owlice wrote:The APOD image was scanned from a publication from 1913 that featured a halftone printed image of the original painting. IOW, the publication reproduced the painting as a halftone image; each copy of the publication was then hand tinted (!!) to add color to the meteors, tails, and a few stars. The print run has been estimated to be 500-550 copies, but the receipt/supporting documentation for that print run are not in evidence.
So... this is a raw scan of one existing copy of the publication (the RASC Journal for May-June, 1913). A processed image of this scan is available on the RASC website (which this APOD links to).
and to add to owl's comments is the below exerpt:
Chant clearly went to considerable effort to see that his publication of the GMP was distniguished by a memorable image. Indirect evidence suggests that he was the effective patron of Hahn's original painting, which for decades hung in the administration building of the David Dunlap Observatory (the painting is now in the collections of the University of Toronto Archives and Record Management Services [UTARMS], accession # A2008-0023). As editor of the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Chant had Hahn's watercolour reproduced as a relief half-tone print on tinted paper. One aspect of the technical process may strike 21st-century consumers of astronomical images as remarkable - to quote Rosenfeld & Muir:
Several of the colours Chant and his colleagues desired in the reproduction were not best reproduced mechanically through the photo-chemical half-tone process. It was decided to execute the stars in white, white and gold, and the meteors in gold individually by hand for every single copy of the Journal as the penultimate stage in production prior to tipping-in to the binding. A careful examination of different copies of the print shows that while the general placement of the meteors and stars is quite close, as are their shapes, they are far from identical from print to print. This seems an extravagant way to mass-produce an image now, but it must be remembered that features added by hand were part of the printing industry from the 15th to the early 20th century, chiefly in the matter of colour . The use of the technique for reproducing Hahn’s GMP image occurred within the context of a venerable industrial practice - JRASC 105, 4: 173.
The image is as evocatively memorable now as when it was first published. Nearly a century ago, the Great Meteor Procession (GMP) was spectacular enough to surprise, delight, and awe the most experienced of meteoriticists, not to mention the casual observer. The same event would doubtless have a comparable impact today.
Astronomical Art & Artifact: Gustav Hahn's Graphic Record of the Great Meteor Procession of 1913 February 9, Rosenfeld, R. A., & Muir, Clark JRASC 105, 4: 167-175