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coral reefs. The Agalegas group may also be sur- such work. The hydrographic results alone should veyed, and the nature of its land ascertained. From more than justify the dispatch of H.M.S. Sealark, the Seychelles the Sealark will return to Colombo, while any discovery which may be made of the laws while the civilian members of the expedition will which govern the formation and growth of coral and spend some months in that group and its vicinity, other reefs—and to which we seem to be tendingreturning home in January, 1906.
would make navigation in tropical waters appreciably The scientific work of the expedition will be of a safer. The scientific members of the expedition have varied nature. In the first place, the soundings and been required to find all the extra gear and instrutemperature observations taken by H.M.S. Sealark ments necessary for their work. In this they have should settle such questions as the existence or non- been materially assisted by grants from the British existence of any relatively shallow banks connecting Association and from the Balfour memorial fund at India and South Africa, and also of any bank from Cambridge; but the bulk of the expense has been Mauritius to the Seychelles. They should also give undertaken by the Trust recently founded by Mrs. an accurate knowledge of the rise and relationships Percy Sladen in memory of her late husband-to of the various Chagos atolls and banks to one whom, it is felt, the objects of this expedition would another, and show whether they are really isolated have very closely appealed, and whose name will by deep sea or arise on some shallow plateau as do appropriately appear upon the publications issued as the greater number of the Maldive atolls. Inci- a result of the investigation. dentally, also, the soundings may reasonably be expected to indicate what changes, if any, have taken place in the reefs and banks since the last surveys. At the same time it is hoped to examine the currents THE INDIAN EARTHQUAKE OF APRIL 4. at various depths, so as to see as far as possible the actual influences at work. In the same connection A LARGE part of north-western India was severely an investigation has already been commenced on the waters of the Indian Ocean. By the kind assistance April 4, shortly after six o'clock in the morning, of the Meteorological Council, cases of bottles have causing the destruction of numerous buildings and been sent out to many captains of the British India, the loss of many lives—the number being estimated P. and O., Orient, Bibby, Clan, and other lines for at twenty thousand. The last great earthquake in daily samples of the surface waters, while the ex- India, in June, 1897, was one of the most violent of pedition itself will obtain samples both from the which there is any historical record, but the casualties surface and from various depths during the whole of and damage due to that disturbance were comparaits sojourn in the Indian Ocean. Mr. D. Matthews, tively small, because the earthquake occurred at five English hydrographer to the North Sea investigation, o'clock in the afternoon, when many people were out has undertaken the analyses of these samples, and it of doors, and there were no large cities within the is hoped that by continuing the collection for twelve area of maximum violence. In the case of the earthmonths a more accurate knowledge may be obtained quake on April 4, most people were indoors at the of the movements of the waters of the Indian Ocean. time of the shock, and the area of greatest disturbIn meteorology a careful log and graphic records will ance included, unfortunately, several centres where be kept, which, coming from such a little known fairly large towns have grown up, chiefly round the region, should be useful for comparison with the more
official settlements, cantonments, and sanatoria of the regular steamer routes.
British Government. Dharmsala, Dalhousie, Simla In biology, the expedition will everywhere take with several neighbouring cantonments, Mussoorie, samples of the bottom and of the pelagic fauna at Dehra Dun, Almora, Ranikhet, and Naini Tal are the various depths. The coral reefs will be examined, chief of these; and the many substantial stone buildboth surfaces and slopes, while the currents and other ings in them have naturally suffered much damage factors, possibly influencing the same, will be care- from the earthquake shocks. fully investigated. The dredges and trawls will be The reports so far available show that the earthlet down as frequently as possible, both to ascertain quake, like that of other great disturbances of the the general characters of the bottom off the islands same kind, was of Himalayan origin, the centre being and banks, and also to sample the flora and fauna. | about Dharmsala. Its intensity decreased through The deep-sea fauna will not be collected, work being | the Punjab and the United Provinces, while from for the most part devoted to intermediate depths (50 Rajputana to the north it decreased rapidly. These to 500 fathoms), within which light tails off into appears to have been no wide extension of the disturbabsolute darkness. It the same time, the fauna at ance towards Assam or Afghanistan, but information lesser depths, both in the Chagos and Seychelles, will from the west is very imperfect. be investigated as completely as possible. By these The whole area where serious damage is known means some clear idea should be obtained of the to have been done is included within a line drawn vertical distributions of both animals and plants, and from Shahpur through Kangra to Jawalamukhi, the comparisons of the marine fauna and flora of the thence east to Sujanpur, and then to Baijnath; Seychelles and Chagos, together and with those of but what occurred eastwards of this area is not the surrounding slopes of the Indian Ocean, should known. at least illuminate the question as to how far the It is clear from the Viceroy's telegrams that the horizontal distribution of such is of value in tracing towns of Dharmsala, Kangra, and Palampur are the former connections of continents and lands. The virtually destroyed, that the loss of life has been very land flora and fauna can scarcely be expected to be great, and that the full measure of catastrophe, owing of great interest-it will not at present be attempted to difficulty of communication, cannot be ascertained in the Seychelles, but it will nevertheless be col- for some time. lected in view of the gradual peopling of oceanic The King has sent to the Viceroy a telegram exisiands.
