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clearness of atmosphere, and convenience of access from the City of Washington, and upon receipt of the report of this commission to purchase said site, accept such plans as he may deem suitable to proceed with the erection of the observatory and its appropriate buildings. The bill for this purpose appropriates $300,000, or as much thereof as may be necessary, provided the aggregate cost shall not exceed that sum, and that no expenditures shall be made until approved. It also directs the Joint Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds to take such measures as may be fit and expedient to sell the present observatory reservation, the sale to take effect after the removal of the observatory, and the proceeds to be covered into the United States Treasury. The bill furthermore provides for the transportation and use, in the new building, of any materials belonging to the present observatory.
The transit of Venus papers of the English commission are now in the hands of the printer, and the first part has been issued.
The eleventh annual report of the Board of Visitors of the Melbourne Observatory describes the work of the past year (to 1876, June), which has been the usual meridian observations, drawings of over seventy southern nebulæ, daily photographs of the sun, etc., etc., and describes a plan for enlarged meteorological activity, which will probably be adopted.
The report of the Oxford University Observatory for the year 1876–77 records the taking of 426 lunar photographs (making 652 taken to date), which are to be measured micrometrically for the determination of the libration; 117 double stars have been measured during the year (259 measures), and six satellites of Saturn observed; the chromosphere has been delineated on twenty-two days. The director describes a new micrometer, which appears to be similar to Alvan Clark's double eye-piece micrometer, described some twenty years since. One of these is now at the Naval Observatory, Washington.
The volume of the Cape Observations for 1874 is the thirteenth publication circulated by Mr. Stone, the director, since his accession in 1871. It contains the mean positions of 1246 stars, including all of Lacaille's stars in the Coelum
Australe Stelliferum which now fall between 155° and 1659 N. P. D., and some additional ones in the same zone. Lacaille's stars between 145° and 155° N. P. D. were similarly observed in 1875, and those between 135o and 145° in 1876. We shall soon, therefore, have accurate places of all Lacaille's stars, especially as Dr. C. Powalky, of Washington, has reduced all of Lacaille's observations (about 400 in number) taken with the altitude instruments both at the Cape of Good Hope and at Paris. By introducing new values of the latitude, refraction, and corrections for the division errors of the instruments, he has been able to bring excellent agreement between the Paris and Cape observations with both sextant and sector. The results appear to be comparable in precision with Bradley's observations. The epoch chosen is 1750.0.
“The Results of Observations of Shooting-Stars, from 1833 to 1875," by the late Dr. Heis, of Münster, has just been published. It comprises Dr. Heis's own observations for fortythree years at the observatory of which he was director. According to Nature, it gives the times of occurrence and the points of first and last appearance of 13,000 meteors, followed by a partial discussion of the results and by a catalogue of radiant points.
ASTRONOMICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY. The St. Petersburg Academy has published a “Tableau général méthodique et alphabétique des Matières contenues dans les Publications de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences, depuis sa Fondation.” The first part, “Publications en Langues étrangères,” 489 pp., 8vo, was printed in 1872, and has just reached England. It will be of immense service as a key to these important Transactions.
The continuation of the Royal Society's Catalogue of Scientific Papers (1864–73) is nearly ready for distribution. It contains over 95,000 titles, and will be printed in two volumes, uniform with the former volumes. Vol. VII. contains the initials A-H, Vol. VIII. H-Z.
The Royal Academy of Sciences of Belgium has recently published an important bibliographical work, which gives a complete list of the members, etc., of the Academy, and a list of the works of each, which is complete so far as its own publications are concerned, and very full in the publications of other bodies. It is a useful supplement to the indispensable Royal Society catalogue of scientific papers.
Mr. Knobel, of England, has published in the Monthly Notices, Royal Astronomical Society, a very complete and accurate index catalogue scientific literature on the subjects of Double Stars, Variable and Red Stars, Nebulæ, etc., Proper Motions and Parallax, and Stellar Spectra. Since this has appeared, a very complete bibliography by Mr. Knobel has been printed in the Memoirs of the same society under the title “ Chronology of Star Catalogues."
The Smithsonian Institution has published a complete bibliography of works on Nebulæ and Clusters, by Professor Holden, of 110 pp., 8vo.
Professor Merriman, of Yale College, has published a valuable bibliography of works on the Method of Least Squares.
It is proposed to found an American journal of pure and applied mathematics at Baltimore, under the editorship of Professor Sylvester, aided by the professors of the Johns Hopkins University and others.
