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Nature volume 23, pages 182183 | Download Citation



SWIFT'S COMET.—The evidence in favour of a period of about 5½ years instead of about 11 years for this cornet is apparently strengthened by an able note from Mr. S. C. Chandler, jun., which we find in an advance number of the Boston Science Observer. He brings the two periods to bear upon the representation of the observations of 1869. Starting with Prof. Bruhns' parabolic elements in Ast. Nach. No. 1788, he computed an ephemeris and compared therewith all the published observations, thirty-five in number, after taking into account parallax and aberration. The residuals were found to be considerable and systematic, and with the view to obtaining a nearer approximation to the orbit before proceeding with the determination of final elements, he formed three normals, using for the first all the observed places, six in number, from November 29 to December I inclusive; for the second all the places from December 8 to 10 inclusive, eleven in number; and for the third six observations between December 26 and 31: these observations were made at Hamburg, Königsberg, Kremsniunster, Leipsic, Manheim, and Vienna; he thus gets for the foundation of his subsequent work the following normal positions:—

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