Page images
[ocr errors]

Marsh described a small Artiodactyle with a pair of small at its commencement in 1851, and after distinguishing conical horn-cores upon the parietal bones, which he himself by taking the first Duke of Cornwall's Scholar named Protoceras celer, expressing the opinion that it re- ship, he studied for a year at Freiberg in Saxony. Is presented a new family. Upon the supposition that this 1855 he and his brother, Mr. W. T. Blanford, recone type might also be a female of the same species to which appointments on the Geological Survey of India, and the the heavily-horned type belonged, the second skull was landed in Calcutta at the end of September in that year taken to the Yale Museum, and carefully compared point Mr. H. F. Blanford remained on the Geological Survey by point. It proved to be identical in every respect. In till 1862, when he resigned, his health having sutiere this way the discovery was made that in Protoceras, as in from the exposure incidental to geological surveying iz so many other Artiodactyles, the male and female skulls | India. His most important work whilst engaged on the differed widely from each other in their cranial armature. Survey was the examination of the cretaceous beds The male was as described above ; the female exhibits the neighbourhood of Trichinopoly, his classification of merely a pair of very small conical processes upon the which, founded to a considerable extent on palaeons parietals, with perfectly smooth frontals, and maxillaries logical data, has been thoroughly confirmed by Dr. F. either of the normal type or with smaller protuberances Stoliczka's well-known description of the fauna. V than in the male.

Blanford had previously, during his first season's war The dentition at first suggests relationship to Tragulus in India, by separating the Talchir strata, with their re and Hyomoschus. The premaxillaries are edentulous as markable boulder bed, from the true coal-bearing. « in the ruminants ; but in the lower jaw there are four Damuda rocks, taken the first step in what for so long small teeth shaped liked incisors, the outermost of which was one of the most difficult tasks set before the Indier represents the canine. The upper canines are large, Geological Survey-the stratigraphical arrangeincnt of

the complex of beds subsequently known 29 the Gondwana system.

On leaving the Geological Survey he was offered a post in the Bengal Educational Department, and from 1862 to 1874 he was one of the professors of the Pres. dency College, Calcutta. Soon after 1862 he began to take a keen interest in meteorological questions, and after being for some time a member of a meteorological committee nominated by the government, he was, in April 1867, appointed Meteorological Reporter to the Govern ment of Bengal, and placed in charge of an office estab lished with a twofold purpose, to give storm warnings for the protection of shipping and to collect and record systematic meteorological observations throughout the Bengal presidency. Within a short time one most i portant result was obtained ; the meteorological cond:

tions under which cyclones originated in the Bay of Fig. 3.–Front view of Skull.

Bengal were definitely ascertained, and it became pre

ticable to say when a storm was a probable event, and pointed, and recurved. The molar teeth are of the short

in what part of the Bay it might be expected, and whes crowned, or brachyodont type, with a distinctly crescentic

a cyclone was impossible, although high winds mirar

prevail. Meantime the various observatories of the pattern. The structure of the feet also suggests the Tragulines,

country were being brought into order, and the obserrain the fact that the fore-foot has four well developed toes. | tions rendered systematic. while the hind-foot has two toes with the lateral pair

In 1874 the Government of India became convinced of very much reduced. As in the Tragulida, the fore-foot

the necessity for placing all the meteorological observaand probably the fore limb was very much shorter than

tories in India in communication with a central office, and the hind foot and limb. The hind foot, moreover, shows

Mr. Blanford was finally transferred from the educational a tendency to co-ossification both in the metatarsals and in

staff of Bengal and made chief of the new meteorological the union of the navicular and cuneiform with the cuboid.

department, with the official designation of Meteorologica! In many details, however, the feet present marked differ

| Reporter to the Government of India. The new post ences from the older and niore recent Tragulines. The

volved much travelling to visit out-stations, in order to oldest of the Tragulines, moreover, is Leptomeryx, a con

ensure the exact comparison of barometers and other temporary of Protoceras, which has an entirely different

instruments. The organisation of the new department, skull and foot structure.

however, progressed rapidly, and in a few years a series Taking all these facts together, we are led to support

of papers from Mr. Blanford's pen on rainfall, wind direc. Prof. Marsh's conjecture, based upon the compara

tions, and other meteorological phenomena gave evidence tively hornless female skull, that this Artiodactyle repre

to all interested in the science that valuable additions to sents a new family, the Protoceratida. We know abso

it were being made by the Indian observations. The lutely nothing either of the ancestors or successors of

peculiar geographical conditions of India render its this type ; and this is another illustration of the fact

meteorology unusually simple, and of great scientific and which is constantly being impressed upon us, that our

practical importance. An admirable illustration, both of fossil-bearing strata still contain a great number of forms

the peculiarity of Indian meteorology and of the practical which are at present wholly unknown and unsuspected.

results yielded by accurate observations, is afforded by HENRY F. OSBORN.

the fact that no sooner was the whole system in working order, than it was found practicable some time before the

commencement of the monsoon season, and of the rainHENRY F. BLANFORD, F.R.S.

fall, upon which in many provinces plenty or scarcity of

food depends, to prepare a forecast of the approaching M R. H. F. BLANFORD, whose death was noticed in / season, and to warn the Government of a possible

last week's NATURE, was born in Bouverie Street, deficiency of rain in particular parts of the country. The Whitefriars, in the City of London, in 1834. He was one / forecasts prepared have been found remarkably accurate of the students who entered the Royal School of Mines Mr. Blanford retired from the Indian Service in 1888, and has since resided at Folkestone. Of late his health has gradually given way, and he died on January 23, at the age of fifty-eight. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1880, and was an honorary member of several foreign meteorological societies. He was President of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1884-85.

"That he was a man of considerable intellectual power is shown by the somewhat unusual range of scientific questions on which he has left works and papers. Besides his geological and meteorological reports, he wrote for the Indian Geological Survey descriptions of the Nautilida and Belemnitida of the South Indian cretaceous rocks, and he assisted the late Mr. J. W. Salter in describing the Palæontology of Niti. He was also author of several papers on recent mollusca ; and amongst his works are two treatises, one on the “ Physical Geography of India," largely used as a text-book in Indian schools, and the other "An Elementary Geography of India, Burma, and Ceylon," published as one of Macmillan's Geographical Series.

having spoken, Sir William Harcourt replied. He said that every one who reflected on the question must see the great advantages which attach to the decimal system. But the practical difficulties in the way of the proposed change seemed to him for the present to be insurmountable. A decimal system was introduced into Europe by the French Revolution. That was a time when the whole of society was cast into the melting pot, and they changed, not only their notation, not only their metrical system, but the names of the months and the days of the week. The change in Germany took place, not in quiet times, but as a result of the unification of Germany. He believed that even in the United States of America the change was made consequent upon the establishment of the Federal system. He did not think that the habits of the people could be altered in quiet times. This applied very much to the measures as well as to the coinage. Sir William was ready as an individual to play his part in forwarding the progress of the decimal system and the metrical system ; but the Government could do nothing in the matter. The people would have to be prepared for so great a change.

[ocr errors]


It is worth noting that instruction in the principles of the

decimal and metric systems is daily given in public elementary We learn from Sydney that steady progress is being made

schools, and that this labour--as Mr. J. H. Yoxall, secretary of with the Macleay Memorial Volume, and that it will probably

the National Union of Teachers, has pointed out in a letter to the be ready for issue about the end of March.

Times—is imposed upon the children without hope of practical AN announcement comes from Chicago that Mr. Eadweard good to the community. Mr. Yoxall contends that is an Act of Muybridge, who, it will be remembered, visited this country

Parliament were to fix a date of five or ten years hence at which some time since on behalf of the University of Pennsylvania,

the decimal system should come into legal operation, the work of will give at intervals, from May to October, in the “Zoopraxo.

the schools and the precaution of the mercantile classes would graphical Hall of the Exposition," a series of lectu res on the

by that time sufficiently prepare the way. science of animal locomotion, especially in its relation to design

A DESTRUCTIVE earthquake occurred on Tuesday morning in art.

at the town of Zante. Several houses were totally deON Thursday next, February 9, Prof. Patrick Geddes will stroyed, many more were partially (wrecked, and there is begin, at the Royal Institution, a course of sour lectures on the hardly a building in the town which has not sustained factors of organic evolution ; and on Saturday week, February damage in one form or another. The roof of the prison col. 18, Lord Rayleigh will begin a course of six lectures on sound | lapsed during the earthquake, and the guards had to be doubled and vibration.

