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der Erde." The second volume, dealing with salt in Asia, the sun-spot maximum awaits the confirmation of further Africa, America, and Oceania, appeared recently, and the

observations. Numerous cases of abnormal “ reversals" first volume, which will be concerned with Europe, is in

are referred to in the paper. From the observations of reversed lines Mr. Mitchell deduces a temperature for the

gases producing these lines of 4700°, and a further deducTHE prominence now given to geometrical and machine

tion gives 0:38 as the ratio of the sun-spot radiation to the drawing in the curricula of schools and colleges has led

radiation from the unaffected photosphere. The spectrum to an increased demand for trustworthy mathematical

and construction of the chromosphere are also discussed

at some length. drawing instruments. The recent catalogue, with its numerous illustrations, published by Mr. W. H. Harling, of Finsbury Pavement, London, showing the instruments

CONDENSATION NUCLEI. he is prepared to supply, may be commended to the attention of teachers and students. In it they will find par. PROF. Barus has written more upon the subject of ticulars concerning a great variety of instruments designed

condensation nuclei than any other physicist. In the

present memoir, as in those which have preceded it, he to meet every want.

arrives at conclusions which are not in agreement with the work of others who have investigated the properties

of ions and nuclei. If his investigations are to be trusted, OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN.

the determinations which have hitherto been made of the CoNET 1906, (KOPFF).-In addition to those published charge carried by the ions by means of the condensation by Herr M. Ebell, elliptic elements have been calculated

method must be regarded as quite untrustworthy. The for the orbit of Kopff's comet by Messrs. Crawford and

matter is of sufficient importance, therefore, to justify an

examination of Prof. Barus's methods. Champreux, and are published in No. 100 of the Lick Observatory Bulletins.

The first three chapters, and the greater part of the They are as follows:

sixth and concluding chapter, are concerned with experiElements.

ments upon the production of clouds by the sudden exT= 1906 May 2'0877 G.M.T.'

pansion of dust-free air initially saturated with water Epoch = 1906 Sept. 567091

log 9 =0'230114

vapour, the air in most cases being exposed to the action log e=9-716356

of X-rays or radium. As described by Prof. Barus, the M= 18 41 54 6

log a=0'549258

phenomena are exceedingly complicated and irregular. w = 19 28 44 9

h = 532"-255

This is not surprising, however, being largely a result of 8 = 263 4; 23 6 1906-0 Period=6-66633 years

complication in the experimental conditions. 8 64 098)

The expansion was brought about by suddenly opening

communication between the “ fog chamber and another The first decimal place of the period is determinate, and much larger, partially exhausted vessel, a measured fall of as this agrees with Herr Ebell's, who gave 6.617 years, it pressure being thus produced. By means of the coronas may be taken as fairly established. An cphemeris which formed, an estimate was obtained of the size, and hence accompanies the elements gives the following positions for indirectly of the number of the drops ; filtered air was then the remainder of this month :

re-admitted to bring the pressure back to that of the

atmosphere. This method of effecting the expansion is not Ephemeris (12h. G.M.T.).

a suitable one for investigations of the kind attempted. 1906 a (rue) 8 (true) 1906

a (1 rue)

For the rate of fall of pressure must diminish as the ex

pansion approaches completion; it is probable that with 22 28 5 3

4 30

à suitable width of connecting tube no great error will be 21'5 21 29 4 45


4 17

introduced into the measurement of the least expansion JUPITER'S SEVENTH SATELLITE.—From a telegram from required to produce a cloud (i.e. that the expansion may be Prof. Pickering to the Kiel Centralstelle, published in No. made practically adiabatic), but it is unlikely that the 412; of the Astronomische Nachrichten, we learn that maximum degree of supersaturation resulting from exjupiter's seventh satellite was re-observed by Prof. Perrine pansions greater than this approaches at all closely to that at the Lick Observatory on September 25. The position calculated from the pressure fall. For the condensation on angle and distance at 1906 September 25.9962 were 119o.1 the nuclei which first come into action will, by reducing and 2378" respectively.

the amount of vapour remaining uncondensed and by the OBSERVATIONS OF VARIABLE STARS.-Bulletin No. 8 of

heat set free, prevent the full supersaturation corresponding the Laws Observatory, (niversity of Missouri, contains

to the pressure fal! from being attained. The larger the the results of some variable-star observations made at the

number of easily caught nuclei, the more will the maxiobservatory during 1903-0. A grant of five hundred dollars mum supersaturation attained fall short of the theoretical. from the Gould fund of the National Academy of Sciences

The method is thus not a suitable one for obtaining inhas enabled the director, Prof. F. H. Seares, to engage an

formation about the number of nuclei corresponding to assistant observer, Mr. E. S. Haynes, fer this work with

various degrees of efficiency. gratifying results.

