Project Description

Over a period of 17 years, from 1826 to 1843, on every clear day, the Swiss astronomer Henirich Schwabe made detailed observations of the sun, accumulated in his notebooks which are now held in the Royal Astronomical Society Library in London.

Schwabe’s contribution to the understanding of sunspots and Solar Cycles cannot be underestimated; without his 17 years of detailed sunspot observations, we would not have known about solar cycles until much later. This contribution is made more amazing by the fact that he wasn’t looking for solar cycles, but for signs of the planet Vulcan (which was predicted mathematically but was eventually found not to exist!).

As we move into a new Solar Cyle (25), to celebrate Schwabe’s seventeen year feat of observation, we are delighted to be working with artist Peter Beeson to celebrate this contribution through a social media project called #Seventeen Suns. Peter will be inviting anyone who would like to join him in making daily solar-themed observations; anything related to the sun or its light – for example seventeen sessions of observation of changing light conditions. Participants are invited to share their painted drawn or printed observations on instagram with the hashtag #seventeensuns. This hashtag is open to all and non-selective, within the usual Instagram boundaries of acceptability.

A number of works, from the instagram contributions, will be selected to be shown digitally as part of a special event and exhibition at the Royal Astronomical Society Library in November 2020 (tbc). Selected participants will be contacted via direct message on Instagram to agree permission and to provide a suitable digital image.

A compressed homage to the incredible contribution of this important astronomer to our understanding of the Solar System and of our Universe.

A daily feed from #SeventeenSuns will be available here, so we can enjoy any work shared by the artists.

Thanks to our funders at Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Feast Cornwall.

Supplies and tools

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About Troom Troom:

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