to prevent the escape of the prisoners. The hospital was also

so seriously damaged that it was deemed expedient to remove A TRANSLATION of Prof. Weismann's new work on “The

the patients. The shocks, which were general, were renewed Germ-plasm," recently noticed in NATURE, will appear in the

again and again, and the whole population was thrown into a "Contemporary Science Series " in the course of a few weeks. state of panic. LAST week a deputation, representing the New Decimal

During the past week the temperature over these islands has Association, the Chambers of Commerce and Trades Unions,

been fairly high, the daily maxima often exceeding 50°, notwithas well as various scientific institutions, waited upon Sir

standing a temporary fall, amounting from 12° to 14° in Scotland William Harcourt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to urge the

and the midland counties of England, on Friday, accompanied Government to adopt the decimal and metrical system of

by much fog in the south and east of England, while the air has weights, measures, and coinage, or to appoint a committee of

been decidedly humid, the readings of the dry and wet bulb inquiry into the subject. Mr. S. Montagu, M.P., as president of the New Decimal Association, having introduced the depu

thermometers frequently showing little or no difference. These

conditions have been due to deep depressions arriving from the tation, said that forty years ago there was great apathy upon the

Atlantic and passing in close proximity to our western and subject, but since then there had been inquiries by Select Com. mittees and Royal Commissions into the question of the decimal

occurrence, and on Sunday they extended as far as the English currency, and though the reports of those bodies were satis

Channel. Rain has been frequent, but generally the fall has not factory, no action had followed. The system had been adopted

been heavy, and the sky has generally been overcast and dull, in Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Scandinavia ; and in England

although on Saturday the weather over the south of England was there was now a good popular demand, such as Mr. Goschen

unusually bright and fine. The Weekly Weather Report of said six years ago he was waiting for. Men of science like

January 28 shows that the temperature exceeded the mean in all Lord Kelvin, Sir Henry Roscoe, and Sir John Lubbock, and

districts, the greatest excess being 4° in Scotland. Bright suneducationists like Sir Philip Magnus and Dr. Gladstone desired

shine also exceeded the mean in some parts of Scotland and in the reform in order to economise brain-power; representatives

the eastern portion of England, but in other parts of these islands of commerce desired it to assist them in their competition with

there was a deficiency. rival nations; and the working classes were awake to the fact that years of labour were wasted by their children being com A MAP showing lines of equal magnetic declination for pelled to learn that which could be rendered unnecessary. January 1, 1893, in England and Wales, has been very carefully Several members of the deputation, including Sir Philip Magnus, prepared by Mr. W. Ellis, and published as a supplement to

the Colliery Guardian of January 6, 1893. The explanatory Nation. He refers to the speeches delivered in Italian by S text states that, as before, the work depends on the magnetic Joseph Fayrer and Prof. George Darwin, to which we bus surveys of Profs. Rücker and Thorpe. Mr. Ellis gives a already alluded. “They were," he says, "much ap table showing the relation between the diurnal variation of ciated by the audience : Parla bene!' 'Pronunzia bere magnetic declination and sun-spots, as determined from the one heard murmured in tones not devoid of surprise.* Tmagnetic observations made at the Royal Observatory, Green- greatest orator of the occasion, according to this writer, a wich. The general mean at epochs of minima of sun-spots is | Prof. Schmurlo of Dorpat, in Russia. "The type of the less 7'4 minutes, and at epochs of maxima 114 minutes of arc, and and ungainly scholar in appearance, he nevertheles spoice : other magnetic elements show a similar relation. The period | few phrases so ultra-Italian in the ingenious gracefulness of the between successive epochs of maxima or of minima of sun-spots turn, that the audience went fairly wild with delight.** is well known to be on the average about II years, and the

The latest instalment of the Transactions of the Institties author points out the curious fact that the interval between the

of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland contains an interes minimum and maximum is on the average 43 years, whilst from

paper, by Mr. E. G. Carey, on the bridges of the Manchester maximum to minimum it is 7 years. The relation existing

Canal. The paper is fully illustrated. The author notes a between sun-spot maxima and minima and the diurnal magnetic

| practically the whole of the bridge work for this canal has bee: variation has led many meteorologists to seek for some similar connection with meteorological phenomena, but Mr. Ellis states

constructed in Glasgow from Scotch steel. that no such relation has yet been conclusively established.

The Smithsonian Institution has issued as one of it be

letins a full and very useful bibliography of the publictv The report of the administration of the Meteorological De

writings of George Newbold Lawrence, the well-kan partment of the Government of India in 1891-92 shows con

ornithologist. The work has been done by Mr. L. S. Fader tinued activity and efficiency in all departments of the work,

who gives also a short sketch of Mr. Lawrence's career. and bears testimony to the interest taken both by the public and

Lawrence's collection of bird-skins is of great scientific make by the employés. The number of observatories maintained ty

It includes about 8000 specimens, and contains some the the Government at the end of the year was 165. As regards

hundred types of new species of birds. The collection a t the actinometric work, an unusual amount has been done, owing to the favourable state of the weather, and the results have been

posited in the American Museum of Natural History, New Yea

City, in May 1887. Mr. Foster says that the benencial is forwarded to the Solar Physics Committee in London. The rainfall data are published month by month, and a large num.

fluence of the labours of Mr. Lawrence, with pen and pencil ber of unsatisfactory rain gauges has been replaced by new ones.

the progress of American ornithology, has been great and units

puted. It is particularly among the avifauna of the West India A larger amount of work under the head of marine meteorology

Mexico, Central and South America, that his most stress has been done than in any previous year; several clerks are

efforts have been exerted. continually employed in collecting data from ships entering the various ports, and these observations have been utilised in pre. If we may trust a statement made on the authority of the paring daily weather charts of the whole Indian area for a Tokyo News Agency, it is not surprising that Japan is aawitz portion of the year. The systems of storm and flood warnings to be deprived of the privilege of fishing on the Korean coast have been continued as in previous years, and observations have The number of Japanese boats engaged in the fishery is said te been taken in certain forests, in order to throw light on the be no less than upwards of four thousand four hundred, of which influence of forest growth in modifying the distribution and about eighteen hundred have licenses. Their annou tak amount of rainfall ; a report upon this subject will shortly be averages from a million and a half of yes to two milles prepared. Among the other papers being prepared for publica. value, and it is estimated that with more diligence and improved tion we note one on the relation between sun-spots and weather methods they might easily bring this figure to three or fe as shown by meteorological observations taken on board ships in millions. the Bay of Bengal during the years 1855 to 1878,

It is rather surprising that tobacco has been so little cultirited At the meeting of the Royal Botanic Society of London on in Australia. The Agricultural Gazette of New South Wales Saturday a plant of the Sisal hemp (Agave rigida) was shown from we are glad to see, has taken up the matter, and in its Noves the Society's gardens. This plant is now extensively grown in ber number devotes to it a comparatively long and interest the Bahamas and Central America for its fibre. The secretary paper. The writer of the article thinks that the climale said that until lately, with the exception of two or three fibre New South Wales is admirably suited to the growth of tobacca, plants, as hemp and cotton, commerce depended upon wild and hopes that a sufficient quantity of it may hereafter te pe plants for its supplies, but so great was the demand now for duced not only to satisfy local demands, but to open up a large fibres for papermaking and other uses that it had been found and lucrative export trade. necessary to grow them specially.

One of the curious survivals of ancient prejudices in India The Slojd Association of Great Britain met on Saturday the intense dislike with which many high caste Hindas regard to receive the annual report, to elect officers, and to appoint sea-voyages. It is even disputed whether a Brahmin who taks an examining body. It was agreed that "Sloyd" should be a does not lose caste. The Maharaja of Mysore las substituted for “Slöjd" in the name of the Association. The not only emancipated himself from this strange notion, but system of handiwork which the society is seeking to introduce doing his best to overcome it in others. He lately made a into schools has already been pretty extensively adopted in this voyage to Calcutta, and took with him a number of orthodar country, especially in the north of England. Mr. Harris Brahmins, as well as Brahmin officials of state. stated at the meeting that it was being received with approval

Mr. Walter Hough, of Washington, notes in Srini in many different parts of the world. He had received com.

that among the collections from Mexico, Central and South munications from Napier, New Zealand, and Lahore, India, as

America, exhibited in the Columbian Historical Exhibition e to its adoption in these places.

