Our Astronomical Column

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    COMET 1899 a (SWIFT).—This comet is now well situated for observation in the early morning, and has been frequently seen during the past week. Passing rapidly to the north-west, it will rise earlier every morning, and opportunities will be afforded of obtaining both photographic and visual records of its form and spectrum. The positions predicted by the ephemeris are so nearly correct that there is no possibility of mistaking the comet. As seen on several mornings at the Solar Physics Observatory, South Kensington, it appears to the unaided eye as bright as a star of the fourth magnitude, and, though possessing no tail, is sufficiently unlike a star in appearance to attract notice, With a telescope it is seen to consist of an irregular nucleus about I' in diameter, surrounded by a much fainter nebulous mass some 10' in diameter. Photographs of the spectrum have been obtained showing six bands between D and H, the origins of which have not yet been deduced.

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    Our Astronomical Column. Nature 60, 38 (1899) doi:10.1038/060038a0

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