REV. W.E. GLANVILLE AND THE ZODIACAL LIGHT
Copyright 2013 Richard Taibi
Several years ago I glanced through the 1915 volume
of Popular Astronomy and found an
interesting article about the zodiacal light (ZL). When I checked the author’s name, Rev. W.E.
Glanville, I noticed his address and was startled to find he wrote from
Solomons, Maryland a small town about 80 miles (130 km.) distant from my
home. I was intrigued that a Maryland
author wrote about watching the ZL in a national magazine almost a century ago.
I knew something about the light, but had never heard of Glanville. Now, years later, I had the time to indulge
my curiosity about my fellow Marylander; I wanted to know about him and learn
more about the ZL too. The following is
what I learned about them both. First,
“Has dawn arrived already?” I was annoyed. The eastern sky on October 22, 2012 was
brightening and signaling the end of night and therefore my meteor watch was
ending before I was able to see ‘enough’ shooting stars. I checked the time and it was a half-hour
before the earliest glimmer of dawn, called astronomical twilight, was
predicted to start. “Oh…it’s the
zodiacal light” I thought. Gradually the
phenomenon distracted me from nearby darker vacant sky that I hoped would
produce more meteors. At first the light
was a nearly formless glow south of Leo, a constellation that was a member of
the archaic zodiac. Leo was rising in
the east and the light reached nearly up to its brightest star, Regulus. The glow was so formless that I decided to
postpone more serious scrutiny for another half-hour, when it would be higher
in the sky, brighter and perhaps more defined.
Near six a.m., the light’s lower portion, nearest
the horizon was brighter but also immersed in Maryland’s airglow and housing
light pollution. Natural and man-made
lighting combined to make an indistinct foggy glow. These imperfections made tracing the broadest
part of the light nearest the horizon difficult. Higher up in the sky, the light had more of
the triangular shape I expected to see.
It was a vague irregular triangle whose highest point (the apex) was
just horizon-ward of Regulus. The light
reached up one-third the distance from horizon to overhead. The triangle’s longest side was parallel to
the southern edge of Leo and slanted up not only toward the bright star but if
extended by imagination, pointed further up in the sky, to the right, toward
constellations Cancer and Gemini nearly overhead. The suburban sky diffused the light’s outlines
and it was only because I had seen it before and knew that it might reappear in
the autumnal morning sky that I was aware of what I could dimly see. My mind wasn’t playing tricks, it was helping
me perceive the light.
Where and when can it be seen?
Fall and spring are the best seasons to see the
ZL. In the fall, look to the east before
dawn; in the spring, look to the west just after nightfall. Just as in my experience you will need to
search for a triangular patch of hazy light that has the horizon as one of its
sides. The triangle’s two remaining
sides slope upward in the sky. Your
site’s darkness and the air’s clarity will determine the height of the light’s
upward extent, so that a dark, dust and moisture-free sky will show you the
longest triangle. Pick a night when
there is no moon and a horizon that has no artificial lighting for the best
The triangular light’s direction of slope depends
upon the time of day and the hemisphere you are watching from on earth. For the morning ZL, the light’s triangle will
slope upward to the right in the northern hemisphere; in the southern, it will
slope upward to the left. For the
evening light, the triangle’s slope will be to the upper left in the northern
hemisphere; in the southern, it will slope to the right. March, April, September, and October are good
months to look for the ZL, especially when a bright moon is not in the
What causes the Zodiacal Light? (A selective history)
Scientists’ attempts to answer the causal question
partially filled three centuries’ astronomical journals with conjecture and
investigation; and the most comprehensive answer was not advanced until the
past few years. Rev. Glanville’s
conjecture about what caused the ZL is the way he became connected with this history.
One astronomical historian credited Gian Domenico
Cassini (1625-1712) with being among the first to make a written conjecture
about the ZL.(1) In 1683, his
observations led him to believe that the light originated outside the earth’s
atmosphere, in space near the sun.
Further, he believed that an aspect of the sun’s structure caused the
light, making Cassini’s theory a sun-centered, (heliocentric) one. Cassini named the phenomenon and by his word
choice, he revealed the lingering effects of his astrological career when a
young man. Later in life he made
skillful telescopic observations of Saturn in which he discovered four of its
moons and a dark gap, a division, in its rings, subsequently named for
him. But he was a man born in a time
when it was possible to be of two ‘minds’ about nature, one mind could be
empirical and scientific and the other misled by pseudoscientific beliefs.
Early in life, when Cassini cast horoscopes for his
living, he was accustomed to thinking of the star patterns in the sky, where
sun, moon and planets moved, as ‘signs’ of the zodiac. As scientific astronomy became accepted, the
star patterns were called constellations and the planets moved on a path called
the ‘ecliptic,’ through some of them. Astronomy’s ecliptic was a place in space
where physical bodies moved in front of background stars, unlike astrology’s
zodiac where planets in signs were only important to a pre-scientific belief
that a person’s character could be described by the planets’ placements among
the signs. But somehow, when Cassini was
58 years of age and objectively describing the constellations in which a
triangular light appeared, he slipped back into his earlier pseudoscientific
thinking mode and called them ‘zodiacal.’
Hence the light became ‘zodiacal’ and not ‘ecliptical.’ The term ‘stuck’ perhaps because of Cassini’s
stature in the new science.
Heliocentric vs. geocentric theories
During the two centuries since Cassini’s study of
the ZL, the heliocentric theory evolved into the ‘meteoric theory.’ Herbert Alonzo Howe (1858-1926) summarized it
in his 1896 college textbook; the ZL “is due to a countless host of meteoric
bodies revolving about the sun, and constituting a huge figure resembling in
shape a double convex lens.” (2)
However, at the turn of the 20th century,
there was another
viewpoint that was espoused by some astronomers, including
Rev. Glanville. This opposing view was
that the ZL was located near Earth and with the Earth at its center; therefore
these theories are Earth-centered (geocentric).
One version of these was advanced by Edward Emerson Barnard
(1857-1923). He believed that the ZL and
a related phenomenon called the Gegenschein were atmospheric phenomena. Because he thought the atmosphere surrounding
the Earth was responsible, Barnard’s viewpoint is the ultimate in geocentric
Defending the opposition was Simon Newcomb
(1835-1909); he believed that the observational facts demonstrated the validity
of the heliocentric/ meteoric theory.
Simon Newcomb was, at the turn of the 20th century, President
American Astronomical Society’s predecessor organization, and
Superintendent of the Nautical Almanac Office in Washington, D.C. His responsibilities were improved
calculation of the planets and their moons’ orbits and the yearly production of
the American Ephemeris and Nautical
Almanac, used in navigation and astronomical research. He refined orbital calculations for Uranus
and Neptune and thereby improved the ephemerides for them as well. His views on astronomical matters were persuasive
for many of his professional peers. (3)
Newcomb succinctly summarized the prevailing belief
about the ZL in a 1905 paper to the Astrophysical
Journal (ApJ). “The ZL is commonly
conceived and described as a phenomenon extending on both sides of the Sun, in
or near the plane of the ecliptic…”
Newcomb was dissatisfied with that incomplete description and went on to
write that the light’s “…possible breadth (was) left out of consideration,
except as implied in the term ‘lens shaped,’ sometimes used to designate its
form…the possible thickness of the lens has never been considered…” He wanted to remedy that bit of ignorance and
decided to travel to a site where he could make a “delineation of its complete
outline” because he regarded this as “of prime importance in defining the
ZL.” After consulting with a Swiss
geographer, he traveled to a Swiss mountain north of Lake Brienz to make his
observation. On the night of July 29,
1905, one of great clarity due to its elevation of 7700 feet, he was able to
detect a glow on the northern horizon, which he believed was an extension of
the ZL north of the sun. In making this
report he added that he believed there was also a similar glow to the south of
the sun, “because there was no reasonable doubt of the symmetrical character of
the (ZL).” He opined, based upon his night’s observation that the light’s
“boundary is nowhere less than 35 degrees from the sun, and which is greatly
elongated in the direction of the ecliptic.” (4)
Edward Emerson Barnard became an eminent astronomer
after years of telescopic discoveries and his efforts to educate himself. Whereas Newcomb was a skilled mathematician,
Barnard’s accomplishments were in the observational realm. He made his first comet discovery at age 23
with a telescope he bought with savings earned by long hours cranking the
driving mechanism of a moveable room-sized camera apparatus so that it would
keep pace with the sun’s movement.
