When I was out in Flagstaff doing research for Percival’s Planet, the excellent archivist at Lowell Observatory — Antoinette Beiser is her name — was generous enough to scan this image we found in the heaps of letters, files, ledgers, and other glorious musty stuff. This image shows the astronomers trying to calculate the mysterious object’s orbit; they had to work with the very few images they had of it. They could tell the object was much smaller than they’d anticipated — not the gas giant they had expected. This plate shows them at work, determining the strange orbit of the peculiar artifact Clyde Tombaugh had turned up.
I find this image weirdly beautiful; I catch myself zooming in on portions of it. You’ll see I’ve stolen part of it for the header for this blog.