News | Published:

The Yale College Measurement of the Pleiades1

Nature volume 36, pages 372373 | Download Citation



THE Messrs. Repsold have established, and for the present seem likely to maintain, a practical monopoly in the construction of heliometers. That completed by them for the Observatory of Yale College in 1882 leaves so little to be desired as to show excellence not to be the exclusive result of competition. In mere size it does not indeed take the highest rank; its aperture is of only 6 inches, while that of the Oxford heliometer is of 71/2; but the perfection of the arrangements adapting it to the twofold function of equatorial and micrometer, stamps it as a model not easy to be surpassed. Steel has been almost exclusively used in the mounting. Recommended as the material for the objectivecell by its quality of changing volume under variations of temperature nearly pari passu with glass, its employment was extended to the telescope-tube and other portions of the mechanism. The optical part of the work was done by Merz, Alvan Clark having declined the responsibility of dividing the object-lens. Its segments are separable to the extent of 2°, and through the contrivance of cylindrical slides (originally suggested by Bessel) perfect definition is preserved in all positions, giving a range of accurate measurement just six times that with a filar micrometer. (Gill, “Encyc. Brit.” vol. xvi. p. 253; Fischer, Sirius, vol. xvii. p. 145.)

About this article

Publication history




  1. Search for A. M. CLERKE in:


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing