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Nature volume 85, pages 118119 (24 November 1910) | Download Citation



THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE MOON, NOVEMBER 16.—Not for many years have the conditions for observing a total eclipse of the moon been so generally favourable as they were on November 16. Reports from all over the country show how generally they were taken advantage of and appreciated, although, of course, no details of special scientific interest are yet published. Several meteors were observed before and during the eclipse, Mr. E. A. Martin having observed one at 6h. 55m. p.m. from South Norwood. Its path was from north-west to south-east, its colour reddish-yellow, and it was especially noticeable by reason of its extremely leisurely movement. Two faint meteors travelling in the same direction were seen from Gunnersbury during the eclipse. Madam de Robeck, writing from Naas, Ireland, states that the eclipse was a beautiful spectacle, and that she saw three meteors. One of these was a fine specimen, which travelled in a south-westerly direction from an apparent radiant just below the eclipsed moon. The penumbral shadow was barely discernible until after 10 p.m., when the relative darkening of the south-east limb could be detected. A slight flattening of the limb appeared to take place some minutes before the actual shadow could be seen on the disc, and throughout the eclipse the various prominent lunar features were readily distinguishable through the deep copper-coloured shade. During totality the relative brightness of the limb was also noticeable, a thin ring appearing to encircle the darkened disc. The beauty of the phenomenon was considerably increased by the apparition of previously unseen stars, notably the Pleiades, when the extreme brightness of the moon was reduced. It is gratifying to notice that the new 8-inch equatorial of the Birmingham University Observatory was employed by Mr. Fournier in taking some fifteen photographs of the eclipsed moon during the various phases of the eclipse; exposures of from one to thirty seconds were given.

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