches themselves.

I recently read _Farthest North_ by Fridtjof Nansen (1897). (I'd never heard of Nansen until I saw a lecture on NASA-TV called "Isolation and Confinement" (I think) by Jack Kunster (sp?) discussing what the shuttle team could learn from expeditions to explore uncharted regions on earth.) Nansen's book, a fascinating account of his attempt to reach the North Pole, includes several amazing pastel sketches of the moon at very high latitudes. In two illustrations, there are what he calls "mock" moons at either edge of the horizon, and scattered light along the vertical axis of the real moon. (Vol. 1, p. 576, and vol. 2, page 321). Another sketch shows a halo (Vol. 2, p. 248), rather like the halo shown in the March 9, 2005 APOD photo of the sun in Tennessee, which is what made me think of Nansen's sketches again.

What I would love to see on the APOD would be a comparison of a Nansen sketch with a current photograph showing the same phenomena. As far as I can tell, APOD has never shown the mock moons or any polar moon views. An explanation of the mock moons and axial light would be nice, too!

makc
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Post by makc » Mon Mar 21, 2005 7:28 am

I would like APOD to show a photograph...
...and a link?

seriousreader
Asternaut
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Post by seriousreader » Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:15 pm

[quote]...and a link?[/quote]
Someone with a scanner and the book Farthest North could copy the pastels by Nansen. I read the 1897 edition, by the way. There's a 1999 single volume Modern Library edition, and some other late 20th century versions, but I'm not sure they have all the illustrations.

Links to information about Nansen include


http://fritjof-nansen.biography.ms/ - a nice short summary of Nansen's life with plenty of links of its own.

http://www.nhm.uio.no/palmus/catalogues ... igure9.gif - shows the route of Nansen's ship the Fram, and that of his own trek across the ice with another crew member to get to a higher latitude than the ship could reach.

http://www.fram.museum.no/en/default.asp?page=95 - The website of the Fram Museum, a museum dedicated to Nansen's remarkable ship _Fram_ (which Amundsen later used to go to the South Pole), has some images from the book _Farthest North_. Unfortunately the lunar pastels are not included.

http://nobelprize.org/peace/articles/sveen/ - Nansen was not just an amazing polar explorer and scientist. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his work with the League of Nations. Among other things, he negotiated an exchange of 400,000 prisoners of war and created the Nansen passport for stateless refugees.

Thanks!