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Chinese Maritime Customs. We have not yet received the protocol of the last meeting, but we may state that it included reports of the various commissions. With regard to the Solar Commission appointed in 1903, complete arrangements were made for bringing together all data necessary for the study of simultaneous solar and terrestrial changes. Letters had been received from Prof. Hale and M. Deslandres placing their photospectroscopic results at the disposal of the commission.



T last the importance of solar research is asserting itself, even in the minds of some who in the past have shown it scant favour. It is not a little remarkable that during last month two international bodies held meetings, both of them concerned with solar observations, the one, the Solar Commission, established in 1903, which met at Innsbruck, dealing with them in relation to the meteorological changes on the earth, the other, the Solar Union, established in 1904, which met at Oxford, dealing with the physics of the sun itself. There is thus fortunately a sharp-cut line between these two efforts to advance our knowledge, and we hope that both bodies will ultimately find out the best ways of doing this. In a preliminary circular we read :

The number of international organisations having considerably increased lately, it is desirable that overlapping of the work of different organisations should be avoided as much as possible. As far as solar research is concerned, a committee on questions dealing with radiation and the connection of solar and terrestrial phenomena has been appointed by the International Meteorological Committee. It will probably be found advisable to omit for the present the investigation of the relation of the sun-spot cycle to meteorological phenomena from the programme of the union; but the question of the solar constant being of fundamental importance must form from the beginning an essential portion of its work. The astronomical and meteorological aspects of solar radiation are, however, very different, and there is no reason to doubt that some arrangement can be made by which the efforts of the Meteorological Committee and those of the Union on Solar Research may be united.

We have not yet received the official protocols of the Oxford meeting, but some points may be referred to. The meeting was well attended, the following foreign men of science being present:-Prof. K. Angström, Acad. Sci. (Stockholm); Prof. A. Belopolski, Acad. Sci. (St. Petersburg); Fr. Cirera, Ast. Soc. of France; Cte. de la Baume Pluvinel, Ast. Soc. of France; Mr. H. Deslandres, Ast. Soc. of France; Prof. W. S. Eichelberger; Mr. Fabry, Physical Soc. of France; Mr. G. E. Hale, Nat. Acad. Sci. (Washington); Mr. Hansky, Acad. Sci. (St. Petersburg); Mr. J. Janssen, Acad. Sci. (France); Prof. W. H. Julius, Acad. Sci. (Amsterdam); Prof. H. Kayser, German Physical Soc.; Mr. Perot, Physical Soc. of France; Prof. E. Weiss, Internat. Assoc. Acad.; Prof. Wolfer.

Dr. Janssen was elected honorary president, and Sir Wm. Christie president, of the meeting.

Among the many resolutions passed were the following, laying down the principles which should be followed in the proposed cooperation :

(1) Cooperation is desirable in the various branches of solar research such as visual and photographic observations of the solar surface, visual observations of prominences and observations of the solar atmosphere with spectroheliographs of various types.

(2) When an institution has collected and coordinated results from various sources, members of the union shall

be requested to place their observations at the disposal of the said institution.

(3) In the case of investigations which have not yet been thus collected and coordinated, special committees specially nominated by the union shall be charged with the work of preparing and carrying out the needful cooperation. (4) It is proposed forthwith to organise such cooperation in two branches of research :

(a) The study of the spectra of sun-spots.

(b) The study of the records, by means of the H and K light, of the phenomena of the solar atmosphere.

(5) The committee lays special stress on the fact that, notwithstanding the obvious utility of cooperation in certain cases, individual initiative is the chief factor in a very large number. It is as much the duty of the union to encourage original researches as to promote cooperation.

Much time was spent in discussing the constitution of the union, and several committees were appointed. There were most interesting discussions on solar radiation, Prof. Angström describing his instrument which has now been taken as the

standard, and we may add that as this subject is also dealt with by the International Meteorological Committee, Prof. Ångström has been appointed chairman of the committees appointed by both organisations. The executive is to consist of a committee with Prof. Schuster as chairman, and a " computing bureau" is suggested at Oxford in charge of Prof. Turner, which is to deal, if necessary, with classes of observations not already provided for.

The next meeting is to be held at Meudon in two years' time.


