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If a line from u Leporis, on the animal's nose, be produced to 53 Eridani, the crimson star will be found half a degree north of the line, and nearer the former star than the latter by rather more than one-third their interval.
With a little searching it will be seen in the field of view preceded by two white stars, nearly on the parallel, with which its colour strongly contrasts.
As R Leporis is at the present time not more than of the 9th magnitude, it may be difficult to distinguish it with a small aperture. A fine achromate by Cooke & Sons, 3 inches aperture, fails to give much indication of the remarkable colour of this star, unless it be looked at with great attention. But in a reflector of 12 inches aperture, and a power of 120, the colour is most extraordinary, resembling that of the red signal lamps used on the railways, but slightly more of a crimson. There appears to be nothing in the sidereal heavens to compare with it.
I have referred above to the S.D.U.K. star-maps. For the information of amateurs who are not already supplied with them, I may state that a new edition of the small maps, by C. H. Dayman, M.A., containing all the objects in Admiral Smyth’s Cycle, has been published by Stanford of Charing Cross, price 38. plain. They are much handier than the large maps, and, with this addition, almost as valuable.
Yours faithfully, Birmingham: Feb. 10, 1866.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ASTRONOMICAL REGISTER. „Sir, —Will you allow me to introduce to the notice of your readers a brief account of remarkable auroral display which was visible in these northern latitudes on Wednesday evening, February 7, 1866. My attention was first directed to the phenomenon at 7.15, and at that time there was a very fine auroral arch stretching from east to west, slightly inclinated in its western extremity towards the north. The arch was continuous and easily visible, even among the glare of street gas-lamps. Its width was about 7°, and it passed over a Cygni, B and w Ursæ Minoris, and n and § Ursæ Majoris, passing in its course between Draco and Cepheus. From the northern horizon auroral radii were streaming, rising from a broad base of from 40° to 60°, passing over the arch, covering Polaris, and culminating in a point near the zenith. The arch remained steadily visible with few fluctuations during the five minutes examined it. I regret that a public indoor engagement prevented me from continuing my observations, as I have since been informed that the display only arrived at its maximum brilliancy at 8 o'clock. It commenced at 7, and terminated at 9 o'clock. Judging from the very imperfect account I can obtain from non-astronomical friends, I am inclined to think that during the entire period the arch maintained its same relative position in relation to the earth, and of course changed in relation to the stars ; as about 9 o'clock the southern side of the arch was not far removed from the Pleiades. I am informed that at intervals the arch gave off lateral radii like scirrus streamers; these I did not see on the present occasion ; but whilst making observations on the beautiful arch which was visible here on Thursday, October 26, 1865, the luminous streamers at right angles to the arch were very beautiful. Did any of your readers see the arch at 7.15? If they did, and will describe the angle at which they observed it, and their latitudes at the time of observation, it will be an easy matter to determine its height. I estimated the height of the arch visible on October 26, 1865, as being 112 miles; it was when seen here near the zenith, and was also seen as far south as London.
I am, Sir, yours obediently, Newcastle-on-Tyne: Feb. 12, 1866.
T. P. BARKAS.
NOTES AND GLEANINGS.
SCHWABE has published the results of his observations on the Sun during 1865, in the Ast. Nach. for January 20. He observed in all 93 groups. On 25 days there were no spots. The total number of days on which work was done was 307. This shows a considerable falling off, and we are sorry to learn that illness was the cause.
Donati's COMET OF 1858.-M. Liais, who was in Brazil at the time the great comet of Donati made its appearance in 1858, has just published a work in which he gives a description of the singular and peculiar appearance of the body as seen from South America. Instead of the one broad and long tail visible in Europe, it was there seen with two distinct and separate tails. It may, in figurative language, be said that in Europe we saw the profile of the comet, while the full front was seen in Brazil.
Brande's Dictionary.--The article containing an account of the minor planets was published in April 1865. The last planet in the list is No. 72, Niobe, yet between the discovery of Niobe and April 1865, ten others were added to the list, but of these Brande takes no notice. What has Dr. Frankland to say to this? It is the only point upon which I have tested the book.
G. F. C. If the image of the umbra only of a solar crater be thrown upon a board, the light will be found to be of a deep violet tint. I do not say that this is due to the umbra only. The hole of a diaphragm through which to do this must not be larger than the fine point of a fine needle. I have always found this to be the case.
F. B. Why talk of solar “ spots ?” Spot conveys the idea of a flat surface; and now that it is thoroughly recognised that a spot is not a spot, but a crater or excavation, do let us call things by their right names.
F. B. I see a new edition of Loomis's excellent work on Practical Astronomy is published. Can anyone inform me what additions or improvements it has over the former edition ?
G. J. W. May I ask, through the medium of your pages, where I can get the glass for the glass specula ? Will the rough plate do ? and, also, is rouge or putty powder the best polishing substance ? J. H. WALLER.
Tues 6 1 19 Conjunction of Moon and 1st Tr. I.
Saturn, o° 5' S.
Mon 12 3 35 Conjunction of Moon and 3rd Ec. B: 16 47 56 6 38:9 Jupiter, ° '
Wed 14 1 47
Conjunction of Moon and
Mars, 5° 25' S.
1st Tr. E.
THE PLANETS FOR MARCH.
Mercury will be well situated for observation during the latter part of the month, arriving at its greatest easterly elongation on the 26th. At the end of March the planet sets about an hour and three-quarters after the sun.
Diameter 4":8 • 15th
6.0 Venus is very near the sun during the month, passing the meridian about half an hour after mean noon during the latter part of March. On the end of the month Mercury and Venus are very close to each other.
333 Diameter 9":6 Igth 23 58 35
9":6 Illuminated portion of the disc of Venus o'997. Mars may perhaps be seen early in the morning, rising about an hour before the sun ; but the declination of the planet is too much south for favourable observation.
15 233 Illuminated portion of the disc of Mars 0-961. Jupiter continues to be a morning star, rising in the south-east about five o'clock at the beginning, and about half-past three at the end of the mouth.
Diameter 32".0 15th 19 52
33":0 Saturn is now coming favourably into view, rising about eleven o'clock in the evening at the beginning of March, and about nine o'clock at the end of the month. The planet is very close to the moon on the afternoon of tije 6th.
16".6 Dimensions of ring-Outer major axis, 41":0; Outer minor axis, 14"-o. Uranus remains visible in the evening.
8. 6th R.A. 5 59 33
THE MINOR PLANETS.
Right Ascension. Declination,
995 II 26.6
II 13:5 12 234
12 279 - 16 30-2