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    AUSTRALIAN OBSERVATORIES.—The eighteenth Annual Report of the Director of the Observatory at Melbourne to the Board of Visitors (who in their turn report to the Governor of Victoria) has been issued. The new transit-circle was expected in a short time, and would find the new circle-room ready to receive it, but the instrument which had been in use for twenty years continued to give excellent and trustworthy results; nevertheless each year had forced upon Mr. Ellery the necessity of greater optical scope for the meridian work. The inevitable loss of reflective power in the great telescope increases a little year by year, but does not yet sensibly affect the work upnn which it is employed. Indeed, Mr. Ellery says, “Some photographs of faint objects obtained lately are clear evidence of the immense light-gathering power it still possesses, and of the trivial loss occasioned so far by the slight tarnish apparent.” The instrument had not been kept quite so closely to its special work—the revision of the southern nebulæ—as before, owingto the number of nights occupied with the great comet and in experimenting in celestial photography. Among the subjects of observation Mr. Ellery refers to the transit of Venus, the Port Darwin Expedition for determination of longitude of Australian observatories, and measures of differences of declination of the minor planets Sappho and Victoria for determination of the solar parallax, according to the scheme arranged by Mr. Gill. The great comet of 1882 was kept in view for 250 days, or until April 26. A large portion of the work connected with the telegraphic determination of the longitude of Australian observatories from Greenwich fell upon the Melbourne establishment, which is now assumed to be in longitude 9h. 39m. 53.37s. E., subject perhaps to some very small correction. As soon as the new transit-circle was properly adjusted, it was Mr. Ellery's intention to devote it to the revision of a rather large catalogue of stars at the request of the “Astronomiche Gesell-schaft,” besides its more special work. The great telescope would be applied more exclusively to the continuation of the revision of Sir John Herschel's nebulæ, several of which, by the way, the Melbourne observers have not been able to find.

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