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Nr. 491.
American Journal of Science nnd Arts. Vol. XLV.
G r e a t
C o m e t
T h i s splendid comet, which was seen in thc sunshitle on the
by thousands of spectators in New
England , and which for a month after adorued the evening sky
mitli its long and brilliant train , has excited uncommojt interest
in all quarters of the globe. A letter from Mr. J o h ~TqyZor
of Liverpool, to the Editors of tliis Journal, states that iu the
I s l e o f F r a i r c e (S.Lat. 20') the comet was seen in great
splendor 'from the 28 of February to the S - of Riarch, (and
doubtless l i ~ k,)r the traiti rcsentbliiig ,,a streani of lire froti1
a furnace." At B o n i b a y (X. Lat. 19') the train was discovered shortly after sunset RIarch 4 , a s a long, straight beam
of light streantirig from the westcrrt horizon towards the zenith.
T h e nest night the niicleus, or at least thc loxer termination
of the comet, brcame distinctly apparent. From this time onward, nunicrous obscrv;itions were take11 at that place: but
with what precision remains to lie seen. Siniilar accounts have
been received froni various places oit both sides of the e t p t o r :
yet we have no eviderrce that 11y ally of these early obscrsers
(except Rlr. CZo4e of Portlalid ) was the position of the tiucleus accurately detcrniineci. This delicieticy is inatter of great
regret, a s it is o h i o u s that good ineasurcs of the place of
the nucleus taken rvitliiri a rseek alter the perihelion passage,
would far outweigh in value those which were made clnring
the latter part of the month of 3laIch.
'[email protected] day of February last
It appears quite probable that the train of this comet was
seen in the evening before the perihelion passage, at: 1Seriiiuda,
Philadelphia and Porto Rico on the 1 W 23d and [email protected]'I oCFebruary. Sonie of the oliservations on which this statement i s
fountled, w e d however further irivestigation bcfore tftc are
given to the public.
In stating a t p. 413 of the last solume of this Journal
the distance af the nucleus of the comet from the sun on the
[email protected] of February, as mrasured by RIr. J. G..Clarke, of Portland, Me. , ail error was conimittcd, which is corrected it1 the
11 11
Nr. i July 1843.
o f
p. 229.
following valuable inemorantla, which Iiave lteeii kindly furnished me b y that gentleman. The nuclcus and also every
part of the tail, as seen Iiy him, in strong sunshine, were as
well delined a s the moon on a clear day. The nucleus anci
tail bore the same appearance, and resembled a perfectly pure
white cloud, without any satiation except a slight change near
the head, just sufiicicnt to tlisti~iguishthe nucleus from the
tail a t that poiut. The derisetiess of the itucleus was so great
that Wr. Clrcrk. has no doubt that it might have been visible
upon t.he suit's di& if it had passed between it and the observer. This dense appearaim he considers due in part to
the fact that the tail was foreshortcneil liy projection, and so
directed with reference tu the earth, that the nucleus must
have been secn trough a considerable inass of the matter of
the tail. Xotwithstaading the difticulties resultiiig from the
neartress of the coinet to thc sun shitring it1 its strength, Mr.
Clnrkc succeeded i n obtainiirg with ail instrunlent of reflection
tlie following nieasurenieitts, viz.
Febr. 28. 3h 211115 s 1'. ill. Suii's farthest limb froin nearest
litiib of uuclcus.
.4' 6' 15"
Febr, 28. 3'1 611120s1'. 81. Sun's farthest limb from farthest
h n b of nucleus.
.4' 7' 30"
Fclir. 23. 3'1 9'11405 1'. M. Suns t'arthcst linib from extrenrity of tail..
The first of this measures Rlr. Clarke cousiders reliable
within IS''> and the otlier tn-o may be tnkcrt as near approximations. Due allomance must of c o u ~ s cbe iiiadc Tor the ]no1ion.s of the two bodies dtirirtg the period of observation.
When the sun was in the place of the incricliari, the angle
Inn& b y the line joining the centres of the sun and nucleus,
with the lower rertical, on the eastern side TVX about 7.3'.
These data must evidently sul)ersede those derived from the
observations which were made a t Waterbury without the use
of instrunletits.
c. N.
a 1 t.
Babbugcs Andyticrl Eii&ie (Besclilufs). 1'. 161.
Ueber die Anmeiidiin der Meiliode der Lleinsteii Quadrate a i l € einen beionLterii Fall. Von lferrn Professor Argelandcr. p. 163. - Sclieinbare 5ositioiicn der bei den Beobnchtiur en des Mazrvaisscfien
Cometen a n f der Hnmbnrger Sternwarte Vergleiclitings -Sterne. VOII Herrn Director Riiirrfer mit dem Repsoldschen Meridiaukreise bestimiiit. p. 167. - Opposition des Urauus auf der Iiamhurger Steriiwarte beobachtet. Von Eierrri
Director R u d e r . p. 169.
Ausxiig aus einein Sclireiben des H e r m Prof. Anger i n Danzig an Jcn Herausgeber. y. 171.
Elemente und Epliemeridc des Bielaschen Cometen. p. 171.
Beobachtungcn der Sonnenfinsteritifs rani ? t e n Jiiliits
(aus den Biilletius de 1'AcadCmie Royale de Bruxellei). p. 173.
Great Coiiiet of 1843. p. 175.
Altona 1843. Deceinber 7.
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