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The Department of Agriculture in India has commenced end of the four sections of the British Academy, dealing the issue of a chemical series of memoirs. Part i. con
as they do with the different sciences of history, philology, tains an article by Dr. J. W. Leather, agricultural chemist philosophy, and law. These four branches of inquiry, to the Government of India, on the composition of Indian he discovers, have to do with man, and his conscious rain and dew. The author points out that the amount of
activities in every direction, and the relations of men with ammonia and nitric or nitrous acid found in the annual
men and with other conscious beings; and the whole group cainiall by observers in different parts of the world has has as its differentia from the positive physical sciences varied within wide limits. The observations at Rothamsted
the fact that it takes consciousness as the point of view. during fifteen years, 1889-1903, show mean quantities of So the ulterior aim of all the sections is the harmonising 2.76 lb. of " ammonia " nitrogen and 1.19 lb. of “ nitric "
and organising into a system of the knowledge obtained nitrogen per acre per annum, the total being 3.97 lb. ; in each section and subsection of those conscious activities but there has been a tendency among observers in the which are its special province, with the further purpose East to attribute to tropical rainfall much greater amounts. of harmonising those conscious activities themselves into A record of these compounds was kept recently for twelve a concerted life of mankind on earth. The lecturer further months at Dehra Dun and Cawnpore, both stations being claims that internal organisation of the academical sciences nearly within the tropics, and is of interest as additional can only be effected by connecting the sciences of history, evidence upon the subject. The results obtained were, philology, and
law with philosophy,
alone approximately, in lb. per acre :-Dehra Dun, ammonia
possesses in its metaphysical department a secure found2.04, nitrate and nitrite 1.37, total 3.41; Cawnpore, 2.48ation for any science whatever, being itself founded, alone and 0.77 respectively, total 3.25, the amount of ammonia among all, upon the analysis of consciousness, or experibeing less at both stations than at Rothamsted; of nitric ence, without initial assumptions of any kind.” acid, the Dehra Dun rain contained somewhat more, the
The “ Year-book of Agriculture for the State of Cawnpore rain a good deal less, than at the English station. Information regarding the quantity and composi- | vision of its new director of agriculture, Dr. Cherry, con
Victoria for the year 1905, recently issued under the supertion of dew is but limited. Observations were made at Cawnpore between September, 1904, and March, 1905; the
tains a series of valuable articles on economic biology. It annount of dew was only 0.17 inch, and contained approxi- supplies an interesting case of the rapid spread of a mately 0.055 lb, of "ammonia” nitrogen and 0.056 lb. of
European plant in Australia, which is of value from the
exact information available as to its rate of movement. * nitric" nitrogen per acre. Dr. Leather thinks it probable
Some seeds of a species of St. John's wort (Hypericum that the method adopted at Cawnpore for registering the
perforatum) were planted at Bright twenty-five years ago amount of dew gave a low result.
by a lady who wanted the plant for medicinal purposes. The value of statistical researches in the subject of From her garden it spread to the Bright racecourse, where heredity and variation is well illustrated by a paper lately it grew so luxuriantly that it gained the popular name of published in the Proceedings of the American Academy
the racecourse weed.” Thence it has been carried by of Arts and Sciences, under the joint names of W. E.
