Page images
[merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

them, used as a processional road, a via sacra, to watch the rising of the Pleiades.

I said roughly parallel; its azimuth is about the same (N. 82° E. roughly); but the horizon is only about 1° high; it was therefore in use before those at Merrivale; the exact date of use must wait for theodolite values of the height of the horizon, but in the meantime we can see from the above estimates that the declination of the Pleiades was about N. 5° 28 30" and the date of use 1950 B.C., that is some 300 years before the solstitial restoration.


FIG. 18.-Plan, rom the Ordnance Map, showing the avenues, circle and stones at Merrivale, with their azimuths.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][subsumed]

Mr. Worth's survey gives another line of stones which is not shown in the Ordnance survey. It is undoubtedly, I think, an ancient line, although it is not shown in the Ordnance map, a clear indication of the difficulty of discriminating these avenues on land cumbered with stones in all directions. Its azimuth is N. 24° 25' E., and the height of the horizon 5° 10'. This gives us Arcturus at the date 1860 B.C., showing that, as at the Hurlers, Arcturus was used before the Pleiades. Hence a possible astronomical use is evident, while this row, like the others, could have been of no prac tical use to anybody. It is interesting to note that this single row of stones is older than the double ones; this seems natural.

It is worth while to say a word as to the different treatment of the ends of the south avenue now that it seems probable that it was used to watch the rising of the Pleiades. At the east end there is what archæologists term a blocking stone "; these observations suggest that it was really a sighting stone. At the west end such a stone is absent, but the final


[ocr errors]



80 30

Worth Ordnance 8 30 0

To simplify matters we may deal with the Ordnance values and neglect the small change of direction in the southern avenue. We have, then, the two dates 1580 B.C. and 1420 B.C. for the two avenues. The argument for the Pleiades is strengthened by the fact that at Athens the Hecatompedon was oriented to these stars in 1495 B.C. according to Mr. Penrose's determination of the azimuth.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

FIG. 19.-Reprint of Ordnance Map showing that the Cursus at Stonehenge is nearly parallel to the Merrivale Avenue. The azimuth is 82 and not 84 as shown in the figure.

Now this is not the first time I have referred to avenues in these notes. The azimuth of one at Stonehenge was used to fix the date at which sun worship went on there. That avenue, unlike the Dartmoor ones, was built of earth, and it is not alone. There is another rearly two miles long called the Cursus. So far, I have found no solstitial worship on Dartmoor, so there are no avenues parallel to the one at Stonehenge leading N.E. from the temple. But how about the other? It is roughly parallel to the avenues at Merrivale, and I think, therefore, was, like

stones in the avenue are longer than the rest. This may help us to determine the true direction of the sight-lines in other avenues, and, indeed, I shall show in the sequel that it affords a criterion which in some cases is entirely in harmony with other considerations. NORMAN LOCKYER.


THE problem of the relations between sun-spots and other solar phenomena and weather has engaged the attention of men of science for many years past. The results of their investigations have not, perhaps, been so satisfactory or conclusive as were at first anticipated, but this, fortunately, has not diminished the enthusiasm of those interested in the solution of the problem. The ordinary public who were attracted by the apparent simplicity and probability of the relations suggested have undoubtedly been disappointed with the results. There has hence been a tendency for some time past to depreciate investigation in this field of science. On the other hand, the experience of the recent droughts and famines in India, Australia, and South Africa has directed attention strongly to the probable relation between variations of solar activity and the larger variations of rainfall over the earth's surface. The aqueous vapour precipitated as rain over large land areas such as India is produced by evaporation over distant oceanic areas, and is thence carried to the areas of discharge by the larger atmospheric currents. These actions are the direct results of the conversion of solar energy, and any large variation in the supply of that energy must be accompanied with, and followed by, corresponding changes in the amount of evaporation and atmospheric movement, and hence, also, of amount and distribution of rain. The determination of the relations thus indicated is not merely of value from the scientific standpoint, but has important practical bearings, as it may lead to a satisfactory method of long-period weather forecasting -a question which is largely engaging the attention of meteorologists at the present time.