Barnard’s many comet discoveries brought him fame that enabled him to
leave his birthplace, Nashville, Tennessee, and join the astronomical staff at
Lick and Yerkes Observatories where he was privileged to use the largest
refracting telescopes in the world. He
continued to earn astronomical fame at Lick, where he used the 36-inch (91 cm.)
diameter lens telescope, to discover the fifth moon of Jupiter, the first one
since Galileo’s discovery of four moons almost three hundred years before. (5)
Barnard had an aptitude for making insightful
interpretations of what he saw through the huge telescopes. But he also realized the significance of what
he saw while making casual observations of the night sky without the use of a
telescope. It was while taking a break
from comet seeking that he first noticed the Gegenschein, an irregularly-shaped
specter of light that is almost directly opposite the sun, in a dark night’s
sky. Barnard’s impression was that the
glow was nearby rather than deep in space.
He theorized, the air on the sunlit side of the earth refracted and
focused sunlight onto the air on earth’s night side, so that it appeared as a
dim patch of light. In 1919, Barnard
confided to colleagues, “The Gegenschein has always seemed to me to be due in
some way to a concentration of the sun’s light by refraction in the atmosphere
as if the atmosphere acted as a spherical lens…The more I have studied the
subject the more I am convinced that the Gegenschein is simply an illumination
of our atmosphere by the sun’s light, through refraction.” (6)
Barnard also ascribed an atmospheric explanation for
Newcomb’s Swiss sighting of light over the north horizon in 1905. Writing about his experience, Barnard
reported, “I have observed for a week or two in midsummer a twilight glow
passing along the north horizon for a couple of hours in the middle of the
night. I have watched this move from the
west…to the east, being apparently the evening twilight passing along the north
horizon…” Newcomb responded to Barnard’s
contrary opinion by admitting “there is of course no absolute proof that the
light visible along the north horizon at midnight…is not a form of
twilight. The phenomenon of meteors
shows that the atmosphere…surrounds the earth to a height of more than 100 or
perhaps 200 miles. The reflection of the
sun’s rays from this rare atmosphere would produce a similar effect…” However, Newcomb was apparently unable to
accept his own conciliatory statement because he finished his response to
Barnard by writing, “but I think this is not the cause of the phenomenon…” (7)
It was clear that mere arguments would not resolve
the theoretical dispute because the observational evidence was equivocal. Newcomb and Barnard watched the same
phenomenon and drew opposite conclusions about its source. Still, astronomers continued the attempt at a
resolution by any means available at the time.
In 1909, one astronomer, Edward Arthur Fath (1880-1959), took a
long-exposure photograph of the spectrum produced when ZL was passed through a
spectroscope. When a comparison of the
light’s spectrum with the sun’s was made there was an excellent agreement. Fath concluded, “we … seem to have good
evidence to support the claim that the ZL is reflected sunlight”: the
heliocentric, meteoric theory about the light’s origin was strengthened.(8) However, as late as 1923, the editor of the Astronomical Journal, Lewis Boss
(1846-1912), reviewed many observational studies, including Fath’s, and did not
believe the meteoric theory was proven.
Instead, he called for more studies. (9)
The meteoric-atmospheric theory conflict continued
through the early and middle 20th century because there was no means
to make a conclusive
experimental observation from above the earth’s
atmosphere. The issue would be decided
if one or the other of the two following events occurred. 1) The atmosphere would
be judged the ZL’s origin if the ZL could not be seen from outside the
atmosphere on the Earth’s night side.
2), But, if the ZL was detected around the sun from a position above the
atmosphere, the atmosphere was ruled out as the cause and the phenomenon would
be judged heliocentric.
By the 1960s a tacit assumption seemed to have been
made that the ZL’s cause was located around the sun. So it is not surprising that satellite-born
instruments were trained on the sun to investigate the ZL. Space-sited instrumental studies of the light
began in 1967 (10) according to the bibliographical search engine of the
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory/ National Aeronautics and Space
Administration’s Astrophysical Data System (SAO/NASA ADS).
In one, a 1968 study of the ZL was made by an
experiment onboard the Orbiting Solar Observatory. The experiment’s purpose was to “to monitor
the direction and intensity of polarized and unpolarized ZL in red and blue
light.” The satellite was chosen as the
best observation platform because it was to be “outside the earth’s
atmosphere.” (11) So, the OSO’s was
one experiment that decided the theoretical dispute: the light was caused by
particles reflecting the sun’s light. The OSO results were published in a 1968
and a 1972 paper in Astrophysical
Current knowledge about the light
The most recent development, in 2010 is not itself
the result of another observational study but one from the use of many previous
studies. ZL and interplanetary dust data
from satellite studies were entered into a computer model of the zodiacal dust
disk that surrounds the sun. The model’s
designers sought to learn how data known about the zodiacal dust could have
come about. Investigators learned that
ten percent of the dust was derived from asteroids colliding with each
other. But, they learned that 90% of the
zodiacal dust particles come from a group of comets which were gravitationally
captured by Jupiter. These ‘Jupiter Family Comets’ (JFCs) range above and below
the ecliptic plane in the same volume of space that the zodiacal dust cloud
inhabits. As these comets disintegrate,
their dust particles populate the cloud, and when illuminated by the sun their
reflection is the ZL. The study reported
that the dust particles were from 1/10th to 2/10ths
of a millimeter
(100 to 200 micrometers) in size and that the particles extend one-half a
billion miles outward from the sun, up to Jupiter’s orbit. This means that the Earth, along with
Mercury, Venus and Mars orbit the sun among this swarm of particles. (14)
W.E. Glanville (1866-1933)
William Ewart Glanville was born at his paternal
grandmother’s home in London, England at St. George Hanover Square. He was born to Sarah Ewart and John Reed
Glanville on January 30, 1866. (15) His father was a coach-builder and came
from a family that lived in Cornwall for several generations. I could find no information about Sarah Ewart
but she and John were married in London in early 1865. (16)
In July 1870 John and Sarah took William and his
five-month-old sister to New Zealand, arriving in October. Shipboard passage was arranged for them as
‘assisted emigrants’ to the New Zealand Colony which England hoped to
populate. In 1871 they were among the
256,000 residents of the Colony and of the 47,000 residents of the Canterbury
Province surrounding Christchurch. (17)
In 1902, William told the townsfolk who hosted a birthday party for him
that the first home his father built for the family was ‘built of earth,’
followed by a frame house raised on the same site. New Zealand was his home
until he was 14-years-old when his parents sent him back to England for better
educational opportunities than he could get in the Colony. (18)
Glanville’s first recorded action in England was to
enroll in University College of Bristol (UCB) at age 16, on June 7, 1882. The College’s records show that he was to
study inorganic chemistry. UCB’s records show that during the 1882-1883 terms,
young Mr. Glanville was a poor student, scoring 27/100 on a mathematics
examination, 34/100 in natural philosophy (physics), 25/168 in French, and
14/100 in Latin. (19) In a 1907 letter to Edward Emerson Barnard, Glanville
recalled attending a series of lectures given in 1882 by astronomy popularizer
Richard Anthony Proctor (1837-1888); Glanville credited Proctor for eliciting
his interest in astronomy.
In May, 1883 Bristol Baptist College’s (BBC)
admissions committee accepted 17-year-old Glanville to study for the
ministry. Glanville may have been
influenced to become a Baptist minister by the example of his paternal uncle,
William (1846-1915). In 1883, Uncle
William and his family lived in southern England, on the Isle of Wight. BBC had an arrangement with UCB whereby BBC’s
students were able to take liberal arts classes while they studied theology,
the Bible, and church administration at BBC. Glanville did not take
examinations in all the terms he could have while at UCB’s Classical and
Mathematical Department and his performance on the exams he sat for continued
to be poor. For the 1883-1884 terms, his
exam marks were 49/200 and 40/145 in mathematics, 23/100 in experimental
physics, 6/100 and 8/100 in Greek and Latin respectively, 20/166 in French,
40/100 in chemistry, and 43/100 in geology.
UBC records show that he did not take final exams in 1885 and it is not
clear if he attended classes that year.
UBC records do not show a degree being awarded to Mr. Glanville. (19)
At BBC, Glanville’s 1883-5 courses and examination
marks were in Hebrew, 34/100; New Testament, 65/100; Church History (A.D.
323-1000), 76/100, Sermons, 87/100; the Epistle to the Romans, 69/100. BBC records do not show that Mr. Glanville
was awarded a degree; however because he passed its examinations, he was allowed
to secure a pastorate in the Baptist Church. (19)
Twenty-year-old Rev. Glanville may have felt elated;
he had attended two colleges and been sanctioned to begin a career in the
ministry. 1886 was to be a memorable
year for him. Glanville began work at
his first pastorate in Coate, Oxfordshire, England. The future must have looked bright because
the young man married 18-year-old Elizabeth Purdy Millet on October 4,
1886. Three years later, Glanville was
pastor of a Baptist Church in Wells, Somersetshire. (19) Unfortunately, good events were not to
continue and the Glanvilles’ marriage failed and Elizabeth sued for divorce in
September 1890. (20) About the same
time, William made arrangements to lead a church in the United States. By late 1890 or early 1891, he had arrived in
Sheldon, Iowa. (21)
The years 1880-1890 were filled with important
events: world travel, an education more advanced than most 19th
century people had, the inauguration
of a life-long career in the ministry, an
exposure to astronomy, ministering to his flocks’ spiritual and human needs,
and sad familiarity with how human relationships can deteriorate.
Sheldon, in western Iowa was the town that needed a
Baptist minister. The town was founded
in 1872 and named for Israel Sheldon a New York City stockholder of the Sioux
City and St. Paul Railway. When the
railroad’s construction crew reached the site company surveyors selected for
the village, it was built.(21) Sheldon was only 360 miles (580 km.) east of
Wounded Knee Creek, Dakota Territory, and the site of the massacre of Sioux
Indians by the U.S. Army on December 29, 1890.
Glanville’s arrival date is uncertain but it is possible that it was
nearly coincident with Wounded Knee; his arrival could not have been more than
a few weeks later, in January 1891.
Glanville’s life in Sheldon is mostly
undocumented. However, one finding is
that he attended the Sioux City College of Law 60 miles away and must have
commuted by rail, in order to do so. The
College was part of the University of the Northwest in Sioux City, Iowa. The University’s centennial history reported
that the law school had a class of 14 students in January 1891 and at
graduation on June 23, 1892, William E. Glanville was one of seven men to earn
a LL.B, a bachelor of laws degree.
Glanville was probably fortunate to earn his degree when he did because
the University was teetering on the edge of insolvency and by February 1893 was
unable to pay instructors and dining room staff left due to non-payment.
(22) Glanville later reported that he
made good use of his legal education, “I studied the law … and have been
admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of Iowa… (and) became as familiar with
(U.S.) laws as most men who were native born.”
Given this preparation it was not a surprise to read a 1905 report that
he practiced law, as well as the ministry, before he left Sheldon. (23)
While on the topic of Rev. Glanville’s post-college
education I must question and ultimately doubt a claim he made of possessing a
Ph.D. I have given details about his
poor academic performance in England which alone cast doubt upon the
possibility of him being accepted to an English Ph.D. program. And, indeed, inquiries to six English
university archivists revealed he had not earned a Ph.D. at any of them. When he lived in Iowa 1891-1895 he was a
student at the Sioux City College of Law until late June, 1892 (22), and an
active minister and lawyer in Sheldon in the years immediately thereafter. Further, there was no university within 200
miles of Sheldon that had a faculty capable of offering and conferring a Ph.D.
in 1895, as he claimed in a 1914 resume he provided to the Episcopal Diocese of
Maryland. Yet, Glanville continued to make a claim to a doctorate throughout
the remainder of his life and he took the claim to his grave: his grave marker
bears the inscription ‘Dr. W.E. Glanville.’
To put it most charitably, I do not know how he acquired a doctorate by
1895; it is a puzzle I was not able to solve despite weeks of attempts to do
so. And Glanville himself does not aid
the historian because he did not specify from where the Ph.D. came; he simply
asserted that he had one.
In June, 1895 Glanville moved from Sheldon, eastward
across Iowa to become pastor of the Anamosa, Iowa Baptist Church. By the time he arrived he had married a
second time. His new wife was the former
Ida Bassett Pooler, a widow who was six years his senior. Ida (1860-1944) was a widow who brought a
daughter, Rae (1889-1962), to the union; and this marriage endured until Rev.
Glanville died in 1933. Ida was a
Daughter of the American Revolution and her family tradition, in addition to
his law training, may have induced Glanville to become a U.S. citizen on
October 6, 1898. In November 1896, the
Glanvilles had a son, John Ewart (1896-1932). (24, 25, 26)
Anamosa’s newspapers had frequent articles about
Rev. Glanville’s activities and judging by them he was a dutiful pastor and
active citizen in the little town of 2,000 people in 1890. Often, Rev. Glanville posted notices about
the time of religious services and sermons.
In two of these, in March 1896 and February 1897, he identified himself
as having a Ph.D. An 1899 report about
one of his public talks praised him as being a “talented and broad-gauged”
speaker and temperate in his remarks about a prominent man who had been a
severe critic of Christianity and its history.
Glanville’s sermons impressed news reporters too and they were often
repeated verbatim in print after a service.
He also lent his oratorical talents to public lectures, “Discourses on
Science,” and gave a free series of them, in the county court house, from
January to April 1897; one in January was entitled “the Midnight Sky,” an early
hint of his astronomical interests. One
newspaper reported that his talks were “superb.” (23)
The Anamosa papers frequently mentioned his pastoral
activities, from visiting the sick, to officiating at marriages and
funerals. He arranged a public farewell
for a fellow clergyman who retired in March 1902, participated in a Christmas
1902 ecumenical religious service and in April 1903 helped the Presbyterian
Church to begin its ministry in Anamosa.