pressing his “ profound concern at the news of the On the whole, this most recent British exploring calamity which has befallen Lahore and surrounding expedition may be said to be conceived in the interests, district,” and a message of sympathy with all who not of one, but of many sciences, and all who sym- have suffered from the earthquake has been sent by pathise with the advancement of knowledge may be the Prince and Princess of Wales. grateful to the Admiralty for detailing a vessel for No news about the earthquake has been received
from the regions north of Kashmir, but two days Kashmir.-Communication interrupted by landslips and before the first shock was felt in India the Punjab accidents to telegraph lines. stations reported the arrival of storms bearing large Slight tremors appear to have been recorded at Calcutta quantities of dust and ash. Natives arriving at Simla and Bombay, but no decided disturbance was felt. from the interior declare that a volcanic eruption has occurred in the hills in Bashahr State. The earthquake was clearly registered by the seis
PROF. PIETRO TACCHINI. mograph in the observatory at Göttingen, and record was also obtained at the Royal Observatory, THE
HE death of Prof. P. Tacchini on March 24, at Edinburgh The record began with
the age of sixty-seven years, has caused much
very minute tremors about i a.m., while the larger waves
regret among men of science interested in celestial
and terrestrial physics. Italy has thus lost a rebegan about eight minutes later. The maximum disturbance recorded about
presentative man of science who especially devoted
was followed by one of almost equal severity a minute and
himself to the cause of astronomy with zeal and
For many years,
patience. a half later.
director of the From that point the tremors were
Observatory of the Collegio Romano, he proved gradually reduced until 4.43 a.m. The difference of
himself an indefatigable observer of planets and time between Edinburgh and Dharmsala is about five hours. Seismograms recording the earthquake were
comets; but recently this position has been filled by also obtained by Prof. Milne at Shide, Isle of Wight,
Prof. Millosewich, and Prof. Tacchini had been known
as the director of the Central Office of Meteorolog and at the hydrographic station at Pola. A severe earthquake shock, lasting six seconds, was
and Geodynamics. But the especial work with which
his name will ever be connected has been upon lines felt at Benevento, Italy, at 8.20 p.m. on April 9, and
that have long commended themselves to Italian fresh shocks were experienced at Simla on April 10
observers. Secchi made his reputation in the domain and 11. The following particulars of the effects produced he set has been followed with no less eagerness and
of spectroscopy and solar observation, and the example: by the earthquake in various parts of India have been extracted from the extensive reports which have
success by the distinguished astronomer whose death
we have now to regret. All that related to suni-spots, appeared in the daily papers.
faculæ, or protuberances had a fascination for Dharmsala.-All houses and buildings throughout the Tacchini, and for years past our columns have borne entire station, including cantonment and bazaars, totally witness to his continuous devotion to this subjeri. destroyed, with loss of many lives. About 80 per cent. He was particularly interested in the heliographical of the population killed or injured, and from 20 per cent.
distribution of solar phenomena, and every three to 30 per cent. in the neighbouring villages.
Kangra l'alley.—Kangra and Jowala Mukhi and other months, in the pages of the Mem. degli Spettrovillages in Kangra Valley reported totally destroyed, and scopisti Italiani or the Comptes rendus, he recorded many hundred lives lost. Every building, without excep
the variations and gave comparative tables showing tion, in Kangra and Bhawan in ruins. Of a total popu
the growth or decline of solar activity as testified by lation of nearly 5000 in Kangra town it is believed that these outbursts. Researches carried on so long and only about 500 remain alive. Similar state of affairs in so industriously cannot but prove of eminent servic'. most other villages in the neighbourhood. At Palampur, and we may well hope that the work he inaugurated in the Kangra district, all the houses, including the will be carried on with equal zeal by his successors. Government buildings, reported totally destroyed, and Prof. Tacchini's work in this direction well deserved many hundred lives lost. Lahore.-A succession of violent shocks caused a panic. Paris Academy of Sciences in 1892.
the Janssen prize which was awarded him by the The inhabitants rushed from their houses to seek safety
To a solar observer of such ardour, eclipses of the in the open. Almost every house suffered by the earthquake, and much serious damage was done to public and
sun especially appealed, and he took part in several
He was private property, and twenty-five people were killed. The expeditions to observe these phenomena. shock created an extraordinary uproar at the zoological present on the Caroline Island reef, where he associgardens. The shrieks of the pea-fowls were heard all over
ated himself with the French party organised by the station, while crows and other birds flew in alarm from Janssen. Again in Egypt, and later on in 1886. he the swaying trees.
visited the American continent for the purpose of Mussooree suffered severely. Two slight shocks were observing the great eclipse in that year. On this felt during the night of April 3. A succession of shocks occasion he showed, by comparing the forms and began at 6.10 a.m. on April 4, the first, which lasted three
appearances of the prominences seen during the minutes, being the severest. In all eleven shocks were
eclipse with the images ordinarily seen in the spectrum felt. Every house in the city more or less injured. Several small landslips occurred, and many casualties reported.
scope, that it is only the vaporous cores of the This is the fourth severe earthquake that has happened objects which are rendered visible by the usual at Mussooree, and the second worst as regards its effects.
methods of observation. In many other ways he Four or five slight shocks were felt during the night of
showed not only his skill as a spectroscopist, but April 4-5.
his anxiety to promote astronomical knowledge. He Simla.--Much damage done to buildings. The Vice
laboured long and diligently in the cause of science. regal Lodge is so badly damaged that the re-building will and left a reputation that his countrymen will cherish: occupy several months. Other estate houses have been while his memory will be held in esteen by the seriously damaged. Delhi.--The shock was severely felt, astronomers of many nations. He was elected a and damage was done to buildings, but no reports of injury foreign member of the Royal Society in 1891, and was A further shock occurred at midnight on awarded the Rumford medal of the society.
He was April 4-5. Igra.-A violent shock lasting minutes, and travelling from west to east, was experienced Society in 1883, and many other societies have been
several also a foreign associate of the Royal Astronomical at 6.10 a.m. No reports of injury to architectural monuments.
proud to enrol his
name among those of their Jalandhar.-Much damage done. Amritsar.-Extensive
honoured fellows. damage, and several lives lost. Ambala.-A large number
The progress of solar physics is largely due to Prof. of houses thrown down. Srinager.-Much damage, and Tacchini's unremitting labours; and the numerous several lives lost. Mudki. Serious damage. Sialkot, papers published by him on solar phenomena stand Not a house escaped damage of some sort, but no lives as an enduring monument of work done by a pioneer lost. Dalhousie.- Property damaged, but deaths. in a fruitful field of scientific inquiry.
skeleton of the gigantic herbivorous dinosaur Diplodocus We are glad to see the report that Lord Kelvin's con- carne gii, presented by Mr. Andrew Carnegie to the British dition continues to improve. It was stated on Monday (Natural History) Museum. The restoration, which is that he now takes nourishment fairly well, and that his
described by the late Mr. J. B. Hatcher in No. 1 of the medical advisers are well satisfied with the progress he
Memoirs of the Carnegie Museum, is mainly based upon is making. It is expected that he will be able to leave two incomplete skeletons discovered respectively in 1899 his bed in about a fortnight's time.
and 1900 in the Upper Jurassic beds of Sheep Creek, The Irish branch of the Geological Survey has been
Albany County, Wyoming. As restored, the skeleton is transferred from the Board of Education to the Depart- nearly 80 feet in length. Whether this dinosaur is really
specifically distinct from the typical Diplodocus longus may ment of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland. The work will be carried on under the immediate direction
be a question. of Prof. G. A. J. Cole.