If we produce a cloud in dust-free air upon nuclei which The star B.D. + 55°2817 has been shown to be a variable require a high degree of supersaturation to make water of the continuous variation type, with a range of 0.4 magni- condense upon them, the drops which are formed, if caused tude and period of

days. Observations of

10 evaporate by compression of the air, appear to leave V Lacertæ, V Vulpeculæ, and 108. 1905 Capricorni are also

behind nuclei requiring only a slight supersaturation to

make water condense upon them. Unless these are recorded. In the case of the last-named, the rise to maximum is very rapid, an increase of 1.5 magnitudes

moved before expansions large enough to catch the original taking place in iz hours, and the observations show that nuclei are again attempted confusion is sure to follow. this star is probably not of the Algol type.

The result of neglecting this precaution is not merely that



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Oct. 17:5

Oct. 25 5

22 30 22 32




these residual nuclei give rise to drops as well as those SUN-SPOT SPECTRA ORSERVATIONS.-In Vo. 2, vol. xxiv., under investigation, but unless the apparatus is such as of the Astrophysical Journal, Mr. W. M. Mitchell, of gives exceedingly efficient expansion the supersaturation Princrion Observatory, records the results of his sun-spot necessary for the capture of the nuclei under investigation spetra observations made during the period October, 2005, may not be attained, the number of drops produced being to Mar. 1906. Mr. Mitchell found that during the more thus too small in contrast to what might at first sight be recent observations the number of “weakened" lines in #spected. The experiments of Prof. Barus's investigation the spot spectra has increased considerably : many lines were performed under conditions which made this effect previously recorded as * reversed"


I "The Nucleation of the Uncontaminated Atmosphere." By Prof. Carl and new lines of the latter tipe are recorded. A sugges

Pp. 152. (Published by the Carnegie Institution of Washington tion that this change mar bop a result of the passing of January, 1906.)

are now




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conspicuous, the result in many cases being a remarkable nearly constant over relatively enormous distances. Thus
alternation of larger and smaller coronas, corresponding to to give two examples among many (@p=25 cm.):-
variations in the number of the drops, for successive ex-
pansions of equal amount. It is easily seen how, under

600 ... 6

6c0 cm. the appropriate conditions, such an alternation may arise,

NX10- 88

8; 79 79 79 , for the second expansion may remove the greater number of the residual nuclei due to the first, so that the third The law of inverse squares would predicate a ridurten takes place under conditions similar to those of the first

of 10,000 to i between these limits; and in fact, at din). expansion. A large amount of space is given to the study

the phosphorescent screen is intensely luminous, at 20) am of these alternations, and they are finally traced to their very dim, at 600 cm. quite dark as in the case of any

of electrostop true source after many hypotheses have been suggested for ordinary illumination. The leaves their explanation,

“the solutional enlargement of the within a glass bell jar collapse in a time which is directly nucleus, as the author calls it, being then apparently re

as the square of the distance from the energised X-TRY garded as a new discovery. Besides incidental references bulb. The result obtained with nuclei is astonishing, the to these residual nuclei in earlier papers, he would have

nuclei-producing radiation would, at first sight, seem to be found them described in Thomson's Conduction of of an extremely penetrating kind, akin to the gamma rais Electricity through Gases,” p. 139, or in a review of the of radium, and distinct from the ordinary phosphorescence subject of condensation nuclei presented to the International producing X-rays.” Electrical Congress of St. Louis in 1904, and a great deal

Chapter vi., p. 144 : To the eye of the fog chamber of labour might have been saved. That small drops of

therefore the walls of the room are aglow with radiation. pure water might be expected to cease to evaporate, even

and no matter in what position the bulb may be placed in an unsaturated atmosphere, beyond a certain minimum (observationally from 6 cm. to 6 in. between bulb and size (related to the thickness of minimum surface tension chamber) the X-illuinination as derived from primary and of thin films) is pointed out by Thomson in the same

secondary sources is constant everywhere. It is 10 chapter, p. 153 ; and a theory (having a similar basis), understood that the X-illumination here referred to may be which explains the permanence of certain slow-moving ions corpuscular. In fact, so far as I see, the primary and requiring a negligible degree of supersaturation to make

secondary radiation here in question may be identical: tor water condense upon them, has been given by Langevin

the corpuscles may come from the circumambientait and Bloch.

