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Theory/Hacking: I have no idea what a theory of "non-distortion through exposure to air" would be like.
Observation without theory: E.g. Herrschel’s discovery of heat radiation 1800.
I 291 ff
His first assumption was that which we believe today. His theory was then entirely aligned to Newton, but that did not affect his observation.
Problem: his observation was burdened by absolutely inadequate accuracy claims. (precision, accuracy). He measured down to the thousandth, something which he was not able to do!.
The absence of a theory made him notice something: invisible infrared had to be included in the white light. (Hanson would have claimed that we would only be able to notice such a thing if we previously had a theory).
Unit/Theory/Hacking: magnetism can affect light - so it was possible to unify both - (from interaction).
Einführung in die Philosophie der Naturwissenschaften Stuttgart 1996