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    Abstract

    ORBITS OF BINARY STARS.—In a communication to The Observatory, Dr. Doberck, of Col. Cooper's Observatory, Markree Castle, has summarised the results of the investigations on the orbits of the revolving double stars which have occupied him between three and four years, and which he has conducted with so much skill and laborious application. In a climate where the skies are too irregularly favourable to allow of an astronomer occupying himself wholly upon observations, it would be difficult to name any more interesting work to which he could devote his leisure, than such a revision of the elements of the binary systems. Dr. Doberck's account of his methods in different cases will be of much service to any one who may engage upon similar researches. He has found no reason to detract from the value of the early, graphical method of Sir John Herschel; on the contrary, instances are mentioned where it has been of the greatest service in tracing out the general form of the orbit, for correction by more refined processes, as in the difficult case of Σ 1768: indeed, Dr. Doberck considers it superior to the second method given by Herschel from its admitting of the weights being approximately taken into account with ease. In a provisional orbit for the close double star Σ 3121, the period assigned is thirty-seven years; at present we know of only two more rapid binaries. Some of the orbits included in Dr. Doberck's paper, have been made the subject of communications to the Royal Irish Academy, and have been published in the Transactions.

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