molecules shattered by the shock of gamma rays. By exposing to intense X-rays the moist air in a Chapter vi., p. 145 :

“ It has been shown that for vert "rectangular condensation chamber of wood impregnated

short exposures (sections 101 and 102) the nucleation is with resinous cement, the front and rear faces being of the same, whether the bulb is placed at 6 cm. or 6 m. plate glass, persistent nuclei requiring only a very slight from the fog chamber. But only in the former case expansion to cause water to condense upon them were (D=6 cm.) is the effect cumulative; only for very short obtained. The only nuclei hitherto observed in dust-free distances will persistent or very large nuclei appear if thr air exposed to X-rays require large expansions to capture exposure is prolonged several minutes. I have therefter them. That such nuclei' should, under the appropriate suspected that the radiation from the X-ray bulb is two la conditions (the occurrence of chemical action giving rise in character ; that the instantaneous effect (fleeting nucles to soluble products), grow into larger bodies is what might is due to a gamma-like ray, quick moving enough to pone. be expected ; such a growth has, for example, been observed trate several millimetres of iron plate appreciably esen in the case of the ions arising from a point discharge. It for D=6 metres ; furthermore that the cumulative efort is quite likely that sufficiently intense X-rays or radium (persistent nuclei) is due to X light, properly so called rays might bring about in moist air the chemical action which produces the usual effects subject to the laws of necessary for such a growth of the nuclei, as intense ultra- inverse squares; but it is noteworthy that while the penn violet light certainly does; but results, obtained with a tration of X-rays is relatively small, and the distance efekt chamber of wood impregnated with resinous cement and negligible (section 101), they are both lai for the radia not rigorously shielded from all possible direct electrical ation from radium (section 104)." effects from an X-ray bulb placed a few cm. from it, are The conclusion that the nucleus-producing radiation inom not free from ambiguity.

an X-ray bulb is constant over distances varving from Apart from this effect of very intense radiation, the con- 6 cm. to 6 m. (or as elsewhere expressed that "the while clusions arrived at by the study of the effect of X-rays medium within the room is almost equally energiwa and radium rays appear to differ from those of other throughout '') is somewhat startling. One would observers. Prof. Barus holds original views, not only expect the number of nuclei present at a given moment in upon the relation of nucleation to ionisation, but as any case to fall off inversely as the square of the distane; to the nature of the radiation from an X-ray tube. These the number of ions might under suitable conditions toe are best given in his own words :

expected to vary inversely as the distance: but the fac Chapter vi., p. 133 : Let the X-radiation to which the that there is no falling off at once suggests that them dust-free air is exposed be relatively weak, so that the is something wrong with the experiments or the interpretdensity of ionisation may remain below a certain critical ation put upon them. Possibly the observed constanit is value. The nuclei observed on condensation are then very partly due to the failure of the method to deal with mati small, and they require a high order of exhaustion, than a limited number of nuclei. Some of the result approaching but always below the fog limit of however, suggest that it may have been partiv due in the energised air. They are usually instantaneously generated failure to shield off the rapidly changing electric firld pro(within a second) by the radiation, so that their number duced by the working of the coil. is definite independent of the time of exposure. They decay There is more danger of the statements of the first in a few seconds after the radiation ceases, i.e., roughly; paragraph quoted above leading to confusion

The exto one-half their number in 2 seconds to one-fifth in 20 pression fog-limit apparently indicates the stra! seconds, in the usual way. I fancy that these nuclei are pressure fall which produces a sufficiently large numbwwhat most physicists would call ions; but nevertheless the of drops to admit of a corona being observed. Presira particles are not of a size, the dimensions depending on expansion experiments, in which a sudden dehnite sple the intensity of the penetrating radiation to which they change was produced, have shown three critical or firrita are usually due, and they pass continuously into the per- ing values of the expansion (measured by the ratio of 1 sistent nuclei, as shown in the next paragraph, where final to the initial volume). These are 1.38. besurd shit decay of ionisation and of nucleation are very different dense fogs begin to be produced in dust-iren air urder things. They are abundantly produced by the g rays, normal conditions: 1:25. the least expansion prouired for which though weak jonisers, become from this point of the capture of negative ions; and an intermediate one in view strong nucleators.