WE notice with much regret that Sir William Wharton, K.C.B., F.R.S., died at Cape Town on September 29 from enteric fever and pneumonia, at sixty-two years of age.

WE regret to see, in the Athenaeum, the announcement of the death, in his sixty-ninth year, of Dr. W. von Bezold, professor of physics and meteorology at the University of Berlin, and director of the German Meteorological Institute.

THE death is announced of Dr. A. H. Japp, author of a life of Thoreau, several works on natural history, and Darwin and Darwinism."


THE International Congress on Tuberculosis was opened at Paris on Monday, October 2, by the President of the French Republic. Dr. Hérard, the president of the congress, gave an address on international medical congresses, and the services which they have rendered in the struggle against consumption. Addresses were then given by the foreign delegates, and by M. Loubet.


A REUTER message from Gothenburg reports that severe shock of earthquake was felt on September 26, 1.30 p.m., at Lundby, in the island of Hisingen. Subterranean rumblings were heard, and the houses suddenly began to rock so violently that inner and outer walls were cracked. The disturbance lasted about a minute.

NEWS has been received from Samoa that a volcanic

eruption occurred on the Samoan islands on the morning of August 21. The eruption was preceded by a violent earthquake shock, which destroyed a large number of buildings. During the eruption large masses of material were ejected, and for five days lava flowed over than four miles of the surrounding country.


IT is officially reported that a case of cholera occurred in Berlin on September 23, the victim being a canal bargeman on one of the Berlin canal harbours.

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THE provisional programme for the session 1905-6 has now been published by the Royal Geographical Society. The first meeting will be held on November 6, when an introductory address will be given by the president, Sir George T. Goldie, K.C.M.G., F.R.S. The paper for the evening will be "Travels in the Mountains of Central Japan," by the Rev. Walter Weston. On November 20 the paper will be First Exploration of the Hoh-Lumba and Lobson Glaciers (Himalaya)," by Mrs. Fanny Bullock Workman; on December 4, Exploration in the Abai Basin, Abyssinia," by Mr. H. Weld Blundell; and on December 18, "Exploration in New Guinea," by Mr. C. G. Seligman. Other provisional arrangements include the following papers :-Colonel Sir T. H. Holdich, K.C.M.G., will deal with Unexplored India "; Prof. J. W. Gregory, F.R.S., takes up "The Economic Geography of Australia "; Baron Erland Nordenskjöld will lecture on 66 Explorations in Bolivia and Peru "; and Prof. Alleyne Ireland on "The Philippine Islands." Mr. G. F. Scott Elliot will read a paper on The Geographical Influences of Water Plants in Chile," and Mr. Laurence Gomme on "Maps of London." In the research department, Sir Clements R. Markham, K.C.B., F.R.S., will lecture on the subject "On the Next Great Arctic Discovery the Beaufort Sea." In this lecture Sir Clements Markham will advocate detailed investigation of the unknown region lying between Prince Patrick Island and the New Siberian Islands.

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THE Bureau of the Government Laboratories of the Interior has issued a Bulletin (No. 25) containing two articles by Mr. R. C. McGregor on birds from various islands of the Philippine group. Several species are described as new, among the most interesting of which is perhaps a new owl of the genus Otus. Illustrations are given of the enormous nesting-mounds of the Philippine megapode and of the nests and eggs of three remarkable species of swifts from the archipelago.

THE contents of the Zoologist for September include an illustrated article by Mr. R. B. Lodge on birds nesting in Andalusia (in the course of which allusion is made to the devastation among the bird-fauna caused by the late drought), and the second instalment of the editor's essay on extermination. Much interesting information will be found in the latter with regard to the destruction of animals caused in different parts of the world by floods, drought, pestilence, &c.

BIRDS obtained from the islands lying between Kiushu and Formosa form the subject of an illustrated paper communicated by Mr. M. Ogawa to vol. v., part iv., of Annotationes Zoologicae Japonenses. Coloured plates are given of a Garrulus, a woodpecker, and a heron of the genus Nannocnus, described as new. Special interest attaches to the description, by Mr. H. Sauter, of a ribandlike fish from the Sagami Sea regarded as indicating a new genus and species (Ijimaia dofleini) of the small and peculiar family which the author considers to be typified by the Japanese and Indian Ateleopus, the new genus being characterised by the subterminal mouth and short ventral fins.

