Astronomer C.J. Merfield's hut for the solar eclipse expedition, Goondwindi, Queensland, September 1922. Merfield was an assistant astronomer at Melbourne Observatory.
In 1922, Victorian Government Astronomer Joseph Baldwin led a Melbourne Observatory solar eclipse expedition to Goondiwindi, Queensland, joining with another group from Sydney Observatory.
The purpose of the expedition was to test Einstein's general theory of relativity. Einstein's theory predicted that the light travelling to us from stars should bend as it passed the Sun, due to the curvature in space-time created by the massive object. A solar eclipse expedition in 1919 had found such a bending of the light, but in 1922 it was still important to undertake confirming observations. The Goondiwindi expedition was not very successful, as they were unable to take sufficiently precise photographs to test the theory.
The US Lick Observatory's group at Wallal, Western Australia, succeeded in making observations that confirmed Einstein's theory.
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Solar eclipse expedition, Goondiwindi, Queensland, September 1922. Expedition led by Joseph Baldwin, Government Astronomer, Melbourne Observatory.
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Glass Negative, Black & White
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