Abstract

The two Rome halo displays of 1629 and 1630 are prominent in the early halo literature, and the 1629 display is still cited today for having contained a 28° circular halo. We have examined seventeenth century correspondence and publications in order to learn as much as possible about the existing documentation of the two displays. We find the documentation to be too weak to support a definitive interpretation of either display, and we see little evidence for a 28° halo or for other rare halos. The two displays remain important for their role in initiating modern halo science.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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  1. E. Whalley, “Cubic ice in nature,” J. Phys. Chem. 87, 4174-4179 (1983).
    [CrossRef]
  2. P. Gassendi, Phaenomenon rarum, Et illustre, Romae observatum, 20 Martij, anno 1629. Subjuncta est causarum explicatio brevis clarissimi Philosophi, ac Mathematici, D. Petri Gassendi, Ad Illustrissimum Cardinalem Barbarini (sic). (Apud Hesselum Gerardi, Amsterdam, 1629).
  3. P. Gassendi, Parhelia, sive Soles Quatuor, Qui circa Verum apparuerunt Romae, Die xx. Mensis Martij, Anno 1629. Et de eisdem Petri Gassendi ad Henricum Renerium Epistola (Antonius Vitray, Paris, 1630). Available in , Vol. 3, pp. 651-662, where it is ever so slightly edited. A third version, barely different, is in pp. 285-312.
  4. C. Huygens, B. de Volder, and B. Fullenius, Christiani Hugenii Zelemii, dum viveret, Toparchae. Opuscula Postuma, ... (Apud Cornelium Boutesteyn, Lugduni Batavorum, 1703). Available at http://fermi.imss.fi.it/. An English version is in .
  5. P. Gassendi, Opera Omnia (Frommann-Holzboog, 1964). A facsimile of the 1658 Lyon edition. Also available at http://gallica.bnf.fr/. The letters from Gassendi in Volume 6 are translated into French in .
  6. P. Gassendi, Viri illvstris Nicolai Clavdii Fabricii de Peiresc, senatoris aqvisextiensis vita (Sumptibus Sebastiani Cramoisy, Paris, 1641). Available at http://posner.library.cmu.edu/Posner/.
  7. A. von Braunmühl, “Originalbeobachtungen etc. aus der Zeit der Entdeckung der Sonnenflecken,” Jahrbuch für Münchener Geschichte 5, 53-60 (1894).
  8. G. Hellmann, Neudrucke von Schriften und Karten über Meteorologie und Erdmagnetismus, Vol. 14 (A. Asher & Co., Berlin, 1902).
  9. R. Meyer, Die Haloerscheinungen (Henri Grand, Hamburg, 1929).
  10. J. M. Pernter and F. M. Exner, Meteorologische Optik, 2nd ed. (Wilhelm Braumüller, Vienna and Leipzig, 1922).
  11. J. Priestley, The History and Present State of Discoveries Relating to Vision, Light and Colours (J. Johnson, London, 1772). Halos are treated on pp. 596-630 and in Figs. 141-148.
  12. R. Descartes, Discours De La Methode Pour bien conduire sa raison, & chercher la verité dans les sciences. Plus La Dioptriqve. Les Meteores. Et La Geometrie. qui sont des essais de cete Methode (Maire, Leyde, 1637). Available at http://posner.library.cmu.edu/Posner/.
  13. C. Huygens, Oeuvres Complètes de Christiaan Huygens (Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1888-1950). Available at http://gallica.bnf.fr/.
  14. J. Hevelii, Mercurius In Sole visus Gedani... (Simon Reiniger, 1662).
  15. B. Weber, Erschröckliche und warhafftige Wunderzeichen 1543-1586 (Urs Graf, Dietikon--Zürich, 1972).
  16. http://www.meteoros.de/halo/halo1.htm, a website of the Arbeitskreis Meteore e.V.
  17. J. Zahn, Specula Physico-Mathematico-Historica Notabilium Ac Mirabilium Sciendorum... (Lochner, Norimbergae, Literis Knorzianis, Norimbergae, 1696). Halos are treated in Scrutinium III, Disquisitio III, pp. 405-418.
  18. G. Hellmann, “Die Meteorologie in den Deutschen Flugschriften und Flugblättern des XVI Jahrhunderts,” Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 1, 1-96(1921).
  19. J. Obsequens, A Book of Prodigies after the 505th Year of Rome, in (1987).
  20. W. Tape and J. Moilanen, Atmospheric Halos and the Search for Angle x (American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., 2006).
  21. A. Bravais, “Mémoire sur les halos et les phénomènes optiques qui les accompagnent,” Journal de l'École Royale Polytechnique, 31 Cahier 18, 1-280 (1847).
  22. M. Riikonen, M. Sillanpää, L. Virta, D. Sullivan, J. Moilanen, and I. Luukkonen, “Halo observations provide evidence of airborne cubic ice in the Earth's atmosphere,” Appl. Opt. 39, 6080-6085 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  23. Gassendi accepted the zenith location as drawn and concluded that the parhelic circle was tilted. Huygens, as would most of us today, dismissed both the parhelion tail depiction and the zenith location in the diagram as oversights. Hall in 1794 sided with Gassendi and even claimed to have seen something like a tilted parhelic circle himself.
  24. P. Alegambe and P. Ribadeneira, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Iesu... (Antverpiæ, Apud Ioannem Meursium, 1643).
  25. N. Southwell (Sotwello), P. Ribadeneira, and P. Alegambe, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Iesu (Rome, 1676). Republished in 1969 by Gregg International, Westmead, England.
  26. Personal communications from the Munich University Library, 2006 and 2007.
  27. N. C. F. de Peiresc, “Halones seu circuli et coronae solares et lunares,” Carpentras Bibliothèque Inguimbertine ms 1832 fol 359 r.v., fol 360 r.v. Unpublished, but most of it is quoted by Humbert .
  28. F. Daxecker, Der Physiker und Astronom Christoph Scheiner (Wagner, Innsbruck, 2006).
  29. P. T. de Larroque, Lettres de Peiresc (Imprimerie nationale, Paris, 1888-1898).
  30. Carpentras, ms 1832 fol 363 r.v.
  31. Carpentras, ms 1832 fol 363 v., fol 364.
  32. Carpentras, ms 1832, fol 15 r.v. and fol 16 r.v.
  33. C. Adam and P. Tannery, Oeuvres de Descartes (J. Vrin, Paris, 1996).
  34. C. Scheiner, Pantographice: seu ars delineandi res quaslibet per parallelogrammum lineare seu cavum, mechanicum, mobile (Ex typographia Ludovici Grignani, Rome, 1631). Available at http://posner.library.cmu.edu/Posner/.
  35. C. de Waard, Correspondance du P. Marin Mersenne, Religieux Minime (Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1945-1946).
  36. R. Smith, A Compleat System of Opticks in Four Books... (Cornelius Crownfield, Cambridge, 1738). The discussion of halos is in Chapter 11 of Book 2, pp. 199-238.
  37. Pliny, Natural History (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1958).
  38. Barberini's name is misspelled here and in the title. We speculate that this was a major factor in Gassendi's decision to revise Phaenomenon rarum, that is, to publish Parhelia. In his correspondence Gassendi never identifies the offending aspect(s) of Phaenomenon rarum explicitly, but see his 21 July 1630 letter to Peiresc , where his concern is clearly political rather than scientific.
  39. Bibliothèque nationale de France, NAF1637, fol 27 r.v. and fol 28 r.v. A published version, with minor transcription errors, is in Vol. 6, pp. 400-402.
  40. C. Scheiner, Rosa Ursina... (Apud Andream Phaeum Typographum Ducalem, Bracciani, 1626-1630).
  41. Essentially the same diagram appears in Huygens' Opuscula Postuma of 1703 and much later in his Oeuvres. Kuhse in 1848 added a dotted curve through Q to suggest an upper tangent arc, and his curve survives in some later publications.
  42. Their thinking is puzzling to us. They base their suggestion ( Vol. 17, pp. 358, 439) on an 18 Dec 1659 letter from Chapelain to Huygens. But subsequent letters show that Huygens, much later, still did not have the diagram.
  43. Personal communication, August 2007.
  44. Leiden University Library, HUG 31, fol 119 r., corresponding to Fig. 15 of Huygens' Oeuvres Vol. 17, pp. 411, 469.
  45. Leiden University Library, HUG 31, fol 77/78, corresponding to Huygens' Oeuvres Vol. 17, pp. 468-471.
  46. Leiden University Library, HUG 5.
  47. Much the same can be said for the value 47°40′ as was said for 45°: Both in Huygens' notes and in the diagram the angular distance GR is 47°40′, but in Scheiner's letter it is 49°40′. However, the reasoning is complicated by the fact that in the notes the 7 in 47°40′ has been changed back to a 9 (probably by de Volder and Fullenius). Moreover, the value 47° 40′=76° 10′−28° 30′ follows from Scheiner's values for the elevations of G and R, so the change from 49°40′ to 47°40′ is one that might reasonably have been made by anyone.
  48. Livy with an English Translation, Vol. 14 (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1987).
  49. P. Gassendi, Institutio astronomica iuxta hypotheses tam veterum quàm Copernici & Tychonis (Ex Officina Adriani Vlacq, Hagae-Comitum, 1656).
  50. S. Taussig, Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655): Lettres Latines (Brepols, Turnhout, Belgium, 2004).
  51. W. Hall, “An account of a singular halo of the moon,” Trans. R. Soc. Edinburgh 4, 173-176 (1798).
  52. P. Humbert, “Notes historiques sur l'observation des halos,” Atti della Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze Nuovi Lincei Anno LXXXIV pp. 364-375 (1930-1931).
  53. W. E. T. Kuhse, “Die drei wichtigsten älteren Hof- und Nebensonnen-Phänomene...” Beiträge zur meteorologischen Optik und zu verwandten Wissenschaften, Erster Theil 2, 169-193 and tables (1848).
  54. J. G. Yoder, “The Huygens manuscripts,” in Proceedings of the International Conference “Titan - from discovery to encounter,”13-17 April 2004 (ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands, 2004), pp. 43-54.

2000

1983

E. Whalley, “Cubic ice in nature,” J. Phys. Chem. 87, 4174-4179 (1983).
[CrossRef]

1921

G. Hellmann, “Die Meteorologie in den Deutschen Flugschriften und Flugblättern des XVI Jahrhunderts,” Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 1, 1-96(1921).

1894

A. von Braunmühl, “Originalbeobachtungen etc. aus der Zeit der Entdeckung der Sonnenflecken,” Jahrbuch für Münchener Geschichte 5, 53-60 (1894).

1848

W. E. T. Kuhse, “Die drei wichtigsten älteren Hof- und Nebensonnen-Phänomene...” Beiträge zur meteorologischen Optik und zu verwandten Wissenschaften, Erster Theil 2, 169-193 and tables (1848).

1847

A. Bravais, “Mémoire sur les halos et les phénomènes optiques qui les accompagnent,” Journal de l'École Royale Polytechnique, 31 Cahier 18, 1-280 (1847).

1798

W. Hall, “An account of a singular halo of the moon,” Trans. R. Soc. Edinburgh 4, 173-176 (1798).

Adam, C.

C. Adam and P. Tannery, Oeuvres de Descartes (J. Vrin, Paris, 1996).

Alegambe, P.

P. Alegambe and P. Ribadeneira, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Iesu... (Antverpiæ, Apud Ioannem Meursium, 1643).

N. Southwell (Sotwello), P. Ribadeneira, and P. Alegambe, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Iesu (Rome, 1676). Republished in 1969 by Gregg International, Westmead, England.

Bravais, A.

A. Bravais, “Mémoire sur les halos et les phénomènes optiques qui les accompagnent,” Journal de l'École Royale Polytechnique, 31 Cahier 18, 1-280 (1847).

Daxecker, F.

