Our Astronomical Column

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    COMET 1892 V. (BARNARD).—The orbit of this comet, which had been discussed by Mr. J. G. Porter (Astronomical Journal, No. 310), has recently been made the subject of a further investigation by M. J. Coniel; but the elements, resting as they do on a very few observations, still remain uncertain to a considerable extent. The comet was discovered, photographically, on October 12, 1892, and regular observations do not extend beyond November 22, 1892, about six weeks only from the date of discovery; but an isolated observation made at Nice on December 8, not taken into the discussion by Mr. Porter, induced M. J. Coniel to reopen the inquiry, with the hope of making a better determination of the period. Mr. Porter's orbit represented this observation within the errors – 0˙055. and – 12˝˙9, in R.A. and Declination respectively; and considering the difficulty of the observation, such a discrepancy is not more than might be anticipated, and consequently does not suggest the possibility of decided improvement. The feature of the more recent discussion is to show that the observations can be equally well satisfied with elements in which the mean daily motion is altered by some 26˝. This is not quite the twentieth part of the whole motion, therefore the period is uncertain to its twentieth part, or about 0˙3 of a year.

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    Our Astronomical Column. Nature 52, 155 (1895) doi:10.1038/052155a0

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