Three lines of observation (and hence also of investigation) carried on at the present time furnish data for the solution of the problem. These are the observations of terrestrial magnetism, of terrestrial atmospheric meteorology, and of solar phenomena.

A large number of magnetic observatories, furnished with the most delicate and sensitive instruments, provide a continuous record of the changes of the earth's magnetic state by its action on magnetised needles at the earth's surface.

The work of meteorological observation has made great progress during the past twenty-five years. It has not only been extended and improved, but is carried on much more systematically than hitherto. Unfortunately its record is very imperfect, as it is probably not too much to say that over at least five-sixths of the earth's surface, including the greater part of the interior of Asia and Africa, and over the larger oceanic areas and the Polar regions, the amount of observation is exceedingly small and of little value for the solution of the problem. There is hence a continuous record of the meteorological changes of the earth's atmosphere over barely one-sixth of its surface. There is, moreover, no general collection and publication of the meteorological data in such a form as to give a continuous history of the larger atmospheric variations and changes in progress over even that sixth part of the earth's surface.

The third branch of observation, that of solar phenomena, has made wonderful progress during the past fifty years. Previously the telescopic examination of the sun's surface had disclosed the eleven-year periodicity of the sun-spots. Latterly the combination of the spectroscopic and telescopic observation of the sun has revealed the complexity of the changes in progress throughout the depth of its atmosphere, and of which the sun-spots are only one and a very partial expression. This field of investigation is so promising

that solar observatories have been established in many countries, and a continuous record of the solar

changes, so far as they are indicated by present methods of observation, is now possible by combining the data furnished by all the observatories. The work of correlating the three classes of observation has, however, not yet been commenced in a systematic manner, although the necessity is now fully recognised.

It is now generally, if not universally, admitted that the sun is practically the sole source of the energy which maintains the movements of the earth's atmosphere. It is the centre of a continuous outflow of radiant energy, a very small portion of which is intercepted and appropriated by the earth, where it is converted into other forms of energy. The investigation of the rate of this flow of energy and its time variations, the analysis of the total energy into its elements as that of a series of oscillatory movements of different periods and amplitudes or wavelengths, and the problem of its distribution in its passage through the atmosphere and at the earth's surface are each in little more than the initial stages. In some departments of the investigation, as, for example, the laws of the absorption of the solar energy during its passage through the earth's atmosphere, much work has been done, but with comparatively little result.

The appropriation of solar energy by the earth affects it mainly in two ways, first, as a whole, determining or modifying its magnetic condition, and secondly, partially, affecting the atmosphere and a thin surface layer of the solid or liquid mass. Any variation in the flow of solar energy, periodic or irregular, will theoretically give rise to corresponding changes in the earth's magnetic condition and its atmospheric movements. The determination of the relations between the three classes of variation is on the whole the most important problem in this field of inquiry into the solar energy and its variations and effects.

It has, how

The first part of the problem, that is, the relation of the variations of solar energy (as manifested and measured by the observable changes in the number and extent of the sun-spots, prominences, &c.) to those of the magnetic condition of the earth shown by its action on a magnetised needle suitably suspended, is comparatively simple, as the earth appears to be similarly affected as a whole and throughout its whole mass. The variations are indicated as clearly and satisfactorily by an observatory in India or Australia as at Kew in England. There are undoubtedly local variations which may require to be eliminated in order to obtain the general variation. ever, been conclusively established by observations in different regions that there is a general parallelism between the amount and extent of the magnetic variation or disturbance and the number and magnitude of the sun-spots and prominences. The rule is, the larger the number of sun-spots the greater the amount of the magnetic variation and disturbance. The relation can, however, at the present stage only be considered as statistical, as it has not been established for single sun-spots. In other words, the observed outburst or sudden appearance of a single spot or prominence is not invariably accompanied by a terrestrial magnetic disturbance. Various reasons have been given for the failure of parallelism in detail. Hence all that can be inferred at the present time is that definite relations (of a statistical kind) of great importance have been obtained which more than justify the continuance of this branch of the inquiry, and make it desirable that the work of terrestrial magnetic observation and investigation, and of comparison with solar phenomena, should be maintained and if possible extended.

