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Nature volume 24, page 342 | Download Citation



GOULD'S COMET-OBSERVATIONS ON JUNE 11.—Dr. B. A. Gould, director of the Observatory at Cordoba, has communicated to the Astronomische Nachrichten particulars of his experiences while observing the great comet of the present year on the evening of June 11. On that evening, he says, “the comet was found with but little difficulty, although considerably north of the estimated place, being recognisable by its diffuse aspect, elongated form, and large diameter, although it was quite pale in the bright twilight, and the tail could not be seen. He had just obtained a rough determination of its position from the equatorial circles for the purpose of finding and identifying some comparison-star, when he found one in the field. He considered it to be some one of the many bright stars of Orion in the vicinity, which would be readily identified, and hence did not complete the approximate determination with the usual care, nor obtain instrumental readings for the star. This he describes as “only a little fainter than the comet itself, and not very dissimilar in aspect: since, although its apparent diameter was much less than the comet's, it was greatly blurred by the exceptionally thick haze and the mists of the horizon, the zenith distance being nearly 80°, I do not think it would have been below the third magnitude, and could rather believe it to have been as bright as the second.” Dr. Gould adds: “Only four comparisons were obtained before the comet passed below the horizon; then on attempting to identify the star, I found it in none of the catalogues.”

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