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Glass Positive of the Sun by Henry Draper
  • Glass Positive of the Sun, 1876
  • Henry Draper
  • Glass positive with resin
  • National Museum of American History, Behring Center
  • Physical Sciences Collection
  • Image No. 1999.0014

A doctor by trade, Henry Draper was an early pioneer of astronomical photography. The first to capture a photograph of the Great Nebula of Orion, Draper went on to photograph the stellar spectrum, take many high-quality images of the Moon, and create the first wide-angle image of a comet's tail. When the emperor of Brazil visited Draper’s observatory in 1876, the scientist allowed him to look at the Sun through his telescope and then demonstrated his new photographic techniques. On the negative Draper later wrote, “July 8th 1876. Photograph of Sun taken in presence of Emperor of Brazil.”

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