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    THE SOLAR ECLIPSE OF DECEMBER 31.—Although the eclipse of the sun on the last day of the present year will not in any part of these islands amount to six-tenths of the sun's diameter, it is nevertheless as large a one as will be visible until May 28, 1900, and only that on the morning of June 17, 1890, will compare with it in magnitude in the interval. The Nautical Almanac furnishes the results of direct calculations for Greenwich, Edinburgh, Dublin, Cambridge, Oxford, and Liverpool. If to the results for the former three observatories we apply the very convenient Littröw-Woolhouse method of distributing the predictions, we shall have the following formulas for finding Greenwich mean times of first contact, greatest phase and last contact, and the magnitude of the eclipse at any place within or near to the area comprised:—

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