Numerous attempts, only very partially successful, have been made to establish similar definite relations between solar and terrestrial atmospheric variations. The South Kensington observatory has done much valuable work in this direction. It is, however, doubtful whether the results obtained by any of the investigators in this branch are generally accepted.

perhaps a first approximate solution. This opinion found expression fully at the meeting of the British Association at Southport in 1903. Sir Norman Lockyer, director of the Solar Physics Observatory, South Kensington, read a report giving a summary of the results of previous investigations in "Simultaneous Solar and Terrestrial Changes to Section A The reasons for this very partial success are almost of the British Association. The members of the self-evident, and are due to the complexity of the International Meteorological Committee present at the problems presented by the movements of the atmo- meeting joined in the discussion, and it was decided sphere, more especially as modified by the presence that the time had arrived for joint and concerted of very varying amounts of aqueous vapour, the action. A commission to act as a subcommittee of the result of the processes of evaporation and conden- International Meteorological Committee was formed sation. The effects of the solar variation on the to discuss meteorological observations from the point earth's atmosphere are, in fact, distributed and mani- of view of their connection with magnetism and solar fested in very varying proportion between the physics. The commission held several meetings at different elements of observation, and the direct effect Cambridge in 1904 during the British Association of a solar variation on one element may be followed week. Several additional members were added to the by an opposite effect due to variation of another commission, which now includes the names of the leadelement, so that the final result may be opposite in ing authorities in the three associated branches of character to the initial effect. Thus an increase of science. solar radiant energy would, if there were no increase of aqueous vapour amount, cloud or air movement, undoubtedly increase pressure and temperature. these changes, however, give rise to increased vertical and horizontal movement, it is possible that as a later result pressure probably, and temperature possibly, might both be decreased below their original or normal level, and hence that the observed change might be the opposite to that of the direct effect of the original variation. Also there is another source of difficulty in this branch of the inquiry, due to the fact that in the case of some of the elements of observation a positive variation over a considerable area of the earth's surface must necessarily be accompanied with a negative variation of corresponding amount in some other region as part and parcel of the total change. The changes in these elements, taken over the earth's surface, must either be completely compensatory, as is probably the case for pressure, or partially compensatory, as is undoubtedly the case for rainfall.


It is also necessary to bear in mind that the instrumental appliances for magnetical and meteorological observations are of very different orders of exactness. Magnetic instruments, more especially those for continuous autographic registration, are of great delicacy. Meteorological instruments are, on the other hand, much less delicate, and the most important of all from certain points of view, viz. the instruments for registering the direction and rate of air movement, are especially coarse, and their individual observations are necessarily affected with large errors.

The problem of the relations between solar and terrestrial meteorological variations is hence complicated and difficult. It evidently requires for its complete solution the collection and coordination of data for the whole of the earth's surface, and the careful employment of statistical methods regulated by thorough knowledge of the physics of the atmosphere.

The difficulties of the problem are great, and explain the comparative want of success of investigators hitherto. It is, however, certain from theoretical considerations that there are definite relations, and that their determination is of great importance, equally from the scientific and the utilitarian point of view.

The observational data for a more systematic investigation are now considered by many to be sufficient, if collected, compared, and discussed as a whole, to promise more satisfactory and valid conclusions than have hitherto been obtained, and

The chief work of the commission at Cambridge was to lay down principles for the selection of the data required for comparison, and to arrange for the choice of stations and observatories from which it would be desirable to obtain data prior to entering into communication with the various organisations that it would be necessary to ask for assistance in the collection of data.

