"Jansky's observation of extraterrestrial radio waves and his identification of their origin in the direction of the galactic center were among the most important fundamental astronomical discoveries of the twentieth century" -American National Biography
FIRST EDITIONS IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS of Karl Jansky's ground-breaking papers announcing the discovery of radio astronomy, a new science that has become one of the essential methods for making modern astronomical observations.
Working at Bell Labs, Jansky "was given the task of investigating factors that could interfere with radio waves used for long-distance communication. He designed a linear directional antenna, which, mounted on wheels from a Model T Ford, could scan the sky. He indentified all the sources of interference, such as thunderstorms, except for one weak emission. This he found to be unconnected with the Sun and in 1931 he discovered that the radio interference came from the stars. Jansky published his findings in the Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers in December 1932 ['Directional Studies of Atmospherics at High Frequencies'], the date that marks precisely the beginnings of radio astronomy" (Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists).
Jansky's follow-up paper, "Electrical Disturbances Apparently of Extraterrestrial Origin," published in 1933, was equally transformative, articulating "his revolutionary claim that the hiss static seemed to have its origin in our Milky Way galaxy, with a maximum in a direction that pointed close to the galactic center" (American National Biography).
"At the age of just twenty-six, Karl Jansky had become the first person to detect and identify radio waves coming from outer space, a truly historic discovery... The true significance of Jansky's breakthrough surpasses even the momentous discovery that the Milky Way emits radio waves. His accomplishment was to establish the science of radio astronomy and to demonstrate that astronomers could learn a huge amount about the universe by looking beyond the narrow band of electromagnetic wavelengths that are visible to the human eye... He announced his result in a paper entitled 'Electrical Disturbances Apparently of Extraterrestrial Origin' (Simon Singh, Big Bang).
The third paper in the collection, "Minimum Noise Levels Obtained on Short-Wave Radio Receiving Systems" discusses problems of noise levels and interference in short-wave systems.
Directional Studies of Atmospherics at High Frequencies. In: Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers, vol.20, no.12 (Dec.1932), pp.1920-1932. WITH: Electrical Disturbances Apparently of Extraterrestrial Origin. In: Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers, vol.21, no.10 (Oct.1933), pp.1387-1398. WITH: Minimum Noise Levels Obtained on Short-Wave Radio Receiving Systems. In: Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers, vol.25, no.12 (Dec.1937), pp.1517-1530. Menasha, WI: Institute of Radio Engineers, 1932-1937. Octavo, original wrappers. RARE.
Price: $3,800 .