the neighbourhood of 1:31, the least expansion rouirt Chapter vi., p. 142 : While the phosphorescent, photo for the capture of positive jons. Certain apparentis un graphic, and electric effects of X-radiation decrease rapidly charged nuclei require an expansion of about the same with the distance, D. from the tube, the nucleating effect amount as do the positive ions. Tons of bo h kiri. pro IX, nuclei generated per cubic centimetre, instantly) is always present in small numbers in the air of an


tessel unless an electric field is present to remove them as Chapters iv. and v. contain an account of observations they are set iree; an expansion exceeding 1.25 gives, in made at Providence and in the comparatively uncontaminthe absence of such a field, fog or rain, according as the ated atmosphere of Block Island upon the variations in the air is exposed to external ionising agents or not.


number of nuclei in unfiltered atmospheric air. The nuclei above three limits would correspond to adiabatic pressure are here such as may be caught with smaller expansions falls of 277, 20-5, and 24.1 cm. of mercury respectively, if than are required by the ions; they are Aitken's dust the initial pressure was 76 cm., and would vary with the particles. Their number was estimated, not by Aitken's initial pressure. The fog limit obtained by Prof. Barus method, but by observing the coronas seen through the for air exposed to X-rays or radium rays, except under fogs produced on expansion of the air in an apparatus of conditions such that persistent nuclei resulted, generally the same type as that used in the investigations already lay between 19 and 21 cm., except when the radiation discussed. In the present case, where only easily caught was exceedingly weak, when the limit approached that nuclei are involved, the objections brought above against which he obtained for “ non-energised " air, about 24 cm., the method do not apply, and there can be no doubt about which may be compared with the intermediate critical

the importance of such investigations. expansion mentioned above. The results of Prof. Barus

C. T. R. WILSON. are accounted for if we suppose that his method failed to detect the comparatively small number of drops formed on the pontaneously produced negative ions; such vari

BOTANICAL CONGRESS AT HAMBURG. ation of the limit as was observed in air exposed to external radiation, as the intensity was varied within THE Society of Applied Botanists held its annual conmoderate limits, being what might be expected with a ference at Hamburg in September, and the Society method in which the * fog limit " is only reached when a of Systematic Botanists held its meeting there at the same certain minimum number of drops is exceeded. It is true time. Some 150 botanists in all, mostly interested in that the ions are not at any one moment all in an equally applied botany, attended. The choice of place of meeting favourable condition for helping condensation, a certain was a happy one, as in Hamburg, the chief Continental range of expansions (not very wide, however) being re- port, the closest connection can be seen between commercial quired, for example, to catch all the negative ions; but and scientific activities. there is no evidence that the efficiency of the ions as

All the botanical institutions are under the direction of nuclei increases with the intensity of the ionising rays, if

Prof. Zacharias, and while the educational requirements we leave out of consideration the possible effect of exceed- are well cared for, everything that the botanical scientific ingly intense rays; for the weakest radiation (that re- staff can do to foster the trade of the city is done. The sponsible for the spontaneous ionisation), as well as seed-testing station is under the direct charge of Prof. for radiation of very considerable intensity, the efficiency Voigt, who, with six assistants, tests some 1500 samples of the most favourably situated ions remains the same. of seed, oil-cake, &c., each year. An important export Prof. Barus has apparently failed to notice that the limits seed trade with the Argentine Republic is carried on, the found by him are, if properly interpreted, in fairly good certificates required by the Republic being supplied from agreement with those of previous observers-quite as good the station. Another important institution is the Station agreement as could be expected from the comparative for Plant Protection, founded some seven years ago as a roughness of his methods. Possibly some explanation of means of protection for the vineyards and orchards of this omission is afforded by a passage on p. 50, where the Germany against the San José scale insect and other pests volume change corresponding to a given pressure fall has liable to be imported into Germany on American apples, been wrongly calculated, as if the expansion were iso- fruit-trees, &c. This station is in charge of Dr. Brick, thermal instead of being nearly adiabatic.