It has been arranged that a meeting of the commission shall be held in connection with the meeting of the International Meteorológical Committee at Innsbruck in September. A number of important matters will there be considered. Amongst these are the final selection of magnetic and meteorological observatories from which data are to be collected, the mode of publication of the data received by the commission, and probably, also, of the methods to be employed in the work of comparison and discussion of the data. Hofrath Prof. Julius Hann has suggested for consideration a method of determining the variation of temperature during a sun-spot period. This will, it is hoped, lead to an interesting di cussion on the methods of investigation most suited and appropriate for the determination of the relations between solar and terrestrial phenomena.


THE appearance of the preliminary report of the
Departmental Committee on the Royal College
of Science and Royal School of Mines, which was pub
lished in our issue of last week, brings us an important
step nearer the realisation of an object after which
men of science have long striven; the provision, that
is, of a great metropolitan college-liberally endowed,
handsomely housed, adequately equipped, and gener
ously staffed-designed amply to supply that higher
technical instruction for which there has been little
provision hitherto, but upon which our well-being as a
commercial and manufacturing nation ultimately

The report shows that the committee has been engaged wisely in determining what precisely the exist ing facilities for instruction in applied science are, and in gathering the information necessary to decide what the new college should supply in addition to these, so as to place London, as the centre of the Empire. in a condition to compare educationally with Berlin, for example, or with many great American cities. It is unnecessary here to recapitulate the recommenda tions of the committee, but the special wisdom of

one or two of its conclusions cannot be insisted upon 100 earnestly or too often.

The new institution must be in no sense parochial, nor must it be allowed to become merely metropolitan. From the beginning the design must be to give the college an Imperial character, and every means must be taken to encourage young men possessed of the necessary qualifications, in whatever part of the Empire they may be, to attend its courses and avail themselves of the means offered by it of becoming familiar with recent advances in technology and with any branch of applied science in its highest form.

The new institution must not be allowed to become

merely another technical college on a larger scale of technical institutes we have many already. The "duly qualified students" referred to by the committee should have already received collegiate training, and have taken a degree. To quote the report:"Admission to these higher courses should be restricted to duly qualified students who, it is hoped, would be attracted from all parts of the Empire." The public must be taught to estimate the success of the new institution, not by the number of its roll-call, but by the number of expert engineers of all kinds, of original technical chemists, of machine designers, and so on, who are trained within its portals.

But besides being able to supply the future manufacturer with the very latest results from the research laboratories of workers outside its walls, the new institution, if it is to be really successful, must itself be an active centre of research. As the report says:-" It is of the first importance that there should be no divorce between teaching and research in technology on the one hand and in pure science on the other," and the new college must be as notable for its success in research in technology as for the ability possessed by its staff to acquaint the student with the findings of recent scientific work. Unless from the beginning the student feels he is under the influence of professors who are not only familiar with all the conditions of actual manufacture in its most successful form, but who are responsible also for the improvements in technical processes which win success, the institution will neither do the work expected of it nor win the confidence of our manufacturing magnates and merchant princes. Only that science-whether pure or applied really lives which grows continually, and such growth without patient research is impossible. The new institution must above all things be the growing point of our national system of technical instruction.

To fulfil these two functions-on which the report rightly lays very great emphasis-the staff of the Imperial college must be both numerous and the best available. In other words, the institution must of necessity be a costly one, judged, that is, from the standard adopted previously in this country for estimating educational expenses. But if properly selected such a staff will very soon show, by the results accomplished, that generous expenditure on higher education is a remunerative form of national expenditure. It is gratifying to find from the report that there is every prospect that a sufficient revenue will be eventually forthcoming, in the provision of which funds the State will take its part. We learn from the Times that the Government has decided to allocate 20,000l. a year to the college out of the Treasury subsidy for the maintenance of the Royal College of Science and the Royal School of Mines, and that an intimation to this effect has been made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to Mr. Haldane, the chairman of the Depart

mental Committee.

There is every reason to hope that London will ere

long have at South Kensington a college of applied science which will be as much admired as the similar institution at Charlottenburg, and prove as useful to the industries of this country as the Berlin college has to those of Germany.


As the new buildings of the University of Sheffield were opened by the King at the time the present issue of NATURE was being prepared for press, we cannot do more than record the fact, reserving a description of the buildings and an account of the opening ceremony for a subsequent number.