F. Daxecker, Der Physiker und Astronom Christoph Scheiner (Wagner, Innsbruck, 2006).

de Larroque, P. T.

P. T. de Larroque, Lettres de Peiresc (Imprimerie nationale, Paris, 1888-1898).

de Peiresc, N. C. F.

N. C. F. de Peiresc, “Halones seu circuli et coronae solares et lunares,” Carpentras Bibliothèque Inguimbertine ms 1832 fol 359 r.v., fol 360 r.v. Unpublished, but most of it is quoted by Humbert .

de Volder, B.

C. Huygens, B. de Volder, and B. Fullenius, Christiani Hugenii Zelemii, dum viveret, Toparchae. Opuscula Postuma, ... (Apud Cornelium Boutesteyn, Lugduni Batavorum, 1703). Available at http://fermi.imss.fi.it/. An English version is in .

de Waard, C.

C. de Waard, Correspondance du P. Marin Mersenne, Religieux Minime (Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1945-1946).

Descartes, R.

R. Descartes, Discours De La Methode Pour bien conduire sa raison, & chercher la verité dans les sciences. Plus La Dioptriqve. Les Meteores. Et La Geometrie. qui sont des essais de cete Methode (Maire, Leyde, 1637). Available at http://posner.library.cmu.edu/Posner/.

Exner, F. M.

J. M. Pernter and F. M. Exner, Meteorologische Optik, 2nd ed. (Wilhelm Braumüller, Vienna and Leipzig, 1922).

Fullenius, B.

C. Huygens, B. de Volder, and B. Fullenius, Christiani Hugenii Zelemii, dum viveret, Toparchae. Opuscula Postuma, ... (Apud Cornelium Boutesteyn, Lugduni Batavorum, 1703). Available at http://fermi.imss.fi.it/. An English version is in .

Gassendi, P.

P. Gassendi, Viri illvstris Nicolai Clavdii Fabricii de Peiresc, senatoris aqvisextiensis vita (Sumptibus Sebastiani Cramoisy, Paris, 1641). Available at http://posner.library.cmu.edu/Posner/.

P. Gassendi, Institutio astronomica iuxta hypotheses tam veterum quàm Copernici & Tychonis (Ex Officina Adriani Vlacq, Hagae-Comitum, 1656).

P. Gassendi, Parhelia, sive Soles Quatuor, Qui circa Verum apparuerunt Romae, Die xx. Mensis Martij, Anno 1629. Et de eisdem Petri Gassendi ad Henricum Renerium Epistola (Antonius Vitray, Paris, 1630). Available in , Vol. 3, pp. 651-662, where it is ever so slightly edited. A third version, barely different, is in pp. 285-312.

P. Gassendi, Opera Omnia (Frommann-Holzboog, 1964). A facsimile of the 1658 Lyon edition. Also available at http://gallica.bnf.fr/. The letters from Gassendi in Volume 6 are translated into French in .

P. Gassendi, Phaenomenon rarum, Et illustre, Romae observatum, 20 Martij, anno 1629. Subjuncta est causarum explicatio brevis clarissimi Philosophi, ac Mathematici, D. Petri Gassendi, Ad Illustrissimum Cardinalem Barbarini (sic). (Apud Hesselum Gerardi, Amsterdam, 1629).

Hall, W.

W. Hall, “An account of a singular halo of the moon,” Trans. R. Soc. Edinburgh 4, 173-176 (1798).

Hellmann, G.

G. Hellmann, “Die Meteorologie in den Deutschen Flugschriften und Flugblättern des XVI Jahrhunderts,” Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 1, 1-96(1921).

G. Hellmann, Neudrucke von Schriften und Karten über Meteorologie und Erdmagnetismus, Vol. 14 (A. Asher & Co., Berlin, 1902).

Hevelii, J.

J. Hevelii, Mercurius In Sole visus Gedani... (Simon Reiniger, 1662).

Humbert, P.

P. Humbert, “Notes historiques sur l'observation des halos,” Atti della Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze Nuovi Lincei Anno LXXXIV pp. 364-375 (1930-1931).

Huygens, C.

C. Huygens, Oeuvres Complètes de Christiaan Huygens (Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1888-1950). Available at http://gallica.bnf.fr/.

C. Huygens, B. de Volder, and B. Fullenius, Christiani Hugenii Zelemii, dum viveret, Toparchae. Opuscula Postuma, ... (Apud Cornelium Boutesteyn, Lugduni Batavorum, 1703). Available at http://fermi.imss.fi.it/. An English version is in .

Kuhse, W. E. T.

W. E. T. Kuhse, “Die drei wichtigsten älteren Hof- und Nebensonnen-Phänomene...” Beiträge zur meteorologischen Optik und zu verwandten Wissenschaften, Erster Theil 2, 169-193 and tables (1848).

Luukkonen, I.

Meyer, R.

R. Meyer, Die Haloerscheinungen (Henri Grand, Hamburg, 1929).

Moilanen, J.

Obsequens, J.

J. Obsequens, A Book of Prodigies after the 505th Year of Rome, in (1987).

Pernter, J. M.

J. M. Pernter and F. M. Exner, Meteorologische Optik, 2nd ed. (Wilhelm Braumüller, Vienna and Leipzig, 1922).

Priestley, J.

J. Priestley, The History and Present State of Discoveries Relating to Vision, Light and Colours (J. Johnson, London, 1772). Halos are treated on pp. 596-630 and in Figs. 141-148.

Ribadeneira, P.

P. Alegambe and P. Ribadeneira, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Iesu... (Antverpiæ, Apud Ioannem Meursium, 1643).

N. Southwell (Sotwello), P. Ribadeneira, and P. Alegambe, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Iesu (Rome, 1676). Republished in 1969 by Gregg International, Westmead, England.

Riikonen, M.

Scheiner, C.

C. Scheiner, Pantographice: seu ars delineandi res quaslibet per parallelogrammum lineare seu cavum, mechanicum, mobile (Ex typographia Ludovici Grignani, Rome, 1631). Available at http://posner.library.cmu.edu/Posner/.

C. Scheiner, Rosa Ursina... (Apud Andream Phaeum Typographum Ducalem, Bracciani, 1626-1630).

Sillanpää, M.

Smith, R.

R. Smith, A Compleat System of Opticks in Four Books... (Cornelius Crownfield, Cambridge, 1738). The discussion of halos is in Chapter 11 of Book 2, pp. 199-238.

Southwell (Sotwello), N.

N. Southwell (Sotwello), P. Ribadeneira, and P. Alegambe, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Iesu (Rome, 1676). Republished in 1969 by Gregg International, Westmead, England.

Sullivan, D.

Tannery, P.

C. Adam and P. Tannery, Oeuvres de Descartes (J. Vrin, Paris, 1996).

Tape, W.

W. Tape and J. Moilanen, Atmospheric Halos and the Search for Angle x (American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., 2006).

Taussig, S.

S. Taussig, Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655): Lettres Latines (Brepols, Turnhout, Belgium, 2004).

Virta, L.

von Braunmühl, A.

A. von Braunmühl, “Originalbeobachtungen etc. aus der Zeit der Entdeckung der Sonnenflecken,” Jahrbuch für Münchener Geschichte 5, 53-60 (1894).

Weber, B.

B. Weber, Erschröckliche und warhafftige Wunderzeichen 1543-1586 (Urs Graf, Dietikon--Zürich, 1972).

Whalley, E.

E. Whalley, “Cubic ice in nature,” J. Phys. Chem. 87, 4174-4179 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Yoder, J. G.

J. G. Yoder, “The Huygens manuscripts,” in Proceedings of the International Conference “Titan - from discovery to encounter,”13-17 April 2004 (ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands, 2004), pp. 43-54.

Zahn, J.

J. Zahn, Specula Physico-Mathematico-Historica Notabilium Ac Mirabilium Sciendorum... (Lochner, Norimbergae, Literis Knorzianis, Norimbergae, 1696). Halos are treated in Scrutinium III, Disquisitio III, pp. 405-418.

Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

G. Hellmann, “Die Meteorologie in den Deutschen Flugschriften und Flugblättern des XVI Jahrhunderts,” Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 1, 1-96(1921).

Appl. Opt.

Atti della Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze Nuovi Lincei

P. Humbert, “Notes historiques sur l'observation des halos,” Atti della Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze Nuovi Lincei Anno LXXXIV pp. 364-375 (1930-1931).

Beiträge zur meteorologischen Optik und zu verwandten Wissenschaften, Erster Theil

W. E. T. Kuhse, “Die drei wichtigsten älteren Hof- und Nebensonnen-Phänomene...” Beiträge zur meteorologischen Optik und zu verwandten Wissenschaften, Erster Theil 2, 169-193 and tables (1848).

J. Phys. Chem.

E. Whalley, “Cubic ice in nature,” J. Phys. Chem. 87, 4174-4179 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Jahrbuch für Münchener Geschichte

A. von Braunmühl, “Originalbeobachtungen etc. aus der Zeit der Entdeckung der Sonnenflecken,” Jahrbuch für Münchener Geschichte 5, 53-60 (1894).

Journal de l'École Royale Polytechnique, 31 Cahier

A. Bravais, “Mémoire sur les halos et les phénomènes optiques qui les accompagnent,” Journal de l'École Royale Polytechnique, 31 Cahier 18, 1-280 (1847).

Trans. R. Soc. Edinburgh

W. Hall, “An account of a singular halo of the moon,” Trans. R. Soc. Edinburgh 4, 173-176 (1798).

Other

G. Hellmann, Neudrucke von Schriften und Karten über Meteorologie und Erdmagnetismus, Vol. 14 (A. Asher & Co., Berlin, 1902).

R. Meyer, Die Haloerscheinungen (Henri Grand, Hamburg, 1929).

J. M. Pernter and F. M. Exner, Meteorologische Optik, 2nd ed. (Wilhelm Braumüller, Vienna and Leipzig, 1922).

J. Priestley, The History and Present State of Discoveries Relating to Vision, Light and Colours (J. Johnson, London, 1772). Halos are treated on pp. 596-630 and in Figs. 141-148.

R. Descartes, Discours De La Methode Pour bien conduire sa raison, & chercher la verité dans les sciences. Plus La Dioptriqve. Les Meteores. Et La Geometrie. qui sont des essais de cete Methode (Maire, Leyde, 1637). Available at http://posner.library.cmu.edu/Posner/.

C. Huygens, Oeuvres Complètes de Christiaan Huygens (Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1888-1950). Available at http://gallica.bnf.fr/.

J. Hevelii, Mercurius In Sole visus Gedani... (Simon Reiniger, 1662).

B. Weber, Erschröckliche und warhafftige Wunderzeichen 1543-1586 (Urs Graf, Dietikon--Zürich, 1972).

http://www.meteoros.de/halo/halo1.htm, a website of the Arbeitskreis Meteore e.V.

J. Zahn, Specula Physico-Mathematico-Historica Notabilium Ac Mirabilium Sciendorum... (Lochner, Norimbergae, Literis Knorzianis, Norimbergae, 1696). Halos are treated in Scrutinium III, Disquisitio III, pp. 405-418.

P. Gassendi, Phaenomenon rarum, Et illustre, Romae observatum, 20 Martij, anno 1629. Subjuncta est causarum explicatio brevis clarissimi Philosophi, ac Mathematici, D. Petri Gassendi, Ad Illustrissimum Cardinalem Barbarini (sic). (Apud Hesselum Gerardi, Amsterdam, 1629).

P. Gassendi, Parhelia, sive Soles Quatuor, Qui circa Verum apparuerunt Romae, Die xx. Mensis Martij, Anno 1629. Et de eisdem Petri Gassendi ad Henricum Renerium Epistola (Antonius Vitray, Paris, 1630). Available in , Vol. 3, pp. 651-662, where it is ever so slightly edited. A third version, barely different, is in pp. 285-312.

C. Huygens, B. de Volder, and B. Fullenius, Christiani Hugenii Zelemii, dum viveret, Toparchae. Opuscula Postuma, ... (Apud Cornelium Boutesteyn, Lugduni Batavorum, 1703). Available at http://fermi.imss.fi.it/. An English version is in .

P. Gassendi, Opera Omnia (Frommann-Holzboog, 1964). A facsimile of the 1658 Lyon edition. Also available at http://gallica.bnf.fr/. The letters from Gassendi in Volume 6 are translated into French in .

P. Gassendi, Viri illvstris Nicolai Clavdii Fabricii de Peiresc, senatoris aqvisextiensis vita (Sumptibus Sebastiani Cramoisy, Paris, 1641). Available at http://posner.library.cmu.edu/Posner/.

J. G. Yoder, “The Huygens manuscripts,” in Proceedings of the International Conference “Titan - from discovery to encounter,”13-17 April 2004 (ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands, 2004), pp. 43-54.

J. Obsequens, A Book of Prodigies after the 505th Year of Rome, in (1987).

W. Tape and J. Moilanen, Atmospheric Halos and the Search for Angle x (American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., 2006).

Gassendi accepted the zenith location as drawn and concluded that the parhelic circle was tilted. Huygens, as would most of us today, dismissed both the parhelion tail depiction and the zenith location in the diagram as oversights. Hall in 1794 sided with Gassendi and even claimed to have seen something like a tilted parhelic circle himself.

P. Alegambe and P. Ribadeneira, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Iesu... (Antverpiæ, Apud Ioannem Meursium, 1643).

N. Southwell (Sotwello), P. Ribadeneira, and P. Alegambe, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Iesu (Rome, 1676). Republished in 1969 by Gregg International, Westmead, England.

Personal communications from the Munich University Library, 2006 and 2007.

N. C. F. de Peiresc, “Halones seu circuli et coronae solares et lunares,” Carpentras Bibliothèque Inguimbertine ms 1832 fol 359 r.v., fol 360 r.v. Unpublished, but most of it is quoted by Humbert .

F. Daxecker, Der Physiker und Astronom Christoph Scheiner (Wagner, Innsbruck, 2006).

P. T. de Larroque, Lettres de Peiresc (Imprimerie nationale, Paris, 1888-1898).

Carpentras, ms 1832 fol 363 r.v.

Carpentras, ms 1832 fol 363 v., fol 364.

Carpentras, ms 1832, fol 15 r.v. and fol 16 r.v.

C. Adam and P. Tannery, Oeuvres de Descartes (J. Vrin, Paris, 1996).

C. Scheiner, Pantographice: seu ars delineandi res quaslibet per parallelogrammum lineare seu cavum, mechanicum, mobile (Ex typographia Ludovici Grignani, Rome, 1631). Available at http://posner.library.cmu.edu/Posner/.

C. de Waard, Correspondance du P. Marin Mersenne, Religieux Minime (Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1945-1946).

R. Smith, A Compleat System of Opticks in Four Books... (Cornelius Crownfield, Cambridge, 1738). The discussion of halos is in Chapter 11 of Book 2, pp. 199-238.

Pliny, Natural History (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1958).

Barberini's name is misspelled here and in the title. We speculate that this was a major factor in Gassendi's decision to revise Phaenomenon rarum, that is, to publish Parhelia. In his correspondence Gassendi never identifies the offending aspect(s) of Phaenomenon rarum explicitly, but see his 21 July 1630 letter to Peiresc , where his concern is clearly political rather than scientific.

Bibliothèque nationale de France, NAF1637, fol 27 r.v. and fol 28 r.v. A published version, with minor transcription errors, is in Vol. 6, pp. 400-402.

C. Scheiner, Rosa Ursina... (Apud Andream Phaeum Typographum Ducalem, Bracciani, 1626-1630).

Essentially the same diagram appears in Huygens' Opuscula Postuma of 1703 and much later in his Oeuvres. Kuhse in 1848 added a dotted curve through Q to suggest an upper tangent arc, and his curve survives in some later publications.

