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Determination of Orbits of Comets and Asteroids

Nature volume 127, pages 436437 (21 March 1931) | Download Citation

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Abstract

IN NATURE, July 14, 1928, a note appeared on the second (reset) edition of Bauschinger's “Bahnbe-stimmung der Himmelskörper”, with an appeal for an English translation. Bauschinger's treatise, however, had not been brought up-to-date since its first appearance in 1906, and was expensive (£3). These defects were remedied a year later in a volume by Stracke, of the Rechen-Institut in Berlin, which dealt with modern methods (except Leuschner's) including their adaptation to calculating machines. But there has been no text-book in English since Watson's “Theoretical Astronomy” in 1867. Prof. Crawford has now filled this gap in our literature. In order to keep his book within the bounds of a university text-book that can be mastered in a one year's course, Prof. Crawford has assumed a working knowledge of spherical astronomy. He develops his subject concisely, and leaves the more difficult subjects of perturbations and definitive orbits for later and more specialised study. The two methods described are a modern adaptation of Laplace's by Leuschner, and a recent modification of Gauss's by Merton. The former is the favourite method in America, but it has never been taken up by anyone who has not been to Berkeley and studied under Leuschner himself. The latter is a modernised version of the methods in vogue on the Continent, and it is unlikely that it will yield, on this side of the Atlantic, to Leuschner's method. It offers more straightforward processes and greater facilities for checking at each stage.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/127436b0

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