Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The planet hunter’s commandments

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Behold the heavens and the great vastness thereof, for a planet could be anywhere therein. Thou shalt dedicate thy whole being to the search project with infinite patience and perseverance. Thou shalt set no other work before thee for the search shall keep thee busy enough. Thou shalt take the plates at opposition time lest thou be deceived by asteroids near their stationary positions. Thou shalt duplicate the plates of a pair at the same hour angle lest refraction distortions overtake thee. Thou shalt give adequate overlap of adjacent plate regions lest the planet play hide and seek with thee. Thou shalt not become ill in the dark of the moon lest thou fall behind the opposition point. Thou shalt have no dates except at full moon when long exposure plates cannot be taken at the telescope. Many false planets shall appear before thee and thou shalt check every one with a third plate. Thou shalt not engage in any dissipation, that thy years may be many, for thou shalt need them to finish the job.

Clyde Tombaugh, “The Ten Special Commandments for a Would-Be Planet Hunter”

Written by nevalalee

December 17, 2017 at 7:30 am

Posted in Quote of the Day

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