THE mutual affinities of the species of cray-fishes of the genus Cambarus forms the title of the only biological paper in No. 180 of the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. The author, Dr. A. E. Ortmann, finds that the commonly accepted division of the genus into five groups is not based on natural affinities, which has led to erroneous conclusions with regard to geographical


distribution. Observations on columbium and tantalum, by Mr. E. F. Smith, and an inquiry into the pressure and rainfall conditions of the trades monsoon area, by Mr. W. L. Dallas, are the titles of other articles.

THE entomological collection of the natural history branch of the British Museum will shortly be augmented by the collection of beetles bequeathed by the late Mr. Alexander Fry, which has been already deposited in the building. It is reported to be the finest collection of its kind in the country, and although not especially rich in types, contains an unrivalled series of weevils and longi. corns. The total number of species in the collection is reported to be about 72,000, represented by some 200,000 specimens, many of these species being new to the museum. The cabinet includes the collections made by the late Mr. John Whitehead in Borneo and by Mr. W. Doherty in the Malay Archipelago generally. The bequest also includes a number of valuable entomological books. It may be mentioned that the collection of domesticated animals in the north hall of the museum has been recent enriched by the gift of statuettes of two famous race-horses, namely, Persimmon," the property of HiMajesty the King, and his son Zinfandel," owned by Lord Howard de Walden; H.R.H. the Prince of Wales being the donor of the one and Lord Howard de Walden of the other.

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THE fourth part of the thirty-third and the first part of the thirty-fourth volume of Gegenbaur's Morpholo gisches Jahrbuch contain an exceedingly interesting and important article on the papillary ridges and grooves on

FIG. 1. Two examples of the plantar surface of the right hind-foot of the chimpanzee to exhibit, in a diagrammatic manner, the "triradius" (59 After Schlaginhaufen.

the sole of the foot in the Primates (inclusive of man), with especial reference to their serial correspondence with these of the palm of the hand, which have already been fully worked out by Hepburn and others. The article, which is by Dr. O. Schlaginhaufen, is far too long to permit of even a précis of its contents being given in this place, but it may be mentioned that the general arrangement of the papillary tuberosities is the same on the sole as on the palm. The most generally interesting fact brought out by the author's investigations is that while in all the Old World Primates (inclusive of man) the ridges and grooves on the sole in the neighbourhood of the great toe, or pollex, are so arranged as to form a triradiate system, termed the triradius, this feature is totally wanting in the monkeys of the New World. We have thus a new and deep-seated distinction between "Catarhini" and "Platyrhini."

AMONG the contents of the latest parts of the Morphologisches Jahrbuch (vol. xxxiii., part iv., and vol. xxxiv., part i.) may be mentioned an article by Mr. E. Göppert on the brachial artery of the Australian spiny anteater (Echidna), with special reference to the arterial system in the fore-limb of mammals in general, and a second, by Dr. O. Grosser, on the existence of a distinct segmental arrangement in the superficial vascular system of the human chest. In the second of the two volumes Dr. E. Küster describes the so-called tastfeder (sensory feathers) found at the base of the beak in owls and other birds, which are shown to be provided with sensory corpuscles, and are correlated by the author with the "feelers " or vibrissæ of mammals.

ALL the articles in the two concluding parts (iii. and iv.) of vol. lxxix. of the Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Zoologie deal with the anatomy and development of invertebrates. The minute structure of the eye receives the attention of two writers, Mr. H. Merton discussing the retina in nautilus and other dibranchiate cephalopods, while Mr. M. Nowikoff describes the eye and frontal organs of the branchiopod crustaceans. The spermatozoa of the common intestinal round-worm (Ascaris) receive attention at the hands of Mr. L. Scheben, of Marburg, Mr. K. Thon treats of the excretory organs of the hydrachnid family Limnocharidæ, while Mr. Stoffenbrink records the effects of special nutrition on the histological constituents of the fresh-water planarians. Finally, Mr. A. Zwack discusses the minute structure and mode of formation of the ephippium" of the fresh-water flea (Daphnia), while Dr. E. Martini devotes himself to observations on the amoeba-like Arcella.