cattle, as shown by a map of the present distribution of Castle, F. W. Carpenter, A. H. Clark, S. O. Mast, and
the plant in Victoria, along all the main stock routes from W. M. Barrows, on the effects of inbreeding, cross-breed- Bright. Among other directions it has crossed the main ing and selection upon the fertility and variability of
water-shed of Victoria into Gippsland, and now occupies Drosophila, a genus of Diptera which feeds in the larval
more than 10,000 acres of good land. Methods proposed stage on over-ripe fruit. The experiments were conducted
for its eradication are engaging the attention of the Agriwith great care, and their results recorded with minute
cultural Department of Victoria, which has tried an ness, the outcome being a valuable set of conclusions on
extensive series of experiments. Treatment of the ground various moot points connected with the subject. The
with pyrites, at the cost of more than 51. an acre, has authors consider that their experiments prove that, been the most successful. The cost of some of the methods although long.continued inbreeding (extending in one case
tested is prohibitive, ranging up to 471. an acre. Amongst
other valuable articles in the volume are those on the soils to fourteen generations) may possibly cause a decline in fertility, this effect may be more than counterbalanced by
of Victoria, by Dr. Cherry; on farm irrigation from small selection of the most productive among closely inbred
dams, by Mr. A. S. Kenyon ; and on various branches of pairs. No falling-off was observed in either strength, size,
dairy farming or variability in the inbred generations. Different degrees The report of the committee on ancient earthworks and of fertility are characteristic of different stocks; inherit- fortified enclosures, presented to the seventeenth ance of such differences does actually take place, and gives gress of archæological societies held Burlington material for selection. Indications were found of a cyclical | House on July 4, is now available. The committee change in fertility. This appeared to be due to external regrets that the archæological societies have
not yet ronditions, c.g. temperature. The quality of low pro- been able to undertake the systematic scheduling of the ductiveness was found to conform imperfectly with Mendel's ancient earth works and defensive enclosures in their relaw, but the alternative character of high and low fertility spective districts. The report contains a list of the addiis not sharply defined. Sexual maturity was shown to be tions to the literature of the subject of the committee's reached at some time between twenty-four and thirty-nine inquiries, a list of recent cases of the destruction or mutilahours after emergence from the pupa, and a single male tion of defensive outworks, tumuli, and barrows, and some was proved to be capable of fertilising at least four account of the excavations during the year. females.
A VALUABLE memoir of the Geological Survey on DR. SHADWORTH H. HODGSON's paper on the inter- and Subsoils from a Sanitary Point of View, with especial relation of the academical sciences, read to the British Reference to London and its Neighbourhood," was issued Academy on March 14, has been published by Mr. Henry nine years ago. The second edition of this memoir has Frowde. Dr. Hodgson asks what is the common ulterior just been published by the Board of Agriculture and
Fisheries. Questions of water-supply, of ground-water, Food Bill, which has passed the House of Representatives, and of drainage are dealt with in their sanitary aspects; suggests a remedy. The Bill aims at the correct labelling the geology of the district is described according to the of foods, drugs, and liquors in such a way as to show nature of the subsoil, whether clayey, sandy, gravelly, or the source of the material, its treatment, and whether chalky. A small colour-printed map accompanies the colouring matters or preservatives have been added. It 3 letterpress, and the memoir is further illustrated by twenty-pointed out that not only has the chief of the Bureau of two sections and drawings. Copies may be obtained from Chemistry, assisted by the medical staff of the Army. re. any agents for the sale of Ordnance Survey maps, or ported against the use of salicylic, benzoic, and boric directly or through any bookseller, from the Ordnance acids as preservatives, but that preservatives are used in Survey Office, Southampton. The price is is. 6d.
many cases a substitute for cleanliness and careful The first mention of petroleum in North America is due handling, thus discouraging better methods, such as chilling. to Father de la Roche d'Allion, the Franciscan, in 1629.
sterilising, and curing. The use of artificial colouring Mr. Alfred Sang, of Pittsburg, l'.S.A., suggests, in a note
matters, if not actually injurious, is at the best a fraud;
genuine colour is one of the best indications of quality to us, that the first mention of oil in South America may be that by Albaro Alonso Barba, of Potosi, eleven years
and with artificial colour to depend upon there is less need later, in 1640, in “ The Art of Metals,” translated by the
for the selection of the best materials. With regard to Earl of Sandwich in 1669. The part referring to petroleum
tinned meats, the “Government inspection," which is supis contained in the following extract sent by Mr. Sang :
posed to be a guarantee, refers only to the state of the “ La Naphte is a sulphurous liquor, sometimes white, and
original carcass, and antiseptics, colouring matters, filling
materials, and other adulterants may be freely added. sometimes black also, and is that which is called Oyl of Peter, of admirable vertue to cure old pains, proceeding
The extreme difficulty of the problem of pure food legis. from cold causes.
lation is owing to the fact that adulteration has become It will draw fire to it (as the Loadstone does Iron) with that force, that it will take fire at a great
so strongly entrenched in business systems that a prodistance from the flame, as hath been confirmed by the
position to put truthful labels on foods and drugs intended
for interstate commerce has met continuous defeat for miserable experience of the Conde de Hercules de Icontrarii, of the Country of Ferara, who having a well in his ground,
more than fifteen years at the national capital." the water whereof was mixed with Petreol; and by some
IN the Atti dei Lincei, xv., 10, Dr. G. Almansi dis SS breaches or cracks in the well, much of this water ran
how far the principle of virtual work is applicable to to waste; commanded it to be repaired; the Laborer that
systems in which friction exists. was let down into the bottom of the Well desired a Candle,
An interesting note on Americanism" is contributed the better to see his work, which was furnished him in a to the Rendiconti of the Lombardy Institution, sxxix.. Lanthorn, and immediately through the holes of the Lan- 10-11, by Dr. Bassano Gabba. It deals largely with thorn the Naphte suckt the flame into it self and set fire religious thought in America, with special reference in on the whole Well, which discharged it self instantly like
Catholicism. a great piece of Cannon, and blew the poor man into A simple machine for compounding sine-curves is depieces, and took off an arm of a Tree that hung over the scribed by Prof. W. G. Cady in Science, xxiii., 597 Well."
While not possessing the same capabilities as Michelson's IN the Ethnography of the Macedonian Slavs !
harmonic analyser, the instrument is convenient for (London : Horace Cox), translated from the second edition
demonstration purposes, and gives the resultant of a fundaof Dr. Cvijić's well-known booklet, we have a useful
mental sine-curve and either its second, third, or fifth criticism of many wild statements which have been made
harmonic with any desired amplitude and phase-relation with regard to racial relations in Macedonia. After treat
A COMMEMORATION of Christopher Columbus, read on the ing of the sense of nationality and showing its connection tooth anniversary of his death by Dr. Dalla Vedona, is with religion in the area in question, the author discusses
published in the Atti dei Lincei, xv., 11. It is pointed out the value of ethnographical maps published in the peninsula
that the work of Columbus initiated a new method of and elsewhere; he has little difficulty in showing that
research by applying to navigation the theory of the the majority are quite untrustworthy. Most of them are
sphericity of the earth. As the author remarks, the fundadominated by erroneous conceptions
mental conception of Columbus was absolutely rational Bulgarian, adopted by Macedonian Slavs, and often used
and absolutely scientific. by the peasant to denote simply one who speaks the Slav STEREOPHOTOMICROGRAPHY forms the subject of two tongue; an additional complication is introduced by the papers in the Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society attribution of the same name by the Macedonian peasants for June. One, by Mr. W. P. Dollman, of Adelaide, is to the Serbs, so that Russian, Serb, and Bulgarian all bear illustrated by a photograph of polyzoa (Idmonea radians), the same
The maps published in the peninsula the other, by Mr. H. Taverner, by groups of Foraminifera reflect only the political aims of the cartographer. In and the water mite (Ecpolus papillosus, Soar). In both such circumstances Dr. Cvijić's impartial evidence is of cases the photographs were taken by successive exposures the highest value. A comparative table at the end of the the same plate with a screen cutting oti half the booklet shows the variations of the statistical tables. The objective. translation would have gained if an anthropologist had Mosr teachers of geometrical optics have, at one time revised the terminology.
or another, devised arrangements for showing the paths AN article on pure food legislation, by Mr. Robert of rays reflected at a mirror or transmitted through a McD. Allen, in the Popular Science Monthly for July has lens; in general, however, such arrangements require a special interest at the present moment. Its object is to time to be spent in their adjustment, and the results show the difficulties which have retarded legislation with obtained are often very poor when the trouble taken in regard to the adulteration of food in the United States attaining them is considered. Prof. Hartl has laid all in the past, and the proposals by which the Hepburn Pure teachers of experimental optics under an obligation by
designing a piece of apparatus which he calls the “ optical
OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN. disc "; this, at a moment's notice, can be adjusted so as
ASTRONOMICAL OCCURRENCES IN AUGUST :to show the path of the rays in any one of the important
Aug. 4. Th. om. Eclipse of the Moon invisible at Greenwich. tases usually dealt with in elementary lectures on geo
9h. 3m. to roh. 13m. Moon occults · Capricorni metrical optics. The reflection of a single ray, or
(mag. 4'3). number of rays (parallel or divergent) from a plane, con
6. Ioh. Saturn in conjunction with Moon (Saturn convex mirror; the refraction of a ray at
0° 49' N.).
12h. 21m. to 12h. 54m. Moon occults y Aquarii plane surface, including the case where total internal re
(mag. 4.5). Rection occurs; the path of a single ray or a number of
7. Saturn. Major axis of rings = 43":82, Minor = 3" :02. rays through a convergent or a divergent lens; the nature
IO. 13h. 18m. to 14h. 13m.
Moon occults 2 Ceti of spherical and chromatic aberration ; the theory of the
(mag. 4'3). rainbow, these are a few of the experiments which can
Epoch of the Perseid meteoric shower. Radiant
45° + 57°. Br performed by its aid. The apparatus, which is sold by
15. Venus. Illuminated portion of disc =0*650 ; of Messrs. A. Gallenkamp and Co., Ltd., is very compact,
Mars =0-997 and its general arrangement is so good that one experi- 18.
Minimum of Algol (B Persei). ment may be changed for another in about half a minute. 19. 13h. 13m. Eclipse of the Sun invisible at Green. The same firm supplies an appliance comprising bent glass
wich. rods, which show the total reflection phenomena generally
21. gh. 4m. Minimum of Algol (8 Persei).
24. uh. 47m. to 14h. 37m. Transit of Jupiter's Sat. demonstrated by the aid of the illuminated fountain; a
III. (Ganymede). simple polarising apparatus, consisting of a pile of plates
29. 6h. 29m. to 7h. 43m. Moon occults $2 Sagittarii and a black glass reflector, which may be attached to the
(mag. 3-5). optical disc described above; and a simple form of polari
11h. Mercury at greatest elongation (18° 11' W.).
31. 16h. 2m. to 18h. 54m. Transit of Jupiter's Sat. scope, together with specimens of strained glass showing
III. (Ganymede). the characteristic coloured figures associated with double refraction.
FINLAY's Comet (1906d).—The following approximate
elements, corrected for planetary perturbations, are pubAn interesting light is thrown on the difficult problem lished in No. 4106 of the Astronomische Nachrichten by of the behaviour of manures in soils by some
M. L. Schulhof for Finlay's comet at the present epoch :observations, made under the auspices of the Bureau of
Epoch 1906 August 1.0 M.T. Paris.
M= 354 22 457
p= 46 23 22-9
8 10 55'2 published in the form of two communications in the
u = 542"-557
8= 52 22 37*7 1906'0 log a=0.815560 Journal of Physical Chemistry (Nos. 4 and 5). One of
T=Sept. 7'3 (Paris) these deals with the absorption by different soils of the phosphates of calcium and sodium from dilute solutions,
A daily ephemeris, from which the following has been
extracted, has been calculated by M. Fayet :whilst in the other the removal by a soil of potassium
1906 a (true) 8 (true) log r log A Brightness from an aqueous solution of potassium chloride is studied. It is shown that the soils dealt with take up the phos- Aug. ... 55 25
- 1 27 0 04347 ... 9.43680 ... 234 phates and potassium from aqueous solution according to 3 ... 2 13 6
0'03807 943308 the law of a monomolecular reaction, and that the action 5 ... 2 30 47 +1 58 ... 0'03288 9:43202. 25-1 is strictly reversible.
7 ... 2 48 21 ... Water washes out the absorbed
+3 39 O‘02780 943350
9 3 5 38 +5 17 ... 0'02292 943742 25-7 material according to a similar law. Each soil is charac
3 22 31 +6 50., 001823
9-44356 Cerised by a definite limiting capacity of absorption, which differs with different soils. It is remarkable that for
The brightness of the comet when discovered in 1886
is taken as 1.0. tertain clay soils and clay loams this capacity is the same The observation of this comet at Heidelberg on July 16 for sodium phosphate as for calcium phosphate, pointing gave corrections of
HIS. and -1° 37':5 to this to the occurrence of definite reversible chemical actions. ephemeris, and thereby brought the calculated time of It is particularly noteworthy that when water percolates perihelion to about September 8.35, 1906 (Paris M.T.). through a soil the amounts of phosphate or of potassium Applying these corrections to the above ephemeris
, it will
be seen that the comet will be about 30 north of Mira in the transmitted liquid give no clue to the quantities of Ceti on August 4. these materials present in the soil itself. The results are determined, not by solubility alone, but by a special law
AN UNEXPLAINED OBSERVATION.-In No. 4106 of the
Astronomische Nachrichten Prof. Barnard places on record governing the removal of the absorbed substances.
the following observation, which he made so far back as Tre Institute of Chemistry has published a List of
August 13, 1892, and for which he has not yet been able Official Chemical Appointments held in Great Britain and
to find any explanation. While examining Venus with the
36-inch Lick refractor at oh. 50m. (G.M.T.) on August 13, Ireland, in India and the Colonies.” The list has been
1892, he saw a star of about the seventh magnitude in the compiled under the supervision of the proceedings com- same field as the planet, and about 1' south and 145. mittee of the institute by Mr. R. B. Pilcher, the secretary preceding. The position of this object would be, therefore, of the institute, and its price is 25. The list is
a=6h. 52m. 3os., 8= +17° 11':0; this position reduced to ranged in two main divisions; the first contains appoint
1855 becomes a=6h. 5om. 215., 8+17° 13'6, and there
appears to be no such bright star in this place, neither doe's inents under the departments of State and professorial
it agree with the position of any B.D. star. The actual appointments in the British Isles; the second section deals elongation of Venus would exclude the possibility of the similarly with India and the colonies. The information unknown object being an intra-Mercurial planet, although provided indicates the steadily increasing demand for pro
it does not preclude an improbable planetary body interior
to Venus. fessional chemical services in connection with State and
Although fourteen years have elapsed since the observ. municipal administration, and it should prove of service ation was made, Prof. Barnard has hitherto hesitated about to chemists everywhere.
publishing the results, but now thinks that they should
be placed on record, especially as his notes are very
Mr. T. Westgarth (Middlesbrough) followed with a paper definite, and there could have been no known possibility on large gas engines built in Great Britain. All the British of mistake.
builders were, he said, using the sour-cycle system, except Unless the unknown body was one of the brighter the builders of the Körting and Oechelhauser engines, who asteroids—and Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta were known worked on the two-cycle system. to be elsewhere--the result is, as yet, entirely incompre- In discussion, Mr. Julian Kennedy pointed out that in the hensible.
United States gas engines were only in their iniancy. The Rio de JANEIRO OBSERVATORY.-We have just re
After further well-sustained discussion, the meeting celved the “ Annuario ” of the Rio de Janeiro Observatory adjourned. During the afternoon visits were paid to the for 1906, a useful volume which is published by the observ
National Physical Laboratory, to the London County atory, under the direction of the Minister of Industry and
Council's electricity generating station at Greenwich, to of Public Works, and which is the twenty-second of the
the Mercers' Hall, and to the Hall of the Armourers and series.
Brasiers' Company, and in the evening a reception was In addition to the usual calendars and tables of astro
given by the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House. nomical events, this volume contains numerous tables
On July 25 a crowded meeting was presided over by Mr. employed in astronomical reductions and conversions, tables
Robert W. Hunt (Chicago), president of the American for the reduction of meteorological observations, data
Institute of Mining Engineers. His presidential address employed in physical and chemical operations, and a
dealt chiefly with American rolling-mill practice, and conrésumé of the meteorological observations made in the
cluded with the announcement that Mr. J. E. Stead, Ria de Janeiro area during the year 1904.
