The late Prof. Tacchini


As a tribute to the memory of the late distinguished Italian astronomer, of whom an obituary notice appeared in the columns of NATURE last week, may I be permitted to add a few personal reminiscences? Prof. Tacchini took part in the eclipse expedition of 1875 to the Nicobar Islands. He joined our party from India, where he had been staying from the previous year, having been commissioned by his Government to make observations on the transit of Venus of 1874. The Italian Government sanctioned his remaining in India until the following year in order that he might make use of the opportunity with the instruments in his charge for the observation of the forthcoming total solar eclipse. Of the little band of observers who assembled on the Island of Camorta in April, 1875, most are happily still with us. Vogel, the introducer of “orthochromatic” photography, has passed away, but Pedler, Waterhouse, and others will remember the pleasant camaraderie which existed between ourselves and our Italian colleague. The expedition failed in its object through a cloudy sky, and we were all more or less the victims of intermittent malarial fever; but we made the best of adverse circumstances, and under conditions which, to many a party of observers similarly placed, would have been extremely trying, the good understanding which the members had arrived at among themselves helped to lighten the burden of our disappointment. Not the least weighty factor in the formation of this good fellowship among the representatives of different nations was the geniality of Tacchini, with whom we parted on the P. and O. steamer Baroda on the homeward voyage with every regret.


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MELDOLA, R. The late Prof. Tacchini. Nature 71, 583 (1905).

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