We note the establishment of a new astronomical periodical (monthly), under the editorship of Mr. Christie, first assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. He is to be assisted by several eminent astronomers. The first number appeared on April 20, 1877, under the name, The Observatory: a Monthly Review of Astronomy, and contains articles by Huggins, Gill, Darwin (G. H.), Birmingham, Tupman, Brett, and Marth.
The Science Observer, published monthly since July, 1877, as the organ of the Boston Amateur Scientific Society, contains notes on variable and double stars, etc.
The Popular Science Monthly for February, 1877, publishes a list of the principal telescopes of the world, which may be of use for reference.
REPORTS OF AMERICAN OBSERVATORIES. For the purpose of rendering the summary of the progress and condition of astronomical science in 1877 fuller and more satisfactory, a circular was sent to the directors of the various observatories of the United States, asking for information on the following points:
First, the personnel of the observatory;
Third, the subjects of observation to which attention has been devoted during the past year;
Fourth, those which will be taken up during the coming
Fifth, the principal publications of the year.
To secure a fuller response to these inquiries it was suggested that a systematic presentation of the information in question, as derived from all the principal observatories, would serve the purpose of a permanent record in the absence of any journal in the United States specially devoted to such subjects. It was intended that one such circular should reach every observatory, public or private, in the United States. If any have been omitted, it has been by inadvertence, and notice of such omissions is desired by the editor.*
The various replies to this circular follow in the alphabetical order of cities, and are given unchanged, except that occasionally material elsewhere accessible has been omitted to gain space.
Dudley Observatory, Albany, N. Y.
Professor Lewis Boss, Director. For some time previous to July, 1876, the astronomical office of the observatory had been vacant. At that date astronomical work was resumed, with a limited personal staff.
During the past year this has consisted of the director, Lewis Boss, and assistant, O. H. Landreth, with a janitor to care for the buildings and grounds.
The instrumental equipment of the observatory has received no material alteration for many years. The principal features of these instruments are described with more or less detail in Volume I. of the “Annals of Dudley Observatory.” A mere enumeration is all that need be given here.
The principal instruments are:
* This circular was sent to the observatories at Chicago, Albany, Hastings, Bethlehem, Amherst, Hartford, Cordoba, Pittsburgh, West Point, Vassar College, Clinton, Cambridge, New York, Cincinnati, Rochester, Williamstown, Middletown, Gettysburg, Hanover, Ann Arbor, Princeton, Quebec, etc,
1st. The Equatorial Refractor, of 13 inches clear aperture and 15 feet 2 inches focal length, made by HENRY Fitz, of New York.
2d. The Olcott Meridian Circle, of 8 inches aperture and 9 feet 8 inches focal length, with circles of 36 inches diameter, graduated to 2', made by PistoR AND MARTINS, of Berlin. This instrument is supplied with collimators, reversing carriage, and other apparatus essential to its use.
3d. The Transit Instrument, of 6.4 inches clear aperture and 8 feet focal length, made by PISTOR AND MARTINS, of Berlin.
4th. The 4-inch Comet-seeker, by ALVAN CLARK AND Sons, of Cambridgeport, Mass.
5th. Two Standard Sidereal Clocks, one clock regulated to mean solar time, and several Counting Clocks.
6th. A Printing Chronograph, by Professor G. W. Hough, and a Disk Chronograph, from designs by Professor Mitchell. These chronographs are entirely out of repair.
7th. A Printing Barometer, Thermometer, and Anemoscope. 8th. Miscellaneous apparatus of minor importance.
The observatory is supplied with an astronomical library of about 1000 bound volumes, besides numerous pamphlets.
During the term of office of the present director the buildings have been thoroughly repaired and the grounds improved.
Observations have been made, principally with the Equatorial Refractor and the Olcott Transit Circle.
The principal observations with the former instrument have been :
1st. Physical observations of Mars at opposition, with numerous measurements of the inclination of its polar axis.
2d. Observations of Iris at opposition for solar parallax.
1st. To observations of Mars during opposition, on the plan proposed by Professor Eastman, of the Naval Observatory.
2d. The positions of many small stars have been observed, both in right ascension and declination. Particular attention has been directed to stars of the sixth magnitude, or brighter, which at present lack satisfactory modern determinations.
3d. Observations of Ariadne, Iris, and Melpomene.
4th. Standard time has been furnished to the city of Albany, and to all railroads and telegraph lines radiating from this point.
5th. Many observations have been made for latitude, flexure, values of telescope micrometers and other instrumental constants.
During the year 1878 it is proposed to continue the observation of selected stars and asteroids. Plans for observations on a more extended scale are under consideration, but not fully matured. It