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THE latest number of l'Anthropologie (vol. xvi., No. 3) contains a useful article on Paumotu fishing implements. The British Museum is singularly poor in specimens from these islands, and the Album of Edge-Partington and Heape only figures two or three fish-hooks. In the present article a dozen hooks are figured and described; the construction of the canoes and method of sewing the planks are also illustrated. An article on the musical instruments in French Congo is diminished in value by errors in the illustrations; the bambour on p. 289 is reproduced from a sketch, and the artist has omitted the pins to which the strings are attached, making it appear that there is no means of altering the tension of the cords.

THE Department of Agriculture in Jamaica has been at considerable trouble to effect the improvement of homegrown tobacco, and if the experiments carried out at Hope Gardens may be taken as a criterion, there is a promising future for Sumatra wrapper-tobacco grown in the open and for Havana leaf, both shade-grown for wrapper and outside-grown for filling.

THE South Orkney Islands, lying about 600 miles southeast of Cape Horn, were visited by members of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition voyaging in the ship Scotia in February, 1903. The collections of mosses and lichens obtained by Mr. R. N. R. Brown, the botanist of the expedition, are described in vol. xxiii., part i., of the Transactions and Proceedings of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh. Mr. C. H. Wright has identified six mosses which are all Antarctic, except one previously known only from Tristan da Cunha. Dr. O. V. Darbishire has worked cut the lichens and distinguishes twelve species, including one, Placodium fruticulosum, new to science.

THE explanation that plants have developed thorns to keep off the depredations of herbivorous animals does not lend itself to experimental investigation, as the develop

ment would be an exceedingly slow process. But the argument that thorns are merely xerophytic structures is more easily put to the test, and Dr. L. Cockayne describes in the New Phytologist (April) his experiments with the New Zealand shrub Discaria Toumatou, known popularly as Wild Irishman, which in ordinary circumstances is abundantly furnished with long pungent spines. The experiments consisted in removing plants, at the stage when spines were beginning to be formed, to a moist chamber, where they were grown, and there maintained the leafy spineless habit characteristic of seedlings.

THE investigations of Prof. G. Haberlandt on the senseorgans of plants, which are of great scientific interest, form a suitable subject for popular exposition, and an account by Mr. G. C. Nuttall appears in the Monthly Review (September). The main result of Prof. Haberlandt's work was to show that where plants are sensitive to touch, at these points special adaptations of hairs or cells are found. The sensitiveness of tendrils and of the specialised leaves of Drosera and Dionæa is a matter of common knowledge, but the irritability of the stamens of such plants as Opuntia, the prickly pear, and Abutilon is less generally known. At certain spots the stamens of these plants are provided with papillæ which enable them to perceive contact stimuli. The concluding argucapable of experiencing sensations is by no ment which is presented to the reader that plants are vincing.

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THE German Meteorological Institute, of which the late Prof. v. Bezold was director, has published a second edition of its very useful "Instructions for Taking and Reducing Meteorological Observations." A great part of the work | (as the title indicates) has been re-written and re-arranged to bring it up to date as regards the improvements in methods and instruments that have taken place in recent years. The work is divided into two volumes, dealing (1) with the requirements of stations of the second and third orders, and (2) with special observations and instruments; the latter part contains valuable explanations of the principles and adjustments of Richard's much used self-recording apparatus, of anemometers, sunshine recorders, and the nephoscope, all of which it is most essential that observers should thoroughly understand, but which are not always to be found in existing instructions. The aim of the work is to instruct observers in all parts of the operations required of them, from the choice of a suitable locality for a station, the erection of the instruments, and the method of taking observations, to the deduction of mean results, the most essential portions being printed in larger type. The work will certainly fulfil the intention of its author, viz. to render lighter the labours of observers and to ensure accuracy in their observations and calculations.

IN the Memorie of the Royal Institute of Lombardy (vol. xx.) Dr. Alessandri gives an account of the Regina Margherita Observatory at the summit of Monte Rosa, on the peak known as the "Signalkuppe," 4559 metres above sea-level. The station is under the control of the Central Meteorological Office at Rome, and it is intended (if possible) that observations should be made each year between July 15 and September 15. The difficulties encountered in the first year (1904) were so great that Dr. Alessandri states that the expedition can only be considered as a preliminary attempt, with the view of overcoming them in future years. The conveyance of instruments and materials from Alagna had partly to be done by mules and partly by men, at a cost of 62 centesimi for each kilogram

(2.2 pounds' weight), with the result that many of the instruments were broken in transit. Owing to the intense cold, the clogging of the apparatus by hoar-frost and violent snowstorms, together with the intense electrification of the atmosphere, rendered regular observations almost impossible with the means then available. The shade air-temperature at the summit of Monte Rosa is practically always below freezing point; the thermometers taken by Dr. Alessandri read to -20° C., but the extreme temperature often fell below that. The mean reading of the barometer during the summer of 1904 was 17.1 inches; water therefore boiled at about 85° C. The lightning conductors frequently appeared like steadily burning candles, and the observers experienced at times such unpleasant shocks that it became advisable to retire within the observatory.

ABOUT twenty years ago Messrs. Michelson and Morley concluded from the results of their well known experiments that the ether in the neighbourhood of the earth is not at rest in space, but is carried along with the earth in its motion. Prof. Fitzgerald and Prof. Lorentz subsequently suggested that the experimental results of Michelson and Morley might also be explained by the dimensions of the apparatus being modified by its motion through the ether. In order to test this assumption, Messrs. E. W. Morley and D. C. Miller (Proceedings Amer. Acad. Arts and Sciences, xli., No. 12) have repeated on a more elaborate

scale the experiments of 1887, using two modified forms of apparatus. The sandstone of the earlier experiments was replaced in one form of apparatus by a structure of white pine, whilst in the final and more complete experiments a steel framework was used to support a system of pine rods. The figure shows the steel cross-framework adopted, with the trusses supporting the distance pieces and the mirror frames and telescopes in position. The entire apparatus weighed 1900 lb., and floated in mercury. As a result of the experiments, a nearly similar conclusion to that previously formed is arrived at. If the dimensions of the pine are changed, the change is of the same amount as with sandstone; if the ether near the apparatus did not move with it, the difference in velocity is apparently less than 3.5 kilometres per second.

THE Journal of the Royal Sanitary Institute for September (xxvi., No. 8) contains an important paper by Prof. Woodhead on the water supply problem in rural districts, together with the discussion thereon.

IN the Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine for October Prof. Chittenden gives a popular account of his researches on the amount of nitrogenous food required to maintain physiological equilibrium, which, should his results stand the test of time, will mean great economy in the future.

General Horace Porter writes a graphic account of the investigations which led to the search for the body of Paul Jones and its ultimate recovery in the forgotten cemetery of Saint Louis, its identification, and removal to the United States.

WE have received the results of meteorological observ ations for 1900-2, and of rain, river, and evaporation observations for 1901-2, made in New South Wales. The latter work contains valuable statistics of rainfall kr each month for the years in question, and various returns for other periods, e.g. the mean annual rainfall at all stations with three and up to fourteen years' records from 1889 to 1902 inclusive, and records for the whole of Australia for individual years since 1840. In the years 1901-2 severe and almost unprecedented droughts were experienced. The average fall for the whole colony for thirty-two years (1871-1902) is 24.15 inches, but in 1901 the amount was only 18.15 inches, and in 1902 14.09 inches. the lowest average on record with the exception of that for the year 1888, when it was only 13.40 inches. The effect on sheep grazing was disastrous; the number of sheep in the western division during seven years ending with 1901 dwindled from about 16 millions to 5 millions, representing a loss to the State of about 30 millions sterling.

In the current issue of the Journal of the Franklin Institute the first instalment is published of an elaborate monograph on mica by Mr. G. W. Colles. The subject is dealt with chiefly from an industrial point of view, the present, past, and probable future of mica mining being discussed.

A SECOND edition of the second volume-dealing with the chemistry of manufacturing processes of "Chemistry for Engineers and Manufacturers, by Messrs. Bertram Blount and A. G. Bloxam, has been published by Messrs. Charles Griffin and Co., Ltd.

MR. OSCAR GUTTMANN, 12 Mark Lane, London, E.C.. intends to publish a facsimile reproduction of all ancient pictures and engravings dispersed in libraries all over the world referring to the invention, early manufacture and examination, and first use of gunpowder. It is to be a work of art, printed by hand on the finest hand-made paper, with an imitation fifteenth century binding, and limited to about three hundred numbered copies.

WE have received from Messrs. J. J. Griff and Sons. Ltd., 20-26 Sardinia Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, W.C., their "T" list of thermometers and pyrometers for measuring temperatures between 200° C. and 4000° C. The list is a fairly complete one, and comprises ordinary, technical, and standard thermometers, as well as the principal forms of electrical resistance, thermoelectric, and optical pyrometers.

MESSRS. PHILIP HARRIS AND CO., LTD., of Birmingham have issued their diary intended for the use of teacherand others during the session 1905-6. A very complete calendar of the examinations to be held by the chief publi examining bodies during the coming educational year 1 provided, and there are spaces for daily notes, genera memoranda, addresses, and cash accounts.

WE have received from Messrs. Williams and Norgate copy of a new work published by Herr H. A. Luda Degener, of Leipzig, entitled "Wer ist's?" The volum is similar in its scope to Who's Who," and is edited by Herr H. A. L. Degener. In addition to the particulars given of distinguished Germans, the book also includes



biographies of famous living Austrians, Frenchmen, Englishmen, and celebrities of other nationalities. The Englishmen noticed in the volume appear to be politicians as a rule, and, so far as we have tested the book, the men of science and of letters selected for inclusion are neither numerous nor particularly representative.

WE have received from Messrs. W. M. J. Brooks and Co., Letchworth, Herts, a set of five templates, or curves, accurately cut in celluloid, representing respectively the parabola, ellipse, hyperbola, cycloid, and cubical parabola. When such curves are required it seems better that a student should make them for himself, but failing this Mr. Brooks's curves may prove useful in special cases. price is 18. each curve.

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FURTHER RESULTS OBTAINED BY THE FRENCH ECLIPSE EXPEDITIONS.-In No. 12 (September 18) of the Comptes rendus MM. Deslandres and Andoyer give brief summaries of the results obtained by them on their respective expeditions to observe the recent total solar eclipse.

M. Deslandres directed the Bureau des Longitudes mission to Burgos, where the actual duration of visible" totality was curtailed by clouds to one minute, which did not include either the second or the third contacts. The proposed photographing of the chromosphere spectrum was therefore impossible. Photometric observations of the corona were obtained, and M. d'Azambuja was able to measure the coronal radiation, obtaining figures which were decidedly lower than those obtained by M. Charbonneau in 1900. M. Kannapell obtained four photographs of the corona polarised by reflection. M. Blum obtained two photographs of the corona through coloured screens arranged as to transmit only the gaseous radiation of the prominences. By comparing these with the ordinary photographs it will, probably, be possible to determine whether or not the prominences emit a more intense continuous spectrum than that emitted by the surrounding regions.


At El-Arrouch, 32 km. from Philippeville, M. Andoyer simply attempted to obtain as many direct photographs of the phenomena as possible. His instrumental equipment consisted of a photographic objective of 14 cm. (5.6-inch) aperture and 60 cm. (24-inch) focal length, mounted with two enlarging cameras which increased the diameter of the image by three and eight times respectively.

Altogether forty-four plates were exposed, eleven of them during totality. A negative exposed two minutes before totality shows a reversed image, due to over-exposure, and a silhouette of the ccrona.

ELEMENTS OF COMET 1886 VII.-From eighty-six observations of comet 1886 viii., made by various observers between January 24 and May 20, 1887, Herr E. Fagerholm, of Upsala, has calculated a set of elements for the orbit of that object. These, as given below, appear in No. 4047 of the Astronomische Nachrichten, together with the details of the computation and of the planetary perturbations taken

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THE FIGURE OF THE SUN.-In No. 2, vol. xxii., of the Astrophysical Journal, Mr. C. Lane Poor publishes the results of an investigation, carried out by him at the Columbia University Observatory, which seem to indicate a periodical variation in the figure of the sun agreeing in phase with the sun-spot curve. On measuring the equatorial and the polar diameters of the solar images on twenty-one plates taken by Mr. Rutherfurd in 1870, 1871, and 1872, he found indications that during this period the equatorial diameter was first increasing and then decreasing with regard to the polar diameter. To check this result he re-investigated the measures made by the German observers whilst adjusting, and determining the constants

of, their heliometers for the transits of Venus in 1874 and 1882. The 1873-5 results showed a progressive change similar to that indicated by the measures of the Rutherfurd photographs taken in 1871-2, whilst the 1880-3 heliometer measures confirmed the photographic results of 1870-1. Yet another confirmation was found on measuring five solar negatives taken at Northfield (Minn., U.S.A.) during the years 1893-4, the change in figure being the same as in 1871-2 and 1873-5.

Plotting the differences between the polar and equatorial diameters in conjunction with the sun-spot curve, it is seen that the two agree, not only in point of time, but also of intensity, the excess of the equatorial diameter occurring at sun-spot maximum.

From these results it appears that the sun is usually an oblate spheroid, but at times of sun-spot minima the length of the polar axis increases in regard to that of the equatorial diameter, and the solar figure becomes prolate. Mr. Lane Poor incidentally suggests that this variation of the solar figure may explain the anomalies in the motions of Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF HALLEY.-No. 14 of the Bulletin of Bibliography Pamphlets, issued by The Boston Book Company, contains the material for a bibliography of Dr. Edmond Halley, the second Astronomer Royal, and will be found a useful adjunct to any astronomical library. Reading through the numerous items, one is struck anew The by the range and number of Halley's writings. pamphlet is an extract from No. 4 (July), vol. iv., of the Bulletin of Bibliography published by The Boston Book Company, and costs 25 cents.

OBSERVATIONS OF JUPITER'S SATELLITES.-In No. 4045 of the Astronomische Nachrichten Profs. A. A. Nijland and J. van d. Bilt publish the results obtained from a large number of observations of Jupiter's satellites.

These observations were made with the 26 cm. Utrecht refractor during the period June 30, 1904-February 17, 1905, and in the tabulated results the time of the eclipse, transit or occultation of the particular moon is given, together with the difference between these and the calculated times.

A LOST DOUBLE STAR.-A remarkable chapter of coincidences is recorded in No. 7, vol. xiii., of Popular Astronomy by Prof. Doolittle, of the Flower Observatory, U.S.A. In Sir John Herschel's first catalogue of double stars, No. 165 was described as a 3" pair with a position angle of 330°, its position being given as R.A.=10h. 26-8m., dec. =+12° 32' (1825). In 1878 Prof. Burnham directed his attention to the pair, and recorded its position angle as 2053, and its distance as 2"-59. Again in 1901 he observed the double with the 40-inch refractor, and obtained a measure agreeing with Herschel's record; but in 1902 he could find no trace of the pair observed in the previous year, nor of the star measured by him in 1878. Observations made this year with the 18-inch refractor of the Flower Observatory failed to reveal the double given by Herschel, but showed a very wide faint pair in the exact position given by him.

Thinking that Prof. Burnham in 1901 might have confused the sign of the declination, Prof. Doolittle turned his telescope to the same R.A. in declination minus 12°, and there apparently found exactly the pair that was wanted. This seemed to have cleared up the mystery; Prof. Burnham had in 1901 observed the wrong star.

A letter from that cbserver showed, however, that this is not the correct explanation.

The truth is that Herschel made a mistake of exactly one hour in recording the right ascension of H. 165, and Prof. Burnham had, unwittingly, made precisely the same mistake in 1901. Thus the latest observation of Herschel's No. 165 shows its position to be R.A.=9h. 31m. 138., dec. 12° 25' (1880), and its position angle and distance, at the epoch 1905.38, were 333°1 and 2"-04 respectively. In 1878 Prof. Burnham, cbserving in the position given by Herschel, saw a pair which was not identical with H. 165, and in the year 1902 was too faint for him to see. In 1901, repeating Herschel's mistake in the R.A., he observed the true H. 165, whilst in 1905 Prof. Doolittle found a similar pair to H. 165 in the same declination south and in the R.A. given in mistake by Herschel.

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