who, armed with the necessary staff, library, and apparatus, It is a matter of some difficulty to know what views must report on every barrel of apples coming into port. Prof. Barus really holds upon the relation of the ionisation The rejected apples, dangerous to Germany, find a ready as determined by electrometer measurements and the market in England and elsewhere. “ Heeting nuclei which most physicists would call In the Botanical Museum the collections are arranged ions. That he does not regard such nuclei as identical in two sections. One part follows the usual lines—the with the ions is plain from the statement that the gamma specimens are arranged in systematic order, according to rays, though weak ionisers, are strong nucleators, as well their natural affinities, and serve more especially for educaas from the suggestion that the fleeting nuclei produced tional purposes. The other part of the collection appeals by an X-ray bulb may be due to a gamma-like ray,' to commercial interests. The fibres of commerce, the chief only the persistent nuclei to the “ X-light properly so rubbers, gums, resins, cereals, &c., are in each class called, which produces the well-known effects subject to grouped together, regardless of natural affinities, and solely the law of inverse squares ” (the ionisation as determined for trade purposes. A new and more commodious museum by electrometer measurements being one of these, in the Botanic Gardens is just reaching completion. The another of the passages quoted seems to indicate). Prof. museum is regularly visited by schools and their teachers, Barus seems to have entirely failed to realise how complete and a large piece of ground is set apart in the suburbs is the evidence of the identity of the nuclei produced, in to supply the specimens required in the schools for teachthe investigations of previous observers, by X-rays or any ing purposes. of the various types of Becquerel rays with the ions the Everything that could be done by the local existence of which has to be postulated to explain the botanical staff and others to make the meetings of the phenomena of the conduction of electricity through the societies a success. The Hamburg Government granted a air exposed to such rays. Not only has it been shown by sum of 4000 marks toward expenses, and in other different direct experiments that the nuclei are positively and nega- ways showed a practical interest in the proceedings. One tively charged bodies having properties such as have to be important feature was the first International Conference on assigned to the ions to explain the phenomena of conduc- Seed Testing. Most of the seed stations in the world were tion through gases, but a still more direct proof of the represented, and attempts to establish a uniform system identity is furnished by the agreement of the two methods of testing, applicable in different countries, were discussed. by which the charge on the ions was determined, that of It was generally felt that it would be premature to seek to J. J. Thomson and that of H. A. Wilson. For the former go further at present than simple discussion. Many valugives the ratio of the ionisation (the product of the number able papers were contributed. Dr. Stebler gave the results of the ions per c.c. and the charge carried by each), as of twenty years' investigation in the station at Zürich as to determined by electrical methods, to the number of the the country of origin of the seeds of commerce, judged nuclei, while the latter gives directly the actual charge sometimes from the particles of soil found in the impuriof a single nucleus. Thus the number of nuclei, multiplied ties (!), but more usually from the weed-seeds present. by the charge on each nucleus, is equal to the product of This paper was fully illustrated by dried plants and seeds. ionic charge and number of ions deduced from electrical Dr. von Weinzierl, of Vienna, dealt with sugar-beet and measurements. The ionisation accounted for by the nuclei | mangel seeds; Dr. Degen, of Budapest, with dodder in in question is thus equal to the ionisation determined by clover : Prof. Rodewald, of Kiel, with the sources of error the electrical method.

in seed-testing: while Prof. Voigt, of Hamburg had pre

” and





pared a comparative report embodying the rules governing expenditure for the year exceeded 278,000l., and the seed-testing in Germany, Russia, Scandinavia, and the appropriation for the following year, including the support United States of America. Surprise was expressed that of Mount Weather Observatory (Virginia), an institution there was only one Government seed station in the United devoted purely to meteorological research, exceeded Kingdom-that in the present writer's charge in Dublin, 290,000l. The supervising director of that observatory is where during the past year 1476 samples were examined. Dr. W. J. Humphreys, late professor of physics in the

A paper which aroused considerable interest was that University of Virginia, and Prof. Moore states that Mount by Prof. Warburg urging the claims of tropical agriculture Weather may be expected to do as much for the science on behalf of the German colonies, and the conference of meteorology as the service has already done for the adopted resolutions urging the necessity of :-(1) The erec- material interests of the United States. It is stated that tion of a central imperial institute in connection with the the daily distribution of weather forecasts and charts has Biological Institute at Dahlemn, for the study of tropical increased to nearly 623,000, of which 158,000 represent agriculture and forestry. (2) Conversion of the botanical printed reports. Weather maps are printed at nearly 100 garden in Victoria, in the Cameroons, into an agricultural local stations, and daily telegraphic reports are recrived institute of the first order. (3) Foundation of similar insti- from the Azores and west coasts of Europe, and ihe Bureau tutes in Togo and the South Sea Islands. Prof. Warburg has developed one of the best wireless systems now in use. thought that a banana trade in German West Africa could The Navy Department has instructed its wireless stations be developed, that rubber could be made available in in- to receive and promptly transmit to the ocean or other creasing quantities by cultivation of rubber trees, and that places where the information can be made useful the storm mistakes had been made by attempts to apply to tropical warnings of the Weather Bureau, and has requested vessels countries the crops and methods of cultivation found to having the use of its wireless stations to take observ. succeed in Germany.

ations and to transmit them to the Bureau, without Many important papers on other subjects by Profs. charge against the Department of Agriculture. With a Drude, Zacharias, Aderhold, Appel, Vanha, &c., were read, further extension of wireless telegraphy, it is thought that but limitations of space prevent further mention here. A the reports will render possible a storm-warning sro detailed official report is in course of preparation.

The for the western coasts of Europe and for vessels in mid. systematists, with Dr. Engler as president, devoted one

Arrangements have been made for aerial research day to the Heide near Wintermoor, where, under Dr. by liberating unmanned balloons from many stations, in Graebner's guidance, fine specimens of native Juniperus, cooperation with those at Mount Weather. and many other features, wild and cultivated, of the moor, The last semi-annual Bulletin of the Colorado College which is of enormous extent, were seen. While attempts Observatory contains the annual meteorological summary are being made restore to profitable cultivation for 1905. The present observatory, erected in 1894. 15 land which is now in possession of heather, and was about 6040 feet above sea-level, and was the gift of N: formerly covered with oak and beech, one portion, some H. R. Wolcott, of Denver; the director is Dr. F. H. Lud. fifty acres in extent, near Totengrund, has been bought It is well equipped with astronomical and self-recording by Prof. Thomsen, of Münster, and presented by him to meteorological instruments; the college became a voluntary the nation as a permanent nature memorial."

station of the l'.S. Signal Service in 1878. The mean T. J.

temperature of the year 1905 was 46o.1, mean maximum

589.8, minimum 33:5, absolute masimum o1o, in June and METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS.

August, minimum – 22°, in February. The rearly rainfall

was 15.9 inches, number of rain-days 70. The Bulletin TERRESTRIAL Physics in Messina.-The Annuario of also contains monthly summaries of weather records at

the Messina Observatory for the year 1905 shows Colorado Springs between 1872 and 1903, which have been that Prof. G. B. Rizzo has made a good beginning in collected from various sources with considerable labour bs the important task recently imposed upon him by the Mr. C. M. Angeli, and prepared for press by Mr. C D faculty of the university. The climate of Sicily is Child; their present publication is merely preliminary in fairly well known so far as the principal towns view of numerous demands for historical information, and concerned, thanks to the efforts of the directors of the is subject to later revision. large observatories of Palermo and Catania and others, Observations in Mauritius.—The annual report of the but, as Prof. Rizzo points out, little or nothing is known director of the Royal Alfred Observatory, Mauritius about the conditions of the other parts of the island. To

for 1905,

shows that the rainfall there was murh remedy this want a number of rainfall and temperature above the average of the last thirty years, viz. 07 stations have been established during the last year in the inches as compared with 48.27 inches; in January th: province of Messina, and have recorded observations from fall was 21:16 inches, or 12.77 inches above the normal. the beginning of 1906. On the initiative of the Inter- and is the greatest on record. The maximum shade national Meteorological Committee, the Solar Committee temperature was 899.0, in November, and the minimum of which Sir Norman Lockyer is president is carrying out 52°:3, in August; the highest temperature in the sun's rar an important study of the connection of solar and terres- was 1560.4, in January, the highest on record being 1053 trial phenomena; for Italy, Prof. Riccò at Catania and in February, 1898. From observations obtained from ships' Prof. Rizzo at Messina are actively engaged in the investi- logs, the tracks of seven cyclones in the Indian Ocean ? gation on the general plan laid down by the committee. laid down ; 474 photographs of the sun were sent during For the study of earthquake phenomena one of Vicentini's

to the Solar Physics Committee. Fifty-three microseismographs has been erected; in connection with earthquakes were recorded. The registered velocity of the this subject Prof. Rizzo is investigating the facts relating wind was below the average in every month except April to the terrible Italian earthquake of September, 1905, with Mr. Claxton remarks that a comparison of the records of the cooperation of more than eighty observatories in the Robinson and Dines anemometers in use at the oririvarious parts of the world. The seismograms show that atory in the years 1904-5 indicates that one or both ar the disturbance was felt from Norway to the Cape of Good untrustworthy as standard instruments. Hope, and from California to New Zealand. The complete Rainfall in German South-West Africa in 1904-5:results will shortly be published.

