Letter | Published:

A Shadow on the Sky

Nature volume 5, page 25 | Download Citation



ON the 21st of last August, being at Zermatt, Switzerland, I witnessed from the balcony of the salle-à-manger of the Hotel du Mont Cervin a very remarkable appearance. The sun had recently set, and, as I was intensely enjoying the view of that extraordinary mountain, the Matterhorn, I saw its shadow thrown upon the clear sky in the most distinct manner. It was the exact figure of a cone lying obliquely, with its apex somewhat in an upward direction, and its base taking its origin from the S.S.E. side of the mountain. The cone was well defined, the edges of the shadow being sharp and regular. The moon was, from our point of view, at this time behind the Malterhorn. I immediately acquainted some gentlemen, who were at supper in the salle-à-manger, with this interesting appearance, and all were much struck with it. My son, Marshall Hall, had jutt retired to rest, having to be up at two the next morning, in order to make a new ascent in this locality; but I called him out into the garden to enjoy with me this striking scene. The deep, distinct shadow added to the weird effect always produced by this extraordinary mountain, and it so impressed me that I thought the phenomenon might be worth recording in your journal.

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  1. Brighton, Oct. 23



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