Madrid, he observed a number of oblong polished blocks of An American writer who was present at the Galileo Festival hard stone of unknown use, averaging 31 inches in length, 3) in Padua gives a very interesting account of it in the New York | inches in width, and 1 inches in thickness. The broad .

of these stones are plane, bearing a number of groovestion of polarised light in the nocturnal sky diminishes continulel to the length, forming ridges like those seen on Poly ously from the time of the full moon up to that of the new an tapa mallets. The implements resemble closely, he thinks,

moon, when it becomes zero, subsequently to increase again

until the time of full moon. There appears to be a struggle eused by many different peoples in beating out fibrous bark lahing, paper, &c. Mr. Hough,suggests that they may have between the polarised light of the moon and the so-called a used for purposes of this kind in prehistoric times, and that natural light of the stars, and the proportion of polarised light

muy give some insight into the manufacture of the paper sometimes reaches 62 per cent. The diffusing power of the which the Mexican codices are painted.'

atmosphere necessarily varies with the relative proportions of

natural and of polarised light, since the latter is not capable of 'UD Gorge, on the Hurnai route to Quetta, has been giving reflection in all directions. Hence we see why very serene but h trouble to the engineers engaged in the construction of the moonless nights may yet be relatively very clear, and the sky of railway. Landslips are frequent, and an unusually bad one J'a beautiful sombre blue, whereas the white light of the moon, occurred within the last few weeks. On this occasion the reflected, diffused, and polarised, tends to give the sky a tint of accordng to the Pioneer Mail, slipped in such a way “as a paler and somewhat greyish blue. It the rails bodily up and turn them over, sleepers upper

At the last annual meeting of the American Association of 1." The mountain is said to be a great porous mass of clayey

Official Agricultural Chemists, the Proceedings of which have with large boulders imbedded therein, and it sucks in

just been issued, Mr. N. T. Lupton referred in his presidential ture like a sponge. After heavy rain it begins to move

address to the immense phosphate beds in the south-western part nwards, and even in dry weather disintegration goes on with

of Florida. Last winter a visit was paid to some of the localities trous results to the railway. New fissures are reported to

where deposits are found, and samples were collected for appeared hundreds of yards up the slopes above the line,

analysis. They were of two varieties, which may be called hard each of these indicates that thousands of tons of earth and

and soft. The hard variety consists of boulders of moderately ders will sooner or later find a lower level. A committee

hard rock, some of immense size, cemented together with (perts has been appointed by the Indian Government to

white clay. A white and friable mass resembling kaolin is iine the mountain thoroughly, and the Pioneer Mail truly

occasionally found. This is probably produced by the natural that “if they succeed in devising a means to conquer it they disintegration of the hard rock by rolling, attrition, or conachieve a notable seat in engineering."

cussion. The deposits vary in thickness. A depth of 20 or R. Low, President of Columbia College, New York, has

30 feet is not uncommon, and even a thickness of 50 feet has been stating in the American Educational Review his impres

found. Assome, especially foreign, manufacturers object to buying as to the condiion and tendencies of the higher education

phosphates which contain over 3 per cent. of oxides of iron and e United States. One of the points on which he strongly

aluminium, large quantities of these materials have accumulated

at the mines. A few manufacturers, aware of the agricultural s is that a general college training should be considered sary before students begin their University education in

value of South Carolina floats, have established mills in Florida ogy, law, and medicine. “The prophetic eye,” he says,

for pulverising these soft aluminous deposits, which are sold to

farmers for use without conversion into soluble phosphates. I even now discern the day when a college education will

Experiments are now in progress on the Alabama Experiment condition precedent for entrance into the professional »ls of the American university.

Station, under control of the chemist, to determine the chemical This will not mean that

composition and agricultural value of these soft phosphates college-trained men vill make good practitioners in law or

when used alone with cotton seed and with cotton-seed meal. If cine, for example, nor that only college-trained men are led to a professional education. It will rather mean, I

decomposing organic matter, as is believed, renders insoluble s that the university will then have fully realised its own

phosphates available as plant food to any considerable extent,

Mr. Lupton thinks that the question of cheap phosphates will ation to the country to send forth into professional life, in

be solved, and that the American farmer will be enabled to arts of the land, men of a thorough and wide equipment.”

purchase fertilisers at a much less cost than at present. CHÆOLOGISTS have observed that in Greek statues the Messrs. W. H. ALLEN AND Co. have issued the thirtyeye is strongly arched, while the female eye has rather a seventh thousand of Dr. M. C. Cooke's.“ Manual of Structural aed surface; and referring to accounts by the older anato Botany.” The book is intended for the use of classes, schools, who have affirmed such a difference to exist, they have seen and private students. 3 a fresh proof of the exact observation of nature by the