withstanding the considerable damage and loss of recrids Meteorology in the United States.-The report of the due to the rebellion of several tribes, complete result: in U.S. Weather Bureau for the fiscal year 1904-5 (pp. xxiv + twenty-eight stations are published in Wissenschaftline 384) gives a brief survey of the development of the weather Beihefte zum deutschen Kolonialblatte, Band six, 2. Her service during ten years' administration of the present The total number of stations which have suffered during chief (Prof. W. L. Moore). The magnitude of the work the last two years amounts to forty, but steps are berg now performed by it is almost astounding : indeed, Prof. taken to replace the instruments as soon as practicable Moore claims that in the results accomplished for the The rainfall of the year in question was, on the averse benefit of the farmer, the sailor, the seeker after health only about three-fourths of that in the previous year or pleasure, and others, there is no weather service in the the central and southern parts only about one-halt The world comparable with it. The estimated amount of the principal rains fall between January and Marcha; the great


the year



part of the annual amount is sometimes made up in the inclination 67° 3'.8 N. Owing to the disturbance of the course of a few days. At Okombahe, for instance, two

vertical force produced by electric trams, it was found thirds of the annual amount of 113 inches fell in the impossible to iabulate the curves for this element satiscourse of four days (January 27-30), and of this amount factorily. The meteorological traces and tabulations have 5 inches fell on January 28. Generally speaking, little or been, as usual, sent to the Meteorological Office for publino rain falls between May and September, inclusive.

cation, therefore only the results are given as an appendix Report of the Liverpool Observatory, 1905.—This observ. to the report in question. The maximum shade temperaatory, maintained at Bidston by the Mersey Docks and ture was 81°.5, on July 8, and the minimum 22°:4, on Harbour Board, is one of the oldest and best equipped in

November 22 (23°-4 on January 19). The rainfall was the United Kingdom, and it transmits daily telegraphic 22.01 inches, and the number of rain days 154, including reports to the Meteorological Office. Under the head of five days on which snow was recorded. The number of automatic instruments are included anemometers of the

instruments verified (exclusive of watches and chronoforms designed by Dines, Osler, and Robinson. We give meters) amounted to 26,658, being a considerable increase the comparative maximum records of these during two of as compared with the previous year; about 60 per cent. the heaviest gales of the year :

of these instruments were clinical thermometers.

The Warm Air Current at the Height of 10-12 KiloRobinson.

Ib.. on sy. ft. miles per hour Direcrion metres.- In the Meteorologische Zeitschrift for June, Dr. 1905, Jan. 8



S.W. R. Nimführ discusses the question of one of the most Nov. 26 70'1

40 5



interesting results of the international balloon ascents, viz. 27 77 0



W. the “inversion of temperature” at an altitude of 8–13 km.

pointed out by M. L. Teisserenc de Bort (Comptes rendus, The gusts recorded by the Dines and Osler anemometers

April 28, 1902), and by Dr. Assmann at an altitude of were not exactly at the same time; the figures seem to show

10-15 km. (Sitzb. Akad., Berlin, May 1, 1902). Dr. that the force of the gusts differs considerably at different

Nimführ states that the French experiments were made points of the same locality. With respect to observations

with paper balloons, that in about half the ascents the with Milne's seismograph, Mr. Plummer makes the

maximum height of the balloon was at the critical altiinteresting remark that during the time of the recent

tude of 11-12 km., and that consequently the instruments Antarctic expedition many earthquakes recorded by the ex

were affected by solar radiation owing to decrease of ventilploring party were registered on the instrument at Bidston, although intermediate stations did not in all instances ably similarly affected, although to a less extent, as he used

ation ; also that Dr. Assmann's experiments were probrecord the tremor. The average number os astronomical

closed. rubber balloons. Dr. Nimführ thinks that the observations made with the transit instrument has been

lifting power of the balloons was decreased in the higher practically maintained during the year.

regions owing to the rubber becoming porous by expansion ; South African Meteorology. Under the title South

further, that the bimetallic thermometer used in some Africa as seen by a Meteorologist,” Dr. H. R. Mill gave a lecture before the Royal Meteorological Society on

ascents is subject to a fundamental error, now under further March 21, and an abstract has now been published. The

investigation, which possibly affects some of the results

obtained. We offer no comments on the questions raised ; address contains much instructive matter, but Dr. Mill's

they will no doubt receive full consideration by those meteorological notes naturally refer chiefly to rainfall.

engaged in this important branch of meteorological inquiry. Table Bay was reached on August 15, 1905, the minimum

Rainfall in the Philippines.-The Bulletin for December temperature at Cape Town being only 38o. The most

last, issued by the Weather Bureau of Manila, under the unusual part of the meteorological equipment at the Royal direction of the Rev. Father Algué, contains a table of the Observatory was the size of the standard rain-gauge, having monthly and annual distribution of rainfall in 1905 at a diameter of about 11 inches ; at other stations in the

fifty-three stations scattered over the different islands of colony the size is 8 inches. The usual exposure of the gauges in South Africa is 4 feet high, a fact, as Dr. Mill

the archipelago. It is shown that the stations may be

arranged in three groups :-(1) where the fall is uniform observes, that must be borne in mind when comparing

in the various months; (2) where the rainfall is scarce readings with gauges in this country, where they are

from December to March inclusive; (3) stations with usually placed at a height of 1 foot. Meteorology in Cape

abundant rains from June to October, and little in the Colony suffers, the author states, by the excessively small

rest of the year. At some stations the amounts are large, annual grant available, and the opinion is expressed that

e.g. Baguio, an elevated plateau, more than 165 inches, the good work done at Kenilworth (Kimberley) makes it desirable that the institution should be placed on a per

while eighteen of the other stations have falls varying

from 79 inches to u15 inches. From the results of the last manent footing, The Transvaal Government spends a

five years' observations at Baguio we note that the mean comparatively large sum on meteorological observations ;

annual temperature there is 6503 ; the lowest monthly at Johannesburg the observatory is admirably fitted up, and

mean is 61°3, in February, and the highest 67o.1, in April the site offers peculiar advantages for anemometer work.

and May. The absolute maximum was 84°:7, in April, and The ra gauges here and in the Orange River Colony are 5 inches in diameter. The site of the observatory at

the minimum 42°.8, in February. Rain falls on an average Grey Town is not a very good one, and is shortly to be

on 171 days, mostly between May and October. changed. Meteorology at Bulawayo is under the charge of Father Goetz, to whose work we recently referred ; he has constructed an ingenious electrical recording rain

DISEASES OF SHEEP. gauge which is apparently very efficient. On the homeward journey a visit was made to the Portuguese station PROBABLY few persons, unless they have had reason to C Beira; with regard to this observatory, Dr. Mill re- study the matter, have any idea of the immense marks that it is an imposing structure and the rain economic importance of the diseases of animals. As a gauge is of heroic dimensions." This interesting paper is matter of fact, our flocks and herds are every year stricken embellished by many photographic illustrations.

down to an extent representing a value of hundreds of Report of the Observatory Department of the National thousands of pounds! Physical Laboratory for the year 1905.—As this branch is In 1901 a committee, consisting of Prof. Hamilton, Mr. in many respects complete in itself, and its work appeals / J. McCall, and Mr. E. G. Wheeler, with Mr. R. B. Greig to a different class from that interested in the other depart- as secretary, was appointed by the Board of Agriculture mients, the director thinks it desirable to issue the report to investigate and report on the diseases of sheep known separately. The magnetograplis have been in constant as louping-ill and braxy, and the findings of this committee operation throughout the vear, and the curves have again have lately been published in a voluminous and interesting bren free from any very large disturbances; the most report. interesting movements were those of November 12 and 15. i Louping-ill is a disease which shows itself in the form On the latter date auroral display was generally, of nervous spasms of the limbs and neck, or rigidity, observed (NATURE, November 30, 1905, 101). The followed by more or less complete paralysis ; sometimes, muran declination during the year was 16° 32':9 W., mean however, there is a general dazed condition with speedy



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