He agreed to substitute for the Anamosa State Prison’s chaplain who went
on leave in September 1902. The Anamosa Eureka reported, on September 25th,
“Mr. Glanville attended to the prison daily; visiting the sick…speaking
words to the inmates…the genial and friendly manner of Mr. Glanville (made)
pleasant recollections of him.” In a
March 1902 edition of the Anamosa Eureka,
Rev. Glanville was quoted about his ministerial philosophy. He remarked, “A minister’s work is
multifarious and laborious. If faithful
to his duty he cannot have a lazy bone in his body. Special calls for service sometimes require
him to work seven days a week and far on into the night…The minister does not
pose in the community as a money-maker.
Of course there is no sin in making money (but) there is no special
piety in poverty. If a person is
condemned it is not for being rich but for being mean…Not as a money-maker,
then, but as a dealer in spiritual verities does the minister stand in the
community.” So with the foregoing body
of good works, it is no wonder that on his 36th birthday in 1902, 40
townspeople surprised him with a party, a gold watch and purse as
mementoes of their affection and respect. (23, 27)
In 1904, the reverend moved his family to another
congregation that was building a church in West Pullman, near Chicago. Unfortunately, an economic downturn put many
congregants out of work and the church building could not be completed. So, deprived of a church for his ministry,
Glanville relied upon his legal training and experience and taught law at an
Illinois law college in Chicago in 1905-6. (28)
When he returned to the ministry, Rev. Glanville had
adopted the Episcopal faith. He was
ordained a deacon in 1907 and a priest in 1908 in the Episcopal Diocese of
Iowa. His first parish was in Farley,
Iowa in 1907 where he was a missionary for the Episcopal Church. He also reported being assistant pastor at
St. John’s Episcopal Church in Dubuque, Iowa 1908-1909. After this three-year absence from Illinois,
he returned as rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Sycamore, Illinois
from 1909-1913. (29) Rev. Glanville’s
flock in Sycamore was genuinely touched by his work among them because in 2012
St. Peter’s staff members sent me a helpful history about the reverend and his
family. Their predecessors a century ago
cared enough about him to maintain the record.
In 1907, while living in Chicago, Glanville began a
correspondence with E. E. Barnard. In an
April 26, 1907 letter to Barnard, Glanville documented his self-education in
astronomy by listing the authors whose texts he had read: “Herschel, Airy, Lockyer, Ball, Flammarion,
Mitchell, Young, Proctor, and Comstock.”
Rev. Glanville admitted that he did “not profess to be a mathematical
astronomer (but) simply an amateur observational astronomer.” Nevertheless, he asked Barnard’s sponsorship
to join England’s Royal Astronomical Society. (30) Glanville and Barnard corresponded
intermittently from 1907 until Barnard’s death in 1923. Rev. Glanville seemed most interested in
learning Barnard’s theory about the cause of the ZL and sought Barnard’s
support in contradicting the prevailing meteoric theory.
Although Rev. Glanville’s extensive writings on
religious issues are outside the themes of this blog, one of his articles
relates to a ‘heavenly,’ if not astronomical topic. His 1911 article, ‘A Modern View of the
Hereafter,’ is interesting because he argued that advances in science, notably
in astronomy and evolution, made obsolete centuries-old concepts of reward and
punishment, or reincarnation, after death. Perhaps not coincidental was the
death of his mother-in-law in February, 1911, the same month his article
appeared in The Biblical World
Reverend Glanville relocated his family to Solomons,
Maryland in January 1914. There, he was rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
until 1918. (29) Solomons today is a
trendy riverside village, at the far southern end of western-shore Maryland,
where the Patuxent River empties into Chesapeake Bay. It has been discovered by well-to-do
retirees, vacationers, boaters, and recreational fishermen. But, in the 1910s, when Glanville served
there as an Episcopal priest, it was isolated from the rest of Maryland and
populated by a close-knit citizenry of 400 who engaged in a busy oyster fishing
and packing industry as well as shipbuilding.
It was not until 1915 that the state built a road to Solomons connecting
it to the village’s county seat in Prince Frederick. Access to Baltimore was by way of a twice-a-week
steamboat. The telephone arrived in
Solomons in 1899, the first automobile in 1910, but it was not until 1928 that
electricity came to it. (32)
However for Glanville, the zealot of the ZL,
Solomons had an undoubted virtue: it was very dark at night. He later wrote that he became “especially
interested in” the ZL’s causation when he arrived in Solomons in 1914.
(33) A January 14, 1915 letter to E.E.
Barnard revealed that Glanville had been able to “trace the ZL easily from the
(western) horizon to Taurus about 7 o’clock each cloudless evening” during the
preceding week. The significance of his
remark is that he was able to detect the light from the western horizon almost
completely across the sky to a point about halfway above the eastern horizon,
about 135 degrees of angular measurement on the sky! He asked Barnard if the famous astronomer had
had an opportunity to see the light from Williams Bay, Wisconsin, where Barnard
was on the staff of Yerkes Observatory.
Glanville also continued topics he had started in a November 21, 1914 letter
to probe Barnard’s recollections about the “size and brightness of 1) of the
Gegenschein and 2) of the ZL at Earth’s perihelion (nearest orbital point to
the sun) and aphelion (furthest point), or at times of sunspot maximum and
minimum.” The 1914 letter revealed that
Glanville was attempting to marshal observational evidence for a theory that
the ZL (ZL) was actually located 850,000-one million miles from earth, a
‘near-earth’ theory, and not heliocentric as Newcomb and Cassini long before
Barnard kept 20 letters sent by Glanville during the
Solomons period, 1914-1918 and they reveal that Glanville was intensely focused
on the ZL phenomenon and its possible causes.
During the same time period, Rev. Glanville “contributed regular observations”
to the ZL section of the British Astronomical Association (BAA), reporting ZL
sightings in 1916 and 1917 which were quoted verbatim. Glanville also reported several Gegenschein
sightings to the BAA, which were fully quoted, in 1916. He contributed one sighting that he believed
was a ‘lunar ZL’ caused by the soon-to-rise full moon, but the BAA section
director commented that such a report “is difficult to believe … (that it) can
be due to the full moon.” (34)
Genesis of Glanville’s earth-ring theory
Rev. Glanville published several papers 1915-1918,
in Popular Astronomy (PA), a journal
published monthly 10-times per year by Goodsell Observatory at Carleton College
in Northfield, Minnesota. PA published articles by professional
and amateur astronomers alike and was a very useful vehicle for disseminating
astronomical findings, news, predictions, theoretical discussions and the like
from 1892-1951. The journal published
material that ranged from the rigorously mathematical in basis to other matter
that seemed to have a feasible rationale, but the editor made no claim to vet
the latter such submissions for scientific credibility, or to have suspect
articles reviewed by experts in the relevant specialty. Articles were probably not ‘peer reviewed’ in
the current sense. Glanville’s first
article in 1915, “The ZL, its Place in the Solar System”, was an argument in
favor of the ‘earth ring’ theory which he believed fit observational facts
gleaned by himself and other observers of the ZL. He explained that the earth ring was a
geocentric belt of material between the moon and the Earth. He believed it was “comparable, say, to the
“crepe” ring of Saturn.” Saturn’s crepe
ring was a well-observed faint ellipse of light inside the brighter and more
prominent Saturnian rings. Glanville
further elaborated about the earth ring, “it is not intended that the ZL band
corresponds in every respect to the crape ring of Saturn…(but) the points of
resemblance suggested by the word ‘comparable’ are 1) that like Saturn’s ‘crape
ring’, the ZL is a planetary ring and 2)…it is well-nigh transparent.” Later in the article, Glanville concluded,
“the theory of the earth ring fits the (observational) facts more fully than
any other theory.” (35)
Glanville mentioned that he was supported in his
beliefs by the similar conclusions of Rev. George Jones, A.M. (1800-1870), a
U.S. Navy Chaplain, who watched the ZL from aboard ship for two years,
1853-1855. Jones was “not a professional
astronomer but…a man of scholarly aptitudes, of masculine common sense…his
skill and trustworthiness (were) attested by professors of astronomy and
mathematics of that day at Harvard, Yale and the U.S. Naval Academy.” (35) It may be that Glanville identified with
Jones because of how similar he perceived himself personally to be to Jones. It
may be too that Glanville arrived at his conclusions in a similar way to Jones,
having made some observations at sea during his voyage to England from New
Zealand or from England to the U.S. He
described the evolution of Jones’ thinking as follows,
“While strenuously resolved not to begin his
observations with any preconceived theory of the place of the ZL in the solar
system, Chaplain Jones states that after a few month’s observations, strive as
he might, he could not banish the thought that it is an earth ring and this
thought ripened into conviction by the time the cruise ended” (35)
Similarities between Jones’ life and Glanville’s in
terms of profession, education, favored celestial subject, and nautical life
experience may have made the earth-ring hypothesis overwhelming in its
persuasiveness to Glanville.
Glanville’s advocacy for ZL research
Edward E. Barnard was the first professional
astronomer approached by Glanville to create a coordinated ZL research
effort. Specifically, Glanville asked if
a western hemispheric research group could be “organized under the auspices of
the Yerkes Observatory and particularly under your personal direction.” This was a suggestion made in a July 21, 1915
letter by Rev. Glanville. Barnard was
not able to gratify Glanville’s wish.
But Glanville did not relinquish his hopes.
Glanville tried to advance ZL study by further
articles published in PA. In its 1917 volume (page 143), Glanville
published a “scheme for ZL reports” in which he suggested aspects of the
phenomenon that were important to note.
Published in the same volume (page 315), he advocated for a coordinated,
systematic observational program that would request observers’ cooperation
“according to a pre-arranged plan of work, both at sea level and high
altitudes, under the supervision of two standard observatories one north and
one south of the equator (and)…it would be well if the ZL sections of various
societies could arrange for such coordination of their energies.” The proposal was a scaled-up version of the
plan he had urged Dr. Barnard to undertake in 1915. Glanville made the grander proposal in person
at the 20th
meeting of the American Astronomical Society which met
in New York City, December 27-29, 1916; he was elected a member earlier the
same year. (36) Glanville’s fervor for
the theory was such that he travelled 300 miles to preach it; he was a
‘missionary’ in the camp of the professional astronomers.
Glanville was not content to make one appeal,
however. In a January 25, 1917 letter to
Barnard, Glanville repeated his desire for the program proposed at the 1916 AAS
meeting. He complained that ZL research
“at present, what work is being done, is too desultory and lacks coordinate cooperation.” Glanville dismissed published ZL photographs
by Andrew E. Douglass (1867-1962) at
Lowell Observatory by writing “(the photographs) while interesting add nothing
to our knowledge.” Glanville apparently
considered himself the foremost thinker about the nature of the ZL and seemed
to grow impatient with professionals’ indifference to the research proposals
and information requests that he made.
He remarked in the January 25 letter that Professors Percival Lowell
(1855-1916) and Vesto Melvin Slipher (1875-1969) at Lowell Observatory had
postponed operationalizing a research suggestion he made “years ago.” He
remarked peevishly that George Ellery Hale (1868-1938), the foremost
astrophysicist at the turn of the 20th century had ignored
request for a description of the ZL from Mt. Wilson Observatory. Instead of answering Glanville directly, Hale
referred Glanville to Barnard. And
long-suffering Barnard was also a target for Glanville’s displeasure when on one
occasion Barnard did not provide information that Glanville requested; he wrote
Barnard on January 17, 1917, “Your reply to my letter scarcely covers the
question on which I desire information.”
And about his proposal for world-wide coordination of research, he wrote
in a March 1, 1917 letter, “I am still hopeful that by continued agitation
two…observatories…may be induced to prosecute investigations…in each
I would be distorting Rev. Glanville’s character if
I did not more fully comment about his letters to Barnard. Glanville was not always a barbarian
assaulting professional astronomy’s ramparts.
Glanville unfailingly expressed gratitude and good wishes towards
Barnard, in all 31 of the letters that Barnard retained. The letters quoted in January to March 1917
above appear to have been written in an isolated period in which Glanville’s
preoccupation with knowing the ZL’s secrets overwhelmed his ability to be
socially appropriate. After the 1917
crisis, Glanville relented and contented himself with continued requests of the
famous astronomer for more observational anecdotes that Glanville appeared to
believe would confirm his pet earth-ring theory. But he was not only a ‘taker,’ Glanville also
‘gave back;’ when Barnard asked him to measure sky positions of Gegenschein observations
in his log, Glanville did so in a letter dated March 30, 1917. Notes Barnard made upon Glanville’s letter
with the sky coordinates show that Barnard took Glanville’s data seriously and
added it to his own database. In this
matter, Rev. Glanville was a contributor to astronomical knowledge; he was an
independent researcher who made thorough, well-documented observations.
For his part, Barnard seemed to hold no animosity
towards Glanville for the episode above and for almost 20 years of requests by
Glanville. The written record suggests
that Barnard was cordial in dealings with the Maryland amateur and Rev.
Glanville’s letters reveal that he visited Barnard at Yerkes Observatory on
August 14, 1917. When Barnard died on
February 7, 1923, Glanville lost a friend.
Service to other Maryland parishes
Solomons’ dark sky was a powerful stimulus to
Glanville’s astronomical efforts, but he forsook it to become rector of Holy
Innocents Episcopal Church on Eden Street under Baltimore’s light polluted
sky. He lived in ‘Charm City,’ as its
natives called it, from 1919-1927, and he confided in 1930, that “I was
transferred to Baltimore where for the following seven years I was unable to
continue systematic observations.” (37)
Glanville’s publication rate in PA dropped severely during his stay in Baltimore; he wrote only two
articles from 1919 to 1927. However, the
local press became familiar with the city’s clergyman-astronomer and printed
his views on astronomical topics. Rev.
Glanville’s first interview was an attack on Einstein’s theory of general
relativity; “Rev. Dr. W.E. Glanville says entire doctrine will have to be toned
down,” printed the Baltimore Sun on
April 22, 1921. The Sun described Glanville as a “well-known astronomer.” The reporter quoted the reverend’s dismissive
view of General Relativity theory, “(It) will either find its proper place in
the store of scientific knowledge or will be exploded altogether. Such a theory is brought forward from time to
time, inflated like a great, beautiful bubble.
There have been scores of them.”