The February number of Natural Science includes, among it Greeks. The rule is not without exceptions, for the 1 in the Zeus of Otricoli has quite a flat form. Herr

other things, articles on some problems of the distribution of recently set himself (Archiv für Anal.) to inquire whether

marine animals, by Ono Maas ; on Pasteur's method of inocu. a sexual difference actually exists, and from individual

lation and its hypothetical explanation, by G, W. Bulman ; the

industries of the Maoris, by J. W. Davis ; some recent rerement of the radius of the cornea in the horizontal meri

searches on insect anatomy, by G, H, Carpenter; parasites on he gets an average of 7.83 mm. for men, and 7.82 mm. for

algæ, by G. Murray; the underground waste of the land, by n (Donders gives 7.858 and 7799), so the difference is so as to be imperceptible to the naked eye. Measurement

H. B. Woodward ; Owen (concluded), by A. S. Woodward ; ier dimensions gave but minute differences also. The

and the restoration of extinct animals. concludes that the Greeks (from artistic motives) did not The following are the arrangements for science lectures at the case follow nature,

Royal Victoria Hall during February :-Feb. 7, Mr. J. Scott

Keltie, on Africa and its people ; Feb. 14, Mr. E. Wethered, difference between the aspect of the sky at full moon and

on interesting objects under a microscope ; Feb. 21, Mr. ear and deep azure observed on a moonless night is ex

J. T. Leon, on breathing and burning ; Feb. 28, Dr. H. i by M. Clémence Royer in his “Recherches d'Optique logique et Physique” on the basis of some observations

Forster Morley, on chemistry of life. by M. Piltschikoff. In studying the polarising action of The additions to the Zoological Society's Gardens during the pon on the atmosphere, the latter found that the propor ! past week include seven Azara's Opossums (Didelphys azara)

from the Argentine Republic, presented by Mr. Hill; a Rough do not agree with those of the English expedition obtaine Terrapin (Clemmys punctularia) from Guiana, presented by Mr. the same time and place. The photographic actions ca J. J. Quelch, C.M.Z.S. ; an American Milk Snake (Coluber | plates exposed with the 20-inch mirror of 45-inches focus, by

late Father Perry, varied from 19.75 to 790' as calcula eximius) from Tennessee, presented by Miss Winifred M.

the formula given by M. de la Baume Pluvinel, and in Middleton ; a Virginian Eagle Owl (Bubo maximus) from South

case increase of photographic action gave greater extes America, deposited ; two Mouflons (Orlis musimon, 8 8 ) from the corona. Mr. Rooney's plates, with the 4-inch lesd Corsica, received in exchange.

inches focus, had been subjected to photographic actions from l'n to 17777, and agreed with Father Perry's it go greater extension with every increase of photographic a

The English results certainly justify the conclusion that OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN.

photographic action is necessary 10 photograph the i THE NAUTICAL ALMANAC FOR 1896.—The new superin. extensions of the corona which have been seen, but tendent of the Nautical Almanac office has introduced a much- hitherto eluded attempts to photograph them. needed reform into the first almanac, that for 1896, issued under Mr. Burnham's experiments, alluded to by M. Pier! his direction. The state of the British Nautical Almanac has not assist us in this question. A certain absolute and long been severely criticised as being far from the best possible light is necessary to give any appreciable photographie seed for navigational purposes both in form and contents, and by no the plate, and this seems to be the chief difficulty is obtu means satisfactory from the astronomical standpoint. A letter photographs of the external corona. In Mr. Barza addressed by the Shipmasters' Society to Dr. Hind, the late experiments he had too much light and had to cut dom Superintendent, in November 1891, pointed out the advantage | exposure in order to get faint contrasts, but there yu DCT to navigators which would be offered by a work published at a question of not having sufficient light to obtain any photz popular price, and without that astronomical information which effect. Captain Abney finds (Phil. Trans. vol. din. , is of no use to sailors. Many low-priced almanacs are published, 314) that an abrupt change of } per cent, in the intensity a indistinctly printed, and having occasional errors in the figures, can be detected on a photograph, hence we may look and an official trustworthy book was very desirable. In conse negative as a drawing built up of 200 different shades quence of this representation the almanac is now published in two exposure will of course prevent such saint contrasts as a pers forms-as the complete almanac of former years, price 25. 60. ; , being detected, and under exposure will enable fairte and as Part I. of the Nautical Almanac, specially suited for the trasts to be seen, so long as the limit of mininas use of sailors, price is.

necessary to produce any photographic effect is pused, The complete almanac has been revised and added to, many evidence from the English expedition renders it ezze of the recommendations of the Nautical Almanac Committee probable that even with the largest photographic acte of the Royal Astronomical Society, which reported to the this limit was not actually reached with the faintest extes Admiralty in 1891, having been adopted. The small short of the corona. period terms of nutation have been tabulated, and, correspond

COMET HOLMES.-Dr. F. Cohn, writing about the ing to that, additional day numbers are added so as to enable

from the Observatory in Königsberg on January 17, computers to include those small terms in the star corrections.

(Astronomische Nachrichten, No. 3146), with a 6-inch heme The catalogue of stars from which the moon culminators and stars

and a magnification of 65 times, that ihe nucleus is exacin occulted by the moon are obtained has been revised and en.

star of the 8th magnitude. The correction to the ephemers larged, and the mean places of the stars of this catalogue, which

below is, as he has deduced, Aa = - O'Zs., ad = -6. are used during the year, are also included. The elements of

Dr. R. Schorr, of the Hamburg Observatory, pots the the occultations are given in a revised form similar to that adopted in most of the other astronomical ephemerides, so that

down on the same date as a 7.2 magnitude star with a s the circumstances of an occultation for any position on the

nebulosity about it of 5" diameter, but on the 18tb he has earth's surface can be computed with facility. There has been

comet showed a much larger coma, a measurement ge

The stellar nucleus was also estimated as 7'5 maçta a general revision of the constants used.

a diameter 2". The small almanac has been arranged by Mr. Downing in conference with the Hydrographer. As the guiding principle in

The ephemeris of this comet is from Prof. Schulhof | tions (Astronomische Nachrichten, No. 3140) :

rione publishing this was the minimum of change in the parts of the almanac which were to be extracted and published separately,

1893. R.A. app. Decl. app. there is still much in the volume that is not needed by sailors, but the omission of which would have necessitated the setting

Feb. 2 ... I 45 46.5 ... +33 49 26 up of fresh type and much extra work at the Nautical Almanac

47 16'6 ... office. The monthly part is printed unaltered, and consequently

4 ... 48 473 ... contains the sun's and moon's latitude and longitude, which are

5 ... 50 186 ... 53 45 not required by sailors. The noon ephemerides for the brighter

51 504 ... planets, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn; the catalogue of

7 ... 53 228 ... mean places of stars, as well as the apparent places of the nine

8 ... 54 55.8 ... stars used for lunar distances; the eclipse section and the tables

9 ... I 56 293 ... 34 028 for navigation are then given. There is no doubt that the issue COMET BROOKS (NOVEMBER 19, 1892). The follər of this smaller work will confer a real benefit on the shipping | an ephemeris for Comet Brooks for the ensuing weekcommunity, and that it will soon win its way to popularity.

1893. R.A. app. Decl. app. Logr. Log 4 In announcing these changes to the Royal Astronomical Society, Mr. Downing expressed the hope of being able, through Feb. 2 ... 23 56 48 ... +34 27.7 the economy of time effected by international co-operation in

3 ... 23 59 13 ... 33 44'4 ... O'1050 ... O'1395 some of the work of the office, to make considerable future

33 33 additions to the almanac without increasing the burden of the

32 24'I ... 0'1087 ... 0'14 British taxpayer. The duplicate work done at Berlin, London,

31 46-4 Paris, and Washington involves much waste of energy which

7 48 ... 31 10 4 might be more usefully expended : and as a step towards this,

943 ... Mr. Downing, last summer, arranged with Prof. Newcomb, of 9... O II 33 ... 30 29 ... O'1167 . 0'18 Washington, to co-operate in some of the work of their re

THE ANDROMEDES.-Although Mr. Maclair Bords spective almanacs, and the Admiralty have consented to this.

unfortunate in having bad weather on the nights of R It is to be hoped, in the interests of astronomy and of navigation,

13 and 14 last, thus obscuring the Leonids, yet the DR that the scheme may be greatly extended.

shower of the Andromedes that he describes in Art ECLIPSE PHOTOGRAPHY,—The results obtained by M. de la Astrophysics for January should have recompensed us Baume Pluvinel at Salut Isles in 1889 (as given in his lecture what for “the great elevation of the radiant point, which appeared in NATURE last week), when he photographed with a cloudless tropical sky, the absence of moonlig the corona with photographic actions varying from 185 to 13, unobstructed view of the complete hemisphere, atferde and found the photographic action of 30 the most satisfactory; plus ultra of astronomical requirement." Observer

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »