Miscellany | Published:




    M. E. QUETELET has issued a Notice giving a brief account of the recent progress of the Brussels Observatory, which has been established only in the face of great difficulties. In 1833 meteorological observations were commenced to be made, and a few years after astronomical observations were added by the elder Quetelet. The work which is at present being carried on has for its object a general revision of the variable stars. Seventy thousand positions have already been collected—forty thousand for right ascensions and thirty thousand for declinations. Two-thirds of these observations are published, the rest is calculated, and will be printed as soon as the resources of the Observatory permit. For fifty years a series of observations have been carried on in reference to the variations of the magnetic needle at Brussels, the results of which M. Quetelet hopes to be able by and by to publish. He, however, feels that if Brussels is to keep up with the science of the day, much remains to be done. A Commission appointed in 1874 to report on the Observatory gave in their report at the end of that year, and their principal conclusions are as follows:—To complete the magnetic system of the Observatory by the acquisition of self-registering instruments, to organise the International Meteorological Service, to obtain an equatorial of large dimensions with the accessories necessary to the spectroscopic investigation of the heavens, and to increase the number and improve the position of the observer. The Ministry have, unfortunately, not yet come to a decision on these conclusions, though we hope they may do so soon, and enable the valuable work of the Observatory to be carried on with complete efficiency, and the results be regularly given to the scientific world. Meanwhile, the work of the Observatory is being regularly carried on on the old lines.

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