Page images

secure against vibrations. The instruments to be used in this way are a 91-inch Silvered-glass Reflector, by BROWNING; a Comet-seeker, of 6 inches aperture, by Fitz, and a 3-inch Telescope, by FRAUNHOFER.

The time is furnished by two standard Clocks (one Solar and one Sidercal), and by 5 subsidiary Clocks electrically controlled by the standard Sidereal, one in each of the observing-rooms. The Clocks are by HOWARD & Co., of Boston, and the Sidereal standard has the new escapement invented by Professor Young. Both this and the Solar Clock have a modification of ROBINSON's barometric compensation.

The Chronograph, by CLARK, has three independent cylinders. This and the standard Clocks are mounted in a room which is heated in cold weather. The cost of the whole was about $23,000.

The building and its equipment will be used mainly for the purpose of teaching practical astronomy to select classes. Its equipment is such, however, that it will be possible to do some real astronomical work in the way of determining star positions with the Circle, observing occultations and similar phenomena, measuring double stars, and especially in keeping up a series of solar observations, ocular, spectroscopic, and photographic.

Experience only, however, can determine how much of this work will be practicable without interfering with the work of instruction, which will always hold the first place.

At present Professor Young is without assistants; but it is hoped that before long the want will be provided for, either by persons specially appointed or by post-graduate students.

Observatory of Quebec.

Commander E. D. Ashe, R.N., Director. 1st. The personnel consists of myself and assistant.

2d. Two Clocksa Sidereal one, by Dent, and a Meantime one, by MOLYNEUX; a 36-inch Transit, mounted between stone piers; and a splendid Equatorial, of 8 inches clear aperture and 9 feet focus, by ALVAN CLARK; a 42-inch Telescope, by DOLLAND.

The principal object of the observatory is to give time to the shipping by dropping a ball at one o'clock, showing 5h 44m 49s Greenwich time. Besides this, I have been very successful in solar photography. There will be no alteration in the observations during the

next year.

Observatory of Ripon College, Wisconsin.

Professor C. A. KENASTON, Director. This observatory contains a fine Transit Instrument, a MITCHELL Chronograph, and a good Astronomical Clock.

ed ;

Rochester Observatory, Rochester, N. Y.

Professor LEWIS Swift, Director. My Telescope is a 4-inch achromatic, and was equatorially mount

but being at present without an observatory, I have changed it to an alt-azimuth, as being much more convenient for comet-seeking. For the past one and a half years I have done my observingcomet-seeking a specialty-from the flat roof of an elevated building commanding in every direction an unobstructed horizon.

Arrangements are pending for a regularly equipped observatory, with probably a 9-inch Telescope, Micrometer, Driving-clock, etc. The line of study will be, as heretofore, comet-seeking and the formation of a chart of all nebulæ visible through a telescope of 5 inches aperture. For many years I have seriously felt the want of such a chart. I shall construct it for the especial benefit of comet-seekers.

The result of the year has been the discovery of comet c, and observations of comets a, b, e, and f. Comet d, “D'Arrest's," with all my efforts, I was unable to find from excessive faintness.

The secondary tail to comet b I discovered, and published a description of it in our city papers, long before I heard of its discovery in Europe.

Office of “The James Lick Trust." The specific information that you request we are unable to give, as the construction of the Lick Observatory has not been actually begun.

I am instructed, however, by the president of the trustees to endeavor to give you such information concerning the proposed observatory as might prove of interest.

Mr. Lick reserved in his deed of trust the right to himself determine the site of the observatory, and, after long consideