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Dynamis

versión On-line ISSN 2340-7948versión impresa ISSN 0211-9536

Resumen

RUIZ-CASTELL, Pedro; SUAY-MATALLANA, Ignacio  y  BONET SAFONT, Juan Marcos. Halley's Comet and the public image of astronomy in the Spanish daily press of the early 20th century. Dynamis [online]. 2013, vol.33, n.1, pp.169-193. ISSN 2340-7948.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4321/S0211-95362013000100008.

The aim of this paper was to show some aspects of the representations formed in Spanish public opinion on astronomy and astrophysics, based on an analysis of the news published under some of the most prominent headlines on the appearance of Halley's Comet in 1910. The interest aroused by the arrival of this comet was closely bound to its association with different disasters and calamities, represented in this case by the load of lethal gas it carried and that generated widespread unease among a large part of the population. This concern served to reinforce and legitimize in the eyes of public opinion the activity developed by scientists and especially astronomers, who became experts devoted to calming the population with spectroscopic data, calculations of celestial mechanics, and explanations of the nature of comet masses, thereby increasing the prestige and social status of astronomy.

Palabras clave : history of astronomy; Halley's Comet; newspapers; Spain; popularization of science.

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