Books Received | Published:

(1) The Adolfo Stahl Lectures in Astronomy Delivered in San Francisco, California, in 1916–17 and 1917–18, under the Auspices of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (2) Planetary Rotation Periods and Group Ratios

Nature volume 104, pages 370371 (11 December 1919) | Download Citation



THE Astronomical Society of the Pacific if in several respects an interesting and fortunate body. As Dr. Aitken recalls in one of these lectures, it had its origin in the co-operation of amateur and professional observers of the eclipse of 1889, which crossed California and was the object of an expedition, the first of a splendidly organised series, from the Lick Observatory, then only recently established. The society is essentially an amateur association enjoying the cordial support of professional astronomers, and this means much, for in its province—a thousand miles long—is to be found the most notable part of the instrumental equipment of astronomy in the world, including the three largest reflectors, with an average aperture of nearly 80 in. It bestows, the Bruce medal on conditions which make the award the seal of the highest professional approval on the work of the recipient. It grants the Donohoe medal to the discoverer of every unexpected comet. Its “Publications,” without having the severity of a conventional learned journal, contain notes on results of the most recent work, and often give an intimate account of observatory life in circumstances of peculiar interest, especially welcome to those who have had personal experience of it.

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