DURING a violent thunderstorm on March 31 the second We regret to learn that Mr. H. B. Medlicott, F.R.S.,
pyramid of Ghizeh was struck by lightning slightly below formerly director of the Geological Survey of India, 1876
the apex of the monument. Several of the immense stones 1887, died on April 6, at seventy-six years of age.
of which the pyramid is built were dislodged and rolled
down the sides to the sands below. The storm was the AMONG the portraits recently added to the National
most violent experienced in Egypt for the past fifteen years. Portrait Gallery are those of Sir Charles Lyell, painted by This is the first recorded instance of any of the pyramids Lowes Dickinson, Charles Darwin, and Prof. W. Whewell.
having been struck by lightning. RECTER'S Agency is informed that the Duc d'Orléans
It is announced in Science that the first John Fritz gold has organised a North Polar expedition, which will leave for the Arctic under the Duc's personal leadership next
medal will be conferred upon Lord Kelvin. This medal is month. For the purposes of the expedition the Belgica,
awarded by a joint committee of the American Institute of the vessel of the recent Belgian Antarctic Expedition, has
Electrical Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and been secured, together with the services of Lieut. Gerlache,
the American Institute of Mining Engineers to the man who will again command the ship on the present occasion.
most representative of, and eminent in, scientific advance The object of the expedition is not to reach the North
in the engineering field. Pole, and, according to present arrangements, the Duc will not winter in the Arctic, although the Belgica will The following are the lecture arrangements at the Royal be provisioned for the event of her being closed in by the Institution after Easter :-Prof. L. C. Miall, three lecice. The expedition will leave Norway probably on May 1 tures on the study of extinct animals; Sir James Dewar, and proceed direct to Franz Josef Land, where it is believed three lectures on flame; Prof. J. A. Fleming, three lecthat an attempt will be made to push northwards by way tures on electromagnetic waves (the Tyndall lectures):
new channel. The Duc's staff will include some Prof. H. Marshall Ward, two lectures on moulds and French men of science and
number of Norwegian mouldiness; Dr. J. G. Frazer, two lectures on the evolusailors.
tion of the kingship in early society; and Mr. A. H. At the annual meeting of the Australasian Ornitho
Savage Landor, two lectures on exploration in the Philiplogists' Union, held at the end of last year, Captain F. W.
pines. The Friday evening meetings will be resumed on Hutton, F.R.S., submitted a presidential address dealing May 5, when a discourse will be delivered by Prof. H. E. with some interesting problems in connection with New
Armstrong on problems underlying nutrition. Zealand's avifauna. The evidence he has obtained during his years of research leads him to think that the ancestors
A BRANCH of L'Alliance Française, an association for the of many New Zealand birds went south along a land
spread of the French language, is to be established in ridge which connected New Zealand with New Caledonia
London and Paris under the title of Alliance littéraire, and New Guinea, probably in the early Eocene period.
scientifique et artistique Franco-Anglaise." Information New Zealand ornithologists, Captain Hutton pointed out,
as to membership of the new association can be obtained have special advantages for studying the effects of the
from 186 Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris. The first soirée absence of enemies on development, and New Zealand
will take place in London in the course of the present itself offers more examples of degeneration in the wings Delombre, previously Minister for Commerce, and M.
month. The presidents of the association are M. Paul of birds than does any other country in the world.
Pierre Foucin, Inspecteur-Général de l'Instruction pubProf. J. MacMILLAN BROWN, of Christchurch, New lique. Among those who have promised their support to Zealand, recently paid a visit to the Maoris who live in the the new society are Lord Avebury, Sir William Crookes, fastnesses of the great King country and L'rewera country, Sir Archibald Geikie, Sir Oliver Lodge, Prof. Meldola, in the heart of the North Island of New Zealand. He Sir William Ramsay, Sir Henry Roscoe, and Sir William went specially to visit the “ l'ru-kehu," or red-headed White. Maoris, who are often seen in those districts. He had previously come
The Times correspondent at Athens reports that the the conclusion that the Maoris' ancestors, in their migrations, crossed with a white race,
proceedings in connection with the Archæological Congress and he informed a representative of the Lyttelton Times
began on April 7 with a reception at the university, at that his visit has strengthened his opinion. He states
which the King and the Crown Prince were present. The that in one assembly at which he was present at least
opening ceremony took place at the Parthenon under the 25 per cent of the children had brown, or even flaxen, hair,
presidency of the Crown Prince, the King and Queen a complexion which resembled that of the Italians, and
being also present. On April 8 Prof. Lambros delivered fine Eurcpcan features,
an address of welcome, recapitulating the achievements of
foreign and Greek research in recent years. The cereDr. W. J. HOLLAND), director of the Carnegie Museum, mony of inauguration of the Penrose Memorial Library Pittsburg, has arrived in London for the purpose of super- took place on April 8 in the British School. The King intending the setting-up of the plaster model of the and Queen and all the members of the Royal family were