THE annual meeting of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund was held on July 5 at Marlborough House, the Prince of Wales presiding. Sir William Church moved the adoption of the secretary's, superintendent's, and treasurer's reports, which was seconded by Mr. Tweedy. Mr. Henry Morris moved that the best thanks of the meeting be given to His Royal Highness for presiding, which was carried with acclamation. The Prince of Wales in reply alluded to the researches which had been carried out in the laboratories of the fund, and expressed his satisfaction that the committee had again secured the services of Sir William Church as chairman of the

executive committee.

THE summer show of the Royal Horticultural Society was opened on Tuesday last, and will remain open until this evening. It is being held for the first time in the grounds of Chelsea Hospital. The society appears to be in a very flourishing condition, more than 1000 new fellows having

been added within the last few months.

THE Albert medal of the Society of Arts for 1905 was, on Wednesday, July 5, at Marlborough House, presented by the Prince of Wales, as president of the society, to Lord Rayleigh "in recognition of the influence which his researches, directed to the increase of scientific knowledge, have had upon industrial progress, by facilitating, amongst other scientific applications, the provision of accurate electrical standards, the production of improved lenses, and the development of apparatus for sound signalling at sea.'

THE French Association for the Advancement of Science will this year meet at Cherbourg. The session will extend from August 3 to 10.

THE summer meeting of the Institution of Naval Architects will take place on July 19, 20, and 21 in the hall of the Society of Arts. The following papers will be read and discussed :—“ Tactics and Strategy at the Time of Trafalgar," by Admiral Sir Cyprian Bridge, G.C.B.; "The Ships of the Royal Navy as they Existed at the vice-president; "The Classification of Merchant Shipping, Time of Trafalgar," by Sir Philip Watts, K.C.B., F.R.S., illustrated by a Short History of Lloyd's Register," by H. J. Cornish; "Experiments with Models of Constant Length and Form of Cross Sections, but with varying Breadths and Draughts," by Lieut.-Col. B. Rota; "Experiments on the Effect of Depth of Water on Speed, having Special Reference to Destroyers recently Built, by H. Yarrow; "Deductions from Recent and Former Experiments on the Influence of the Depth of Water on Speed," by W. W. Marriner; "The Failure of some large Boiler Plates," by J. T. Milton; and "A Comparison of the Performances of Turbines and Reciprocating Engines in the Midland Railway Company's Steamers," by W. Gray.

THE London congress of the Royal Institute of Public Health will be held from Wednesday next, July 19, to Tuesday, July 25, under the presidency of Sir James Crichton Browne. The meetings will take place at King's College, Strand, and at the Polytechnic, Regent Street. In connection with the congress there will be an exhibition of sanitary and educational appliances at the Regent Street Polytechnic, and this will remain open until July 28.

THE British Medical Journal announces that a tuberculosis exhibition, arranged under the auspices of the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis, and of the Committee on the Prevention of Tuberculosis of the Charity Organisation Society, will be held in New York in November next. The object of the exhibition is the education of the people. In addition to exhibits illustrating different phases of the tuberculosis problem, and especially the treatment of the disease, popular lectures will be delivered by specialists.

THE Long Fox memorial lecture for this year will, says the Lancet, be delivered in November by Dr. E. Markham Skerritt.

M. CURIE was last week elected a member of the Paris Academy of Sciences.

THE Mary Kingsley medal of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine has been awarded to Dr. Laveran, of the Pasteur Institute, Sir Patrick Manson, K.C.M.G., F.R.S., and Col. Sir D. Bruce, K.C.B., F.R.S.

LORD KELVIN AND SIR WILLIAM CHRISTIE, Astronomer Royal, were at the final meeting of the present session of the Optical Society made honorary members of the society.

IT is stated in Science that Prof. William Osler has been made honorary professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University.

THE president of the Board of Agriculture (the Right Hon. Ailwyn E. Fellowes) will distribute the diplomas and prizes at the South-eastern Agricultural College, Wye, on Friday, July 21.

WE learn from the Royal Society that as an adjunct to the International Laboratory of Physiology on Monte Rosa, a lower laboratory, with a hostel, has been established at Col d'Olen. This lower laboratory is mainly intended for biological research, but it is understood that provision has also been made for the study of terrestrial physics and meteorology. The Royal Society has the permanent nomination to two posts, each of which includes a living room in the hostel, a bench in the laboratory, and the use of apparatus; but the expenses of living and of special researches must be borne by the investigators. The laboratory is especially connected with the University of Turin, but is under the immediate direction of a committee. Applications for nominations to the two posts referred to above may be addressed to the secretaries of the Royal Society, Burlington House, London, W.

A REUTER telegram from Florence states that the instruments of the Delle Quercie Observatory of that place recorded on Sunday last severe earthquake shocks as taking place in a distant country.

THE death is announced from Belgium of M. Elisée Reclus, the French geographer, in his seventy-sixth year. At the University of Berlin he studied under the great geographer Karl Ritter. Having in 1851, because of his political opinions, to leave France, he travelled for six

years, visiting England, Ireland, North America, Central America, and Colombia. Returning to his native country in 1857, he contributed numerous articles on his travels to periodical literature, and published a small volume entitled "Voyage à la Sierra-Nevada de Sainte Marthe." Later he wrote two books dealing respectively with the earth and the ocean. He began at Clarens, on the Lake of Geneva, the work of his life-the " Nouvelle Géographie Universelle," the first volume of which appeared in 1876. The work was issued in parts, and was completed in 1804. the whole occupying nineteen volumes. On the conclusion of this great task Reclus began another work dealing with the historical side of human development, i.e. with history as influenced by geographical conditions. He left this book, it is said, in a complete state, ready for publication.

THE death of Prof. Hermann Northnagel, of Vienna, in his sixty-fifth year, is announced. He made many contributions to medical literature, and by these and his discoveries in regard to heart action he was well known in the medical profession. Prof. Northnagel was a corresponding member of the Royal Medical Society of this country.

MANY of our readers will be glad to learn that steps are being taken to raise a memorial to the late Prof. G. B. Howes, F.R.S. In the circular letter on the subject which has reached us it is pointed out that his death was probably due most of all to overstrain occasioned by his unsparing zeal in the acquisition of full and accurate knowledge and the undeviating readiness with which he imparted the fruits of his genius and learning, not only to his regular pupils, but to every association which asked for his assistance. It is proposed that the memorjal shall take the form of an endowment fund for his widow and daughter. Subscriptions should be sent as soon as possible to the honorary treasurer, Mr. Frank Crisp, 17 Throgmorton Avenue, E.C., marked the cover Howes Memorial Fund." We trust there will be a generous response to the appeal.


[ocr errors]

A MEETING of members of the Essex Field Club took place, by invitation of Lady Warwick, at Easton Lodge on Saturday last to inaugurate a photographic and pictorial survey and record of Essex. The object of the scheme is to make a permanent collection of photographs and other pictures of objects of interest, also maps, plans, and other documents, in order to give a comprehensive survey and record of all that is valuable and representative of Essex. The pictures, plans, &c., will be deposited and placed on view in the museum of the Essex Field Club at West Ham, and it is hoped that all the photographic societies and unattached photographers of the country will assist the committee in its work that its object may be attained.

WE are indebted to a correspondent for a copy of a supplement to the Selangor Government Gazette, dated April 28, containing a report from the district surgeon of Klang on "the progress of anti-malarial measures carried out at Klang and Port Swettenham," in the Federated Malay States, during the past four years, from which we learn that in 1901 malaria was very prevalent both at Klang and Port Swettenham, there being much swampy ground in which, as well as in wells, ditches, and pools, Anopheles were found breeding. Active work was undertaken in the shape of tree felling, the clearing of undergrowth, the filling up of abandoned drains, the inauguration of a system of drains to carry off and prevent

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »