Letter | Published:

Pons' Comet—Pink Glow


THIS comet was visible here up to the beginning of June. I saw it on fourteen nights in April and eighteen in May, including the last eleven nights of the latter month. It could be seen with an opera-glass up to April 3; my last sight of it was with a 4-inch telescope on June 1, or rather at 12.30 a.m. of June 2 (= June 1d. 1h. G.M.T.). On April 24, and again and particularly on May 24 it seemed to me to have become suddenly fainter, though there seemed nothing in the state of the sky to account for it; indeed, on the last-named night I have noted, “sky very clear.” Up to at least May 28 its motion in two or three hours could be plainly seen. On that night, though “very diffused and faint,” it was visible before the moon had set. It had not, I think, on June 2 reached the minimum visibile, but as I had no ephemeris subsequent to that (to the middle of April) given in NATURE, it would have been quite useless to have looked for it again after the moon had passed.

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