F.R.S., and Mr. R. A. Hadfield had been elected honorary members of the American society. The first paper read
dealt with a comparison of American and foreign rail IRON AND STEEL INSTITUTE.
specifications, with a proposed standard specification in
cover American rails rolled for export. The author, Mr. IN place of the usual autumn meeting, the Iron and Steel A. L. Colby, read the paper in abstract, and the proposa
? Institute held a largely attended meeting in London to admit o.1 per cent. of phosphorus was adversely criticised on July 24 and following days jointly with the American by Mr. Windsor Richards and other British members, the Institute of Mining Engineers. At the opening meeting the 0.07 per cent. recommended by the Engineering Standards president of the Iron and Steel Institute, Mr. R. A. Had-Committee being considered safest for British practice. field, gave an address of welcome to the American guests, A paper by Mr. R. H. Lee, on producers in blast-furnar expressing satisfaction that so many American engineers work, was briefly discussed, and the meeting adjourned. had been able to be present at this important international In the afternoon visits were paid to the works of Messrs. meeting: Sir James Kitson, who was president when the John I. Thornycroft at Chiswick, to the works of Messs. saciety first visited America in 1890, followed with a similar J. and E. Hall at Dartford, to the halls of the Inner and address of cordial welcome. Mr. Robert Hunt, president of Middle Temples, to Kensington Palace, the Imperial Instithe American society, in acknowledgment, said they felt as tute, and the museums at South Kensington. In the eventhough they were part of the Iron and Steel Institute in that ing there was a fête at the Imperial Royal Austrian their society was formed on the same lines, and was equally Exhibition at Earl's Court. camprehensive in its character and membership. The presi- On July 26 Mr. Hunt occupied the chair, but upon his dent announced that the King had consented to receive a proposal Mr. Hadfield presided. The first paper taken as deputation of the American guests, and also to honour the by Mr. James P. Roe, on the development of the puddling institute by accepting the Bessemer gold medal. He also process, and this was followed by a paper by Mr. James amounced that Sir Hugh Bell had been unanimously E. York on improvements in rolling iron and steel. Ther elected as his successor to the presidency in May next. two papers, which are of extreme importance from a praca Papers on Continental practice in blast-furnace gas engines tical point of view, elicited an excellent discussion. The were then read in abstract by the secretary, Mr. Bennett remaining papers on the British and American lists west H. Brough. The first of these, by Prof. Hubert (Liége), taken as read. Many of these are of great interest and dealt with the design of blast-furnace gas engines in value, and we hope to publish abstracts of them in a sutBelgium. It reviewed the history of the direct utilisation sequent issue. During the afternoon, visits were paid to of blast-furnace gas in engines since the early attempts in the works of Messrs. Fraser and Chalmers at Erith, to the 1895, and gave particulars of detailed tests of a 1400 horse- works of the Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers power two-cylinder double-acting and tandem engine made at Northfleet, to the Chelsea Power Station, and to the by the Cockerill Company. Mr. Reinhardt's paper, on the hall of the Ironmongers' Company. In the evening there application of large gas engines in the German iron and was a banquet and special firework display at the Crystal sfeel industries, formed an exhaustive treatise on the sub- Palace. ject. The author showed that in the German ironworks On July 27 the King received at Buckingham Palaer 3 there are 349 gas engines with a total effective horse-power deputation of the councils of the Iron and Steel Institute of 385,000. He reviewed the practical experience gained by and of the American Institute of Mining Engineets, and working, and with the aid of a large number of illustra- accepted from the president, Mr. Hadfield, the Bessemer tions explained the present design of large gas engines in gold medal and a suitable illuminated address. The general Germany. The old arrangement of the single-acting four- body of members visited Windsor Castle, where special cycle motor, with one or more cylinders, has in recent years facilities were given them for seeing the palace and gardens not been generally used, and, on the other hand, double- In the evening there was a banquet at the Guildhall ; Mr. acting four-cycle motors, mostly with tandem cylinders, Hadfield presided, and the company numbered 600 and are in keen competition with two-cycle motors. The author included many distinguished guests. The American ladies, described in detail the cylinder and exhaust-valve chest, numbering 100, were entertained at dinner in two of the valve gear, shifting boxes, cooled pistons and piston rods, committee rooms, with Mrs. Hadfield and Lady Lloyd ignition and starting, and various engines of the double- Wise presiding. acting four-cycle type of the leading German makers, the On July 28 there were alternative excursions to Messss. remainder of the paper being devoted to two-cycle engines Butlin's biast furnaces at Wellingborough and to use on the Oechelhäuser and the Körting systems. Suitable Dover harbour works. These two successful visits brought trials concerning the consumption of gas, Mr. Reinhardt the Iron and Steel Institute meeting to a close. For the remarked, are not available for comparison, and therefore American guests visits were arranged, on Sunday, July ea, it is not yet known how far the two-cycle engine is at the to St. Paul's Cathedral, the Roman Catholic Cathedral at present time in this respect still inferior to the four-cycle Westminster, the Zoological Society's Gardens, the Botanic engine. In conclusion, the author stated that the present Society's Gardens, and to Hurlingham and Ranelagh position of the application of gas engines in German iron-Clubs, and on July 30 they started on a provincial tour, warks shows the value the managers of these undertakings organised by the Iron and Steel Institute, to York, Ripoa, aftribute to the better and less dangerous utilisation of Middlesbrough, Durham, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Glasgow, and the waste gases of their furnaces.