Glanville was apparently still assessing the virtues of Einstein’ work
two months later and asked Dr. Barnard his opinion. Barnard’s reply in a June 15th
letter was modest, “It has been stated that there were only 12 men in the world
who understand Einstein, I am not the 13th.”
In 1928, Rev. William and Ida Glanville moved to New
Market, Maryland in rural Frederick County.
Rev. Glanville became rector of Grace Episcopal Church and for Linganore
and Zion parishes and he served there until his death on March 8, 1933. The small town had dark skies and Glanville
was able to watch the ZL again. His
return to dark skies was coincidental with an opportunity he was given by Curvin
Henry Gingrich (1880-1951), editor of Popular
Astronomy (PA). Rev. Glanville was
to be a compiler of readers’ ZL reports and would analyze them for Gingrich to
publish. Glanville invited January 1928 PA readers to submit observations and to
specify “the boundaries of the light, its elongation from the sun, any changes
in its intensity, the condition of the atmosphere, the (watch session’s) exact
time and date...place of observation…(and) a diagram of each observation
showing the starry background of the heavens against which the ZL was seen
would be of added interest.” The invitation was issued in the January 1928
issue of PA and cooperative amateur
astronomers began to file reports soon after.
This role was one that Glanville was eager to carry out and offered him
an opportunity to coordinate worldwide ZL research. His ‘Zodiacal Light Notes’ (ZLN) column
appeared several times a year from January 1928-early 1933.
In an early 1932 ZLN column, Glanville mentioned
that “slow recovery from illness” had prevented him from making as many
observations as he wanted. Then, Rev.
Glanville’s son, John Ewart, who was born in Anamosa in 1896 died on April 8,
1932. A year later, Editor Gingrich
sent a letter to Glanville inquiring why a ZLN column was late being received. He was informed that Rev. Glanville had died
suddenly on March 8, 1933. (38) The 1934 Episcopal
Convention Journal had a brief obituary which noted, in part, “(Rev.
Glanville was) studious in habit, retiring in disposition, he did not mingle
much with his brother clergymen, giving himself to his people and his books,
but all who knew him intimately loved him deeply.” Rev. Edward Helfenstein, Bishop of the
Episcopal Diocese of Maryland conducted the funeral services and noted in his
journal for March 10, 1933, “Grace (Church), New Market, conducted Dr. Glanville’s
funeral. Interment (was) at Baltimore
Rev. Glanville’s ZL Notes
Rev, Glanville published forty-five of the ZLNs in PA from1928 to1933. They were the means of gratifying his desire
to assemble and analyze ZL observations from the entire globe. The opportunity to do so was one he wanted
ever since 1915. Recall that in the
1920s and 1930s it was not known whether the ZL was a geocentric or a
heliocentric phenomenon. So, Glanville
was eager to encourage observation and, he hoped, greatly advance understanding
of the ZL and resolve the mystery of its location in the solar system.
When he coordinated PA’s column, Glanville was still a geocentrist, believing that the
ZL was located around the Earth, rather than around the sun as most professional
astronomers believed. In 1930, he
published a ZLN (37) in which he elaborated on E.E. Barnard’s atmospheric
theory. Surprisingly, Glanville wrote
that the atmosphere’s refractive qualities caused the ZL as well as the
Gegenschein; both were the result of sunlight being focused by the optical
properties of Earth’s atmosphere. He
ignored the earth-ring theory of which he had been so fond in1915 and which he
had defended so strongly. Now, instead
of praising the earth-ring theory, he was a partisan for the atmospheric
one. Now, instead of the ZL being
located between the Earth and the moon, as he believed in 1915, it was located
as close as our air. Without explicitly
stating the reason for his change of mind, Glanville commented, “The following (endorsement
of atmospheric theory is) presented as a small tribute to the memory of a
foremost observational astronomer whose manly kindness was unwearied to the
last. One needs, so to speak, to live
with the ZL and Gegenschein in order to attain the direct, intelligent
familiarity essential to form the basis of a theory. This Professor Barnard did for more than 30
years.” (37) The majority of the ZLNs
contained contributors’ descriptions of the ZL made during observations. The ZL’s size in the sky, how bright it was
compared to the Milky Way, whether most of its area was north or south of the
ecliptic, impressions of color, and whether it shimmered or not were the most
frequent contents in observer reports.
In many ZLNs, Glanville printed Gegenschein descriptions too. Glanville also reported recent scientific
studies, usually spectroscopic ones of the ZL and what was discovered
thereby. The quoted studies all seemed
to confirm Fath’s 1908 result that the ZL’s light was reflected sunlight. However the newer studies also reported
detections of atmospheric influences in the ZL.
One theoretical paper maintained that ultra-violet light produced
effects in atmospheric gases which resulted in the ZL. So, an atmospheric
theorist could yet argue that the new studies partially upheld the theorist’s
Rev. Glanville’s ZLNs did not result in any final
resolution of the geocentric vs. heliocentric conflict. Instead they were a column in which observers
were able to share their work. Glanville
was successful in realizing one long-desired hope however: observers from the
southern hemisphere as well as the north contributed observations. Observers from New Zealand, Australia and
South Africa regularly sent reports to him, in addition to reports from Missouri,
Texas, Kentucky, Maryland, Japan, Mexico and Ukraine. Glanville was able to make one generalization
from the bi-hemispheric reporting; it was that northern hemisphere watchers
tended to see the ZL mostly north of the ecliptic and southern watchers saw it
mostly south of the ecliptic. Another
gratifying result was that professional astronomers supported his efforts
too. Professor Leah B. Allen of Hood
College, Maryland, Willard J. Fisher of Harvard College Observatory, E.O.
Hulbert of the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., Ivan L. Thomsen of Dominion Observatory, New
Zealand, and Professor Issei Yamamoto from the Imperial University, Kyoto,
Japan contributed bibliographies, observations or scientific reports.
Glanville’s historical context:
astronomers’ ZL observations 1890-1930
There were at least two English-language amateur
astronomical societies that monitored the ZL during the 1900-1930 time
period. These were the Society for
Practical Astronomy (SPA) in the USA and the British Astronomical Association
(BAA) in the UK.
Alan Philip Carson Craig (1898-1959) served as the
SPA’s coordinator of ZL and Gegenschein
observers’ efforts to monitor these phenomena.
He published two reports of this SPA section’s results, in 1913 and 1915. The reports were published in the SPA’s Monthly Register, and Craig published
the 1915 summary in Popular Astronomy
that same year. (39) The SPA disbanded during World War I, ending organized
efforts to monitor the ZL and Gegenschein in the U.S. until after the war. This void was what Rev. Glanville hoped to
fill and his publications (1915-1918) and appeals to the American Astronomical
Society (1916-1917) were the attempts he made to accomplish the goal.
Gavin J. Burns, B.Sc. (circa 1880-1933) served as
Director of the BAA’s Aurorae and ZL Section from about 1914 until his death in
1933. As early as 1903, he noted British
observers’ interest in the ZL and he published an article, ‘The Zodiacal
Light,’ describing his observational results for 1903 using an optical
aid. The device allowed him to make
quantitative measurements of the ZL’s brightness and the night sky’s
illumination. When the sky’s measurement
was subtracted from the ZL’s, the numerical difference was a quantitative
expression of the ZL’s relative brightness intensity. Previous to his innovation, observers were
only able to estimate the ZL’s brightness according to their own standard;
Burns believed his innovation was the first of its kind. (40) Although Burns inaugurated an instrumental
means of measurement, BAA observers ignored it, perhaps believing that human
judgment using an optical device was just as flawed as judgment without
one. Nevertheless, his was a creative
means of quantifying a judgment that before was only made in descriptive terms.
