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Comets and their Tails, and the Gegenschein Light

Nature volume 68, page 245 (16 July 1903) | Download Citation



THE theory of comet's tails has not yet arrived at its ultimate destiny, which we suppose is that of becoming an orthodox branch of applied mathematics; ana consequently it still possesses a fascination for the world at large. True, the phenomena have been discussed by Prof. Bredichin, in a succession of papers that now go back nearly thirty years; but the origin of the forces required for Bredichin's theory is very obscure, and the net result is to excite rather than to remove conjecture. During the last few years the general mental ferment over the new views of the constitution of matter has given a fresh stimulus to speculators in this part of astronomy, and a considerable literature has already gathered round the suggestions of J. J. Thomson, Arrhenius and Deslandres.

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