Our Astronomical Column

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    PROPOSED SCHOOL OF PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY.—Mr. H. C. Russell, Government Astronomer of New South Wales, in a paper read before the Royal Society of Tasmania, makes some very practicable, and what we think excellent, suggestions with respect to the disposal of the sum of money (£ 10,000) left by the late Mr. Leake for the foundation of a school of astronomy. The idea is for the Leake trustees to co-operate with the University of Tasmania, and in this way form a complete school in which both the theory and practice of astronomy should be dealt with simultaneously. In addition to the observatory being merely a school for students, Mr. Russell suggests that it should take up some special line of research, and proposes that of astronomical photography. This seems an excellent proposition. The work which such an observatory as this could do if thoroughly equipped with the necessary apparatus, would be very considerable, and the special advantages of climate and position, to say nothing of the unexplored state of the southern heavens, would soon render it of great importance. There is no doubt that we are not yet overburdened with a surplus of observatories in the southern hemisphere, for even now there is a doubt as to how the international photographic chart of the heavens shall be provided for in this region, three observatories which have undertaken the work having been unable to carry out their plans on account of the political troubles. Should this proposal be accepted, the new Leake Observatory will start under good auspices, as it will fill up a gap by taking in hand a share of the greatest modern astronomical enterprise.

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    Our Astronomical Column. Nature 46, 496 (1892) doi:10.1038/046496a0

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