Their thinking is puzzling to us. They base their suggestion ( Vol. 17, pp. 358, 439) on an 18 Dec 1659 letter from Chapelain to Huygens. But subsequent letters show that Huygens, much later, still did not have the diagram.

Personal communication, August 2007.

Leiden University Library, HUG 31, fol 119 r., corresponding to Fig. 15 of Huygens' Oeuvres Vol. 17, pp. 411, 469.

Leiden University Library, HUG 31, fol 77/78, corresponding to Huygens' Oeuvres Vol. 17, pp. 468-471.

Leiden University Library, HUG 5.

Much the same can be said for the value 47°40′ as was said for 45°: Both in Huygens' notes and in the diagram the angular distance GR is 47°40′, but in Scheiner's letter it is 49°40′. However, the reasoning is complicated by the fact that in the notes the 7 in 47°40′ has been changed back to a 9 (probably by de Volder and Fullenius). Moreover, the value 47° 40′=76° 10′−28° 30′ follows from Scheiner's values for the elevations of G and R, so the change from 49°40′ to 47°40′ is one that might reasonably have been made by anyone.

Livy with an English Translation, Vol. 14 (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1987).

P. Gassendi, Institutio astronomica iuxta hypotheses tam veterum quàm Copernici & Tychonis (Ex Officina Adriani Vlacq, Hagae-Comitum, 1656).

S. Taussig, Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655): Lettres Latines (Brepols, Turnhout, Belgium, 2004).

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Report of the 1629 Rome halo display, perhaps one of the copies made under Peiresc’s direction. The diagram and text here are virtually identical to the diagram and Explication in both Phaenomenon rarum [2] and Parhelia [3]. [Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), DUPUY 5, fol 54. The manuscript DUPUY 488, fol 169 is similar.]

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

(a) Title page of Gassendi’s Phaenomenon rarum [2], which contains the earliest published description of the 1629 Rome halo display. (b) Diagram of the display, from Phaenomenon rarum. The five suns are K, L, M, N, and C, the latter being the true sun (Courtesy BnF).

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

“The” diagram of the 1630 Rome halo display. The seven suns, marked by sun symbols, are the true sun G, then M and P to the right of it, N and O to the left, and Q and R above. The dashed lines are where angular distances are indicated. The diagram was drawn by Huygens, not by the observer of the display. The figure number was probably added by de Volder and Fullenius [4]. (Leiden University Library, HUG 31, fol 119 r.)

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Opening lines of Scheiner’s 3 Dec 1631 letter to Gassendi, in which Scheiner describes the 1630 Rome display. Except for the date and time of the display, which come from Gassendi [5, 6] and Braunmühl [7], almost everything that we know about the 1630 display comes from this letter. (BnF, NAF1637, fol 27.)

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Munich University Library record (Scheiner, 2 ° Math 203) of Cysat’s volume containing a diagram of the 1630 Rome display probably made by Scheiner himself. The comment in the first row refers to Braunmühl’s 1894 description of the volume. The next entry reads Scheiner Christophori, Parelia Romae visa, observata, atque consignata.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

One of Huygens’ workbooks, probably the source of the diagram of the 1630 Rome display. Huygens often drew diagrams in the workbooks and then cut them out to be placed elsewhere [54]. (Leiden University Library, HUG 5; photo by Karin Scheper.)

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

(a) Excerpt from the bifolium in which Huygens copied Scheiner’s 3 Dec 1631 letter to Gassendi. The first two lines are Respondet his Scheinerus pag. 401. ejusdem tom. 6 operum Gassendi., leaving no doubt that Huygens copied the letter from the published version in Gassendi’s Opera Omnia [5] Vol. 6, p. 401. Next comes the text of the letter, but with the opening civilities omitted. On the next to last line is the crucial grad. 45, that is, 45 ° . (Leiden University Library, HUG 31 fol 77 r.v. A printed rendering of this text is in [13] Vol. 17, pp. 468, 469.) (b) The corresponding graduum 43 in the Opera Omnia. The fact that 45 ° , not 43 ° , is the value used in the halo diagram (Fig. 3) is evidence that the diagram is due to Huygens.

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