Burns compiled a first Section report in 1914, in
which he listed, verbatim, ZL reports made by BAA members published in the
first 20 volumes of Journal of the BAA
(JBAA). ZL observations dating back
to 1880 were listed. In the same report,
Burns published BAA members’ observations 1911-12, summarized the recent
results as to the ZL’s form, intensity, and color. (41) Burns’ narrative reveals that he adhered to
the heliocentric theory concerning the ZL’s location in the solar system.
Burns’ second Section report, published in 1921, was
for the years 1916-April 1919 and also some from 1913-1915. “W.E. Glanville (Dr.)” contributed
observations that he made during 1916 and 1917 to this report. (42) Curiously, Glanville did not use the title
‘Rev.’ with his name when he reported to the BAA. Burns’ Section report listed the names of all
contributors and each of their observations was reported in detail as they
wrote them. Rev. Glanville copied Burns’
report style when he wrote ‘Zodiacal Light Notes’ in the late 1920s and early
Gavin Burns continued to publish the BAA Section
reports until his death (43), although after 1921, they appeared annually by
‘session’ of the BAA in its Journal. The Section’s work continued after Burns’ death. Considered as a body of data, it is clear
that generations of BAA members showed commitment to ZL monitoring and
recording from 1890 to 1933, the years surveyed for this history. In addition, Section Director Burns retrieved
and published ZL observations dating 10 years before the BAA was founded in
Another way to assess astronomers’ scholarly
interest in the ZL was to count the number of times ‘zodiacal light’ appeared
in the titles of astronomical articles published in amateur and professional
journals. The table below is a
tabulation of such articles 1900-1939.
The source of the data below is the bibliographical search engine of the
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory/ National Aeronautics and Space
Administration’s Astrophysical Data System (SAO/NASA ADS). Numbers appearing in the column ‘No.
articles,’ below, are the number of articles produced by ADS when ‘zodiacal
light’ was entered into the engine; the total number of articles for the period
1900-1939 was 195. The accuracy of the
total, 195 is limited by the comprehensiveness of ADS’ bibliographic
inventory. The reader should note that
the quantity in the column ‘No. Years’ is the number of years in the
decade to its left that journals contained articles with ‘zodiacal light’ in the
title; e.g., in the years 1920-1929 journals contained ‘zodiacal light’ in
titles in only seven years. The ‘No.
by Glanville’ column contains a count of the articles published by Rev.
Glanville, e.g. he wrote 16 articles 1920-1929.
The ‘Net No. Articles’ column contains the number of articles in
the decade from which the number of Glanville’s articles is subtracted, e.g.
for 1920-1929 sixteen articles were published by authors other than
Glanville. An additional clarification
is that journal authors in the ADS list were professional as well as amateur
astronomers who lived in the U.S. and a few countries in Europe and Asia. A very few articles’ titles were in a
language other than English (but the word ‘zodiacal’ was recognizable).
ZODIACAL LIGHT ARTICLES 1900-1939 (Source:
Years No. Articles No. byGlanville Net No. Articles
35 195 50 145
Assuming for the moment that the numbers in the
table are a comprehensive listing of articles,a few comments can be made. The decadal totals in the ‘No. Articles’
column are almost the same 1900-1929, indicating a stable production of
scholarly articles about the ZL. The
decade 1930-1939 witnessed an approximately three-fold increase in articles
compared to numbers in earlier decades.
A similar comment can be made for numbers in the ‘Net No. Articles’
column, except that decade1930-1939 is four times greater than 1910-1919 and it
is five times greater than 1920-1929. It
should be noted that the last column represents ‘non-Glanville’ articles, so
the increase in articles in the 1930s decade is remarkable indeed. It is unclear exactly which factors in the
astronomical community were responsible for stimulating such an increase of ZL
articles in the 1930s. I do not believe
Glanville’s writings were directly responsible for the increase. However, the increasing number of articles
written by Glanville in the 1920s and 1930s may have drawn other astronomers’
attention to the ZL phenomenon. The fact
that he wrote 25% of the total number of articles written 1900-1939 probably
made him moderately well-known in journals, like Popular Astronomy, read by professionals and amateurs alike.
Assessment of W.E. Glanville’s contributions to
understanding the zodiacal light
Rev. Glanville was a capable proponent and organizer
of ZL observation and study. His
‘Zodiacal Light Notes’ column in Popular
Astronomy attracted observational reports from all over the world and he
was able to enlist the assistance of professional astronomers as well as
amateurs’. And, because he published in Popular Astronomy, he was able to keep
the ZL’s location debate in front of professional astronomy, which may have
stimulated some scientific research.
Glanville, himself, was a skilled observer and he
published many of his own observations which he made in the 1920s and
1930s. He was also successful in
encouraging others to study and report their observations of the ZL.
Although Glanville wanted to make scientific
advances in the field, he did not, perhaps because he was ill-prepared in
mathematics and advanced scientific training.
Likewise, space-based discoveries showed that his instincts failed him
because he favored a geocentric theory for the ZL. Like Ptolemy’s better-known geocentric theory
(that heavenly bodies orbited the earth), ZL geocentric theory was doomed to be
Copyright 2013 Richard Taibi
I owe a great deal of thanks to more than a score of
university archivists and community librarians for biographical and academic
information about Rev. W.E. Glanville.
Without their assistance and suggestions, Glanville’s biography would
have been very brief. My thanks go
especially to Mary Klein, Episcopal Diocese of Maryland’s archivist, who
provided Rev. Glanville’s Episcopal Church resume. It was the first biographical and
professional information I had about him and led eventually to much more.
Rev. Dr. Roger Hayden and Mrs. Shirley Shire,
Bristol Baptist College
David M. Trigg, University of Bristol
Staff archivists, University of Cambridge
Dr. Richard Temple, University of London
Sian Astill, University of Oxford
Pearl Romans, University of Southampton
Rev. Newland Smith, Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and
Seabury-Western Theological Seminary
Staff, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Sycamore, IL
Julianne Allaway and Elizabeth Adams, Episcopal
Diocese of Iowa
Meghann Toohey, University of Dubuque
J. Wright, Iowa Gravestones website
Denise K. Anderson, Sarah Harris, David McCartney,
and Jacque Roethler, University of Iowa
Becky Jordan, Iowa State University
Christie Vos and Jim Fisk, Morningside College,
Grace Linden and David Mook, Sioux City Public
Greg T. Brown, Woodbury County Iowa and Iowa
Mary Klein, Episcopal Diocese of Maryland
Jan Samet O’Leary, Hood College, Frederick
Liz Miller, Middleham and St. Peter’s (Episcopal)
Linda Rooke and ‘CaroleNC,’ Genealogists at
Vanessa King, Victoria University at Wellington,
Wellington, New Zealand
Teresa Gray and Molly Dohrmann, Vanderbilt
University, Nashville, Tennessee
Amy Fitzgerald, Archives of the Episcopal Church
(USA), Austin, Texas
(1) Taton, Rene, Gian Domenico Cassini, in Charles
Coulston Gillispie, ed., Dictionary of
Scientific Biography, Volume 3, New York: Charles Scribners sons; 1971, pp.
100-104, especially p. 103.
Heliocentric vs. Atmospheric theories
(2) Howe, Herbert Alonzo; Elements of Descriptive Astronomy, a Text Book, New York: Silver,
Burdett and Company; 1897, p. 222
(3) Trudel, Jean-Louis, Simon Newcomb, in Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers,
Volume 2, Springer, 2007, pp. 826-828.
(4) Newcomb, Simon; An Observation of the ZL to the
North of the Sun, Astrophysical Journal,
volume 22, 1905, pp. 209-212.
(5) Sheehan, William; The Immortal Fire Within, the Life and Work of Edward Emerson Barnard,
Cambridge, UK and New York: University of Cambridge Press, 1995, especially pp.
51, 68-70, and 422.
(6) Barnard, E.E., The Gegenschein and its Possible
Origin, Popular Astronomy, volume 27,
1919, pp. 109-112.
(7) Barnard, E.E., Note on Professor Newcomb’s
Observations of the ZL, Astrophysical
Journal, volume 23, 1906, pp. 168-169.
Appended to this article was a brief rejoinder to Barnard by Newcomb,
‘Note by Professor Newcomb’, on p. 169.
(8) Fath, Edward Arthur; The Spectrum of the ZL, Lick Observatory Bulletin, No. 165,
volume 5, 1909, 141-143.
(9) Boss, Lewis; The ZL, Popular Astronomy, volume 31, 1923, pp. 458-463.
(10) Alvarez, J.M.; Satellite Measurements of
Particles Causing ZL, NASA Spec. Publication, NASA-SP-150, Washington, DC:
Scientific and Technical Information Division, NASA; 1967, pp. 123-129.
(11) NASA News Release no. 65-14, Jan. 20, 1965;
OrbitingSolarObservatory-B2 Press Kit, pp. 12, 15-16 and 23. http://www.scribd.com/doc/42469539/OSO-B2-Press-Kit Orbiting Solar Observatory satellite and its
experiments are described. Website
accessed February 16, 2013.
(12)Sparrow, J. and E.P. Ney, OSO-B2 Satellite
Observations of the ZL, 154, 1968, Part 1, pp. 783-787.
(13) Sparrow, J. and E.P. Ney, Observations of the
ZL from the ecliptic to the poles, Astrophysical
Journal, volume 174, 1972, p. 705.
Current knowledge about the light
(14) Nesvorny, D; P. Jenniskens; H.F. Levison; W.F.
Bottke; D. Vokrouhlicky and M. Gounelle; Cometary Origin of he Zodiacal Clound
and Carbonaceous Micrometeorites. Astrophysical Journal, volume 713, April
20, 2010, pp. 816-836.
(15) England and Wales, Free BMD Birth Index,
1837-1915, Ancestry.com database about Glanville
(16) Glanville, Jay; Jay’s UK Glanvilles database, ID:
19251 John Reed Glanville,
Found by entering Glanville’s name into Google
search engine. It is in Rootsweb’s
Website accessed February 19, 2013.
(18) Anonymous, Celebrated His Arrival on this
Planet, The Anamosa Eureka, volume 46,
1902 February 6, first page.
(19) Academic records provided by archivists at
Bristol Baptist College (Rev. Dr. Roger Hayden) and University of Bristol (Mr.
David M. Trigg)
(20) Ancestry.com’s English database concerning
William E. Glanville and 1890 Divorce and Matrimonial Causes records cited in
Jay’s UK Glanvilles database.
(21) Perkins, D., History of O’Brien County, Iowa; Sioux Falls, S.D: Brown and
Saenger, 1897, pp. 406 and 426. Page 80
contains the image of Rev. Glanville that appears in this blog.
(22) Orwig, Timothy; Morningside College, A Centennial History, Sioux City, Iowa:
Morningside College Press, 1994, pp. 15-26.
University of the Northwest was a predecessor institution to Morningside
Eureka and Anamosa Journal
newspapers for 1896 to 1937 documented Glanville’s life and career in Anamosa,
Iowa and Illinois. The newspapers are
(24) United States Censuses for 1900, 1910, 1920 and
1930 furnished some marital and birth information.
(25) Green County (Iowa) Naturalization Records
Index, Hawkeye Heritage, Volume 15:4
(Fall 1980), p. 212 and US Naturalization Record Indexes, Ancestry.com
(26) Iowa Births and Christenings Index 1857-1947,
Ancestry.com in re: John Ewart Glanville’s birth.
(27) Anonymous, Celebrated his arrival on this
planet. Friends of Rev. W.E. Glanville
present him with a gold watch and a purse.
The Anamosa Eureka, 1902
February 6, volume 24, first page.
Eureka, October 5, 1905, page 5.
Clerical Directory of the American (Episcopal) Church, published 1929 and
This reference details Rev. Glanville’s career in
the Episcopal Church from 1907 to 1927.
However, some of the information is suspect because the source may be
Glanville himself ; it contains the claims of the Ph.D. in 1895 and education
at the Universities of New Zealand and London all of which are unverified. His missionary work at Farley, IA, however,
is mentioned in the Anamosa Journal,
June 13, 1907
(30) Edward Emerson Barnard Papers, Special
Collections and University Archives, Vanderbilt University Library, Nashville,
TN 37203-2427; letter to EEB dated April 26, 1907.
(31) Glanville,W.E., A Modern View of the Hereafter,
The Biblical World, volume 37, no. 2,
Feb. 1911, pp. 107-114.
(32) Solomons, Maryland’s lifestyle is chronicled in
Berry, Paul, ‘How Things have changed: Solomons during the 20th
century, Part 1: 1900-1940,’ Bugeye
Accessed February 23, 2013.
(33) Glanville, W.E., Zodiacal Light Theories, Popular Astronomy, volume 38, 1930, p.
(34) Anonymous, Report of the ZL Section, Memoirs of the British Astronomical
Association, volume 23, 1921, pp. 20-32 but specifically on pp. 21, 25, 26,
31, 29, and 32.
(35) Glanville, W.E., The Zodiacal Light, Its Place
in the Solar System, Popular Astronomy,
volume 23, 1915, pp. 365-370.
(36) Glanville, W.E., Remarks on the Zodiacal Light,
Report of the 20th
Meeting of A.A.S., Popular Astronomy, volume 25, 1917, pp. 315-316.
(37) Glanville, W.E., Zodiacal Light Theories, Popular Astronomy, volume 38, 1930, pp.
(38) Gingrich, C.H., Dr. W.E. Glanville, Popular Astronomy, volume 41, 1933, p.
Glanville’s historical context
(39) Craig, A.P.C;
Second Annual Report of the Section for the Study of Aurorae, the ZL,
and Gegenschein , Popular Astronomy,
volume 23, 1915, pp. 209-213.
(40) Burns, Gavin J., The Zodiacal Light, Papers Communicated to the British
Astronomical Association, volume 13, 1903, pp.316-318.
(41) Burns, G.J., Report of the Section, Memoirs of the BAA, volume19, 1914, pp.
(42) Burns, G.J., The Zodiacal Light, Memoirs of the BAA, volume 23, 1921, pp.
(43) Parr, W. Alfred, President B.A.A., Meeting of
the BAA, Wednesday Dec. 27, 1933. Gavin
J. Burns’ death was announced at this meeting.
This source was found by entering Burns’ name in the Google Search
engine on February 25, 2013.
Copyright 2013 Richard Taibi