Editorial | Published:

Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn


WITH Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn in the morning sky the telescopist has a varied assortment of brilliant objects to which he may devote his attention. The great distance of Mars during the ensuing opposition will have the effect of limiting the apparent diameter to a low value, but the chief markings are so conspicuous as to be visible notwithstanding this inimical effect. Indeed during the preceding opposition, which was equally unfavourable, some of the more delicate features appear to have been recovered. At Milan Signor Schiaparelli has partly confirmed his previous results as to the singular duplication of the “canals,” and Mr. Knobel has obtained a series of valuable sketches, which are reproduced in the last volume of the Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society. With regard to Jupiter the declination of the planet will be somewhat less than during the opposition of 1884–5, but the configuration of the belts and the peculiarities of the variable spots will doubtless continue to be exhibited with nearly similar prominence as in previous years. Saturn, situated in Gemini, and having considerable N. declination, will present a grand display, the rings being still widely open and inviting that close and systematic scrutiny which is so much needed either to affirm or negative some of the questionable details suggested by recent observations.

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