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Our Astronomical Column

    Abstract

    THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, PARIS.—At the annual public fitting of this body on February 6, recommendations of a committee consisting of MM. Faye, Lœwy, Mouchez, Janssen, and Tisserand, with respect to the award of the astronomical prizes of 1881, were adopted by the Academy. The Lalande Prize was awarded to Mr. Lewis Swift, of Rochester, New York, who in the course of four years has discovered seven comets, one of them of short period. The committee remarked that we have now a family of seven periodical comets, of which the aphelion distances do not differ much from the mean distance of Jupiter, and this great planet appears to have drawn them into our system. There are doubtless interesting researches to make on this point of theoretical astronomy: “La première chose à faire est de recueillir de nombreux matériaux; aussi convient-il d'encourager les travailleurs qui consacrent leurs veilles à la recherche des comètes.”

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