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Eros and the Solar Parallax

Nature volume 63, pages 502503 (21 March 1901) | Download Citation



FEW projects involving long continued observation and laborious calculations have received a more ready assent or commanded a wider co-operation than that which has for its aim the determination of the solar parallax from observations of the planet Eros. This readiness to adopt a general programme was materially assisted by the meeting of the International Astrophotographic Congress at Paris, in July 1900, whereby the directors of many of the best equipped observatories were able to rapidly mature their plans and to complete the necessary organisation. The representatives of some twenty observatories gave in their adhesion to the proposal, which contemplates the collection of measures, either photographic, micrometrical or heliometric, and the necessary meridian observation of a large number of comparison stars. The general scheme follows the well-known lines of utilising observations made at considerable hour angles east and west of the meridian at any one observatory, of combining the observations made in the north and south hemispheres, and adds the somewhat novel feature of making available simultaneous observations of the planet at stations in America and Europe, a suggestion which, among other advantages, has the effect of eliminating errors arising from an imperfect knowledge of the planet's motion.

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