SOJE RECENT ASTRONOMICAL WORKS.1 tions to the proper motions in declination. Of the
stars contained in Auwers-Bradley, 2640 have been disThe appearance of another star catalogue from the
cussed. Satisfactory reasons Radcliffe Observatory shows how loyal that institution
are given for omitting the
remainder, so that the material may be considered exhas remained to the traditions that Main and Stone re
hausted. ceived from Johnson and the earlier observers. The
The results, grouped according to the galactic
latitude of the stars or the type of spectrum, have been result is in every way worthy of those traditions. Other
Since duties may have divided the attention of the director.
made the groundwork of special investigations.
these have been before the astronomical world some time, The maintenance of the observatory in the first rank has demanded within the last few years that new and larger here. The tables indicate a great amount of care and
it is not necessary to enter into any lengthy description instruments should be erected, and the adjustment of these
industry, and will be useful to those who wish to make has necessarily taxed the energies of the small staff at
independent investigations based on the proper motions of The observers' disposal. But these imperative tasks have
the stars. only had the opteet of diminishing somewhat the number
Dr. Sitter's contribution contains new and useful matter. of stars observed. The accuracy and the independence of
The tables here arranged show at a glance the times of the observations, which have ever been a feature in the
the year most suitable for making stellar parallax observRadcliffe meridian measures, have in no whit suffered.
ations, on the assumption that the method of photography In these respects the tradition of the observatory has been unflinchingly upheld.
will be adopted and that the plates will be taken near
the meridian. The introduction to the volume shows that the stability
Some tables are also given that will be of
use in the subsequent reduction of the measures. Profs. of the instrument has been increased by structural alter
J. C. and l. Kapteyn add a collection of differential ations. The examination of the division errors,
that tedious and laborious work, involving in this case
formulae connected with the solution of spherical triangles.
The authors believe that such formulæ would be of more ihan ten thousand readings of the circle, has been manfull: tackled with apparently greater
general use if the amount of the neglected terms than Stone known with certainty. To
this difficulty, the bestowed upon this fundamental work. The pivots have
formula here given are
to the squares of the been tested by an apparatus that Dr. Rambaut himself
differences. Convenience rather than originality seems to has perfected. The results are apparently quite satisíactory.
have influenced the authors, both here and in other formula Finally, we are brought face to face with that troublesome R-D correction, the origin of which defies satisfactory
applicable to plane and spherical triangles in which certain
of the clements are small. Another table for which we explanation, as its treatment taxes ingenious applications. The method employed at Oxford is not the same as that
have not you found any extended use is one giving the which recommends itself to the authorities at Greenwich.
trigonometrical functions for each degree in the circle to At the former observatory no correction for this discord
two places of decimals. But the authors say that matheance has been made to the direct measures the whole
matically trained persons have found it so useful in redifferener being applied as a correction to the reflexion
lieving their mind from mental strain, that they contemobservations in order to render the two series homogeneous.
plate publishing a similar table giving the natural In the Greenwich observations of zenith distance, a cor
trigonometrical functions to three places of decimals for rection is applied which has practically the effect of making
every tenth of a degree throughout the entire circle. the final result a mean between the direct and reflected
Such tables might possibly be of service to the readers observations. One may not say that it is a consequence
of the next work on our list, “ Cours d'Astronomie," by of these different methods of reduction that the declin
M. Louis Maillard, though, as the author does not vouchation obtained at Oxford and Greenwich show systematic
safe any word of preface, it is uncertain for what class differences. But when a comparison between the star
of students his book is intended. The purpose of the book places common to the two catalogues (Radcliffe, 1900, and
is the more difficult to comprehend since we have but one Greenwich, 1890) is instituted, a systematic discordance
volume of the work from which to judge of its aim and
extent. But the writer of a text-book on astronomy has is disclosed, the greater portion of which can be removed by reducing the Greenwich and Radcliffe observations in
to keep within lines which very well recognised. suhutantially the same
The zone catalogue of
Especially is this the case when dealing with spherical Alball also includes a large number of stars that have
astronomy. The facts do not materially change or inbeen observed at Oxford.
The only choice the writer can exercise is to A comparison between these
decide between a work of reference which shall be as two catalogues is most satisfactory. The difference bala.en the two is practically the same as between Albany
encyclopædic as possible, or a text-book which shall preand Romberg's Pulkova catalogue. Of the accuracy of
sent to the reader a manageable amount of matter from this latter Prof. Auwers has spoken in the highest terms.
which he may acquire an adequate grasp of the facts and
M. We may offer our congratulations 10 Dr. Rambaut on the
principles upon which the science is supported. successful completion of a heavy piece of work, and express
Maillard apparently prefers the text-book, and proceeds the hope that the large equatorial, the mounting of which
on the usual unheroic lines. He begins with the derivation has interfered so much with the progress of his meridian
of the ordinary formula of spherical trigonometry, to Dirasures, will amply fulfil its early promise.
which he adds a few pages giving some elementary notions
on the theory of least squares. But these few pages serve Th. parcel from Groningen contains specimens of those laboricus calculations to which the astronomers of that
no useful purpose, and might have been omitted with Cniversity are so much attached, and by which other
advantage. When it is added that the author has some aastri romers have profited. Prof. Kapteyn here gives the
chapters on problems connected with diurnal motion, and Tesults of his discussions of the proper motions of the
a description of the constellations, it will be understood greales part of the Bradley-Auwers stars
that he is catering for a class that is not very far advanced
on different issumptions of the value of the precessional constant,
in astronomical study. But the chapters on parallax and the position of the solar apex, and of systematic correc
aberration are generally full enough for all who have not
to make any practical application of the theory. Finally, 1 "Catalogue of 1972 Stars chiefly comprised within the Zone 85 -00
the section on the earth and geodetic measurement is made XPD for the Epocb 1000, deduced from Observations made at the quite interesting. The book ought to have a ready appreciRadcliffe (harvalory, ! xford, during the years 1894-1003, under the ation among students in high schools and colleges, and director of Prif Arthur A Rambaut, F.R.S. Pp. xxxvi + 81. (Oxford : Hey Frowde, 1906.)
is an advance on some of those which have long done duty Poblicatwns of ihe Astronomical Lahorat ry at Groningen." Edited by in this country, and still enjoy an honoured position. The Prof JC Kapteyn Componenes of the Proper Morions and other quanti. book is apparently lithographed, but it is very handsomely ties for the Stars of Bradley. Tables for Photographic Par: llax.Observa. tinns bv 1 W. de Sinter, Come useful trigonometrical formulae arda
finished, and the diagrams are new and wrill reproducrd. table of ponineetrical functions for the four quadrants, by Prof IC. Of a very different calibre and purpose is Mr. Stirling's Kapteyn and Prof. W. Kapseyn. (Groningen: Hilsema Bros., 1906.) work. T. Maillard has been developed in an atmosphere
Cours d' Jafrannmir." marl, uis Maillard. Tom I. Pp. 243. (Paris : Litasime vienufjue, A. Hermann, no date.) Price 7.50 francs
of extreme orthodoxe. lle is not, and has no wish to be ** New Theories in Astronomy." By William Stirling. Pp. xv + 336.
thought, original. His methods have received the sanction (London: E. and F. N. Spon, Lid., 1906 ) Price 8s. 01 net
of many generations of teachers. For good or for evil,