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Our Astronomical Column


THE WARNER OBSERVATORY.—“The Warner Observatory is distinctively a private institution built for the purposes of original discovery rather than the ordinary routine work of most other Observatories.” This sentence begins a recently-published history and work of the Warner Observatory, Rochester, N.Y., from 1883 to 1886. Under such favourable conditions as these, it is not wonderful that a considerable amount of work should be done. Mr. Lewis Swift is the Director of the Observatory, and, upon assuming command, he selected the discovery of new nebulæ as his principal field of labour. The first unrecorded nebula was found on July 9, 1883. Since then more than 400 others have been detected; and their positions and descriptions have been published from time to time in four catalogues. The observations are now brought together, and will therefore be more useful than heretofore. In the volume containing them are printed the Warner prize essays. One of these, by Prof. Lewis Boss, treats of “Comets: their Composition, Purpose, and Effect upon the Earth”; and there are several others on the coloured skies seen about the time of the Krakataō eruption. Mr. Henry Maine endeavours to show that a physical connection existed between these red sunsets and solar activity. The Rev. S. E. Bishop, of Honolulu, also describes the brilliant glows in question; ascribing them to the introduction of finely divided matter into the higher regions of the atmosphere.

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Our Astronomical Column. Nature 45, 422 (1892).

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