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Nature volume 52, pages 277278 | Download Citation



THE NEW MADRAS OBSERVATORY.—Prof. Michie Smith, the successor of Mr. Pogson at Madras, has lately made known a few particulars relating to the new Solar Physics Observatory which is to be erected in India. The funds have been voted by the Indian Government, and the site selected is in the Palani Hills at Kodaikanal, 300 miles south of Madras. The daily work of photographing the sun, which is now carried on for the Solar Physics Committee at Dehra DÛn by the officers of the Indian Trigonometrical Survey, will form part of the routine work of the new observatory. It is also proposed to undertake a systematic spectroscopic examination of the sun, but the details of this portion of the programme have not yet been finally determined upon. The climate of Kodaikanal seems to be almost all that can be desired for astronomical purposes. The mean daily temperature varies from 54°˙1 C. in December to 62°˙2 C. in May, while the rainfall is about 47½ inches. From March to December in the year in which observations were specially made, the bright sunshine amounted to 1634 hours; the morning is usually bright until about eleven o'clock, then clouds come up and continue until about four o'clock; by six o'clock the sky is generally cloudless. Except during the northeast monsoon, a night which is wholly cloudy is almost unknown. Under these highly advantageous conditions, there is every prospect that the establishment of this observatory will result in a great gain to astronomy, especially in the department of solar physics.

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