Kew photoheliograph, 1857

Kew photoheliograph, 1857.
The Kew Photoheliograph was the first astronomical instrument specifically designed for photographing celestial objects. Designed for the Royal Society by Warren de la Rue in 1857, it was built by instrument maker Andrew Ross, London. First installed at Kew Observatory, it was used to take regular photographs of the Sun. Later it was taken to Northern Spain; here it was employed to photograph the 1860 total eclipse of the Sun. The resulting images were used to resolve the debate as to whether prominences, red flames seen at solar eclipses, were intrinsic to the Sun or atmospheric effects. It was subsequently used as a model for a whole series of photographic telescopes for recording the Sun.
 
Year made :
1857
Inventory number :
1927-124