Our Astronomical Column

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    Abstract

    VARIABLE STARS.—It may be hoped that some amateur in the other hemisphere—the class of observation is hardly suited to the professional astronomer, considering the work that remains to be accomplished in the southern heavens—may be keeping in view Lacaille's star, Doradus, which is certainly variable to a great extent, and in a very long period. In the Catalogue published by the British Association founded upon the observations in Lacaille's Cœslum Australe Stelliferum, the star is rated 5 m., though in the Catalogue at the end of this work we find it 6m., the estimate applying to the year 1751, and this is also the magnitude noted by Brisbane about 1825. The variability of the star was first shown by the late Capt. Jacob's observations at Madras early in 1850; he found no such conspicuous star as Lacaille and Brisbane had observed, but fixed the position of one which nearly agrees with the Paramatta place, and which was estimated 9.5; this star was reobserved at Madras in 1855 and rated 9·2. The next we hear of it is from Moesta, who, observing at Santiago, states (Astron. Nach., No. 1,545) tnat from February, 1860, to January, 1865, he had found it 8½ or 9 on Argelander's scale. Finally Mr. Stone observed the star at the Cape of Good Hope in 1875 and estimated it a seventh magnitude, which should induce a close watch upon it at the present time. The star was formerly credited with a very sensible proper motion, but it would appear from the modern observations that this arose from an error in Lacaille; thus, bringing up all places to 1875.0 we have—

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    Our Astronomical Column . Nature 20, 363 (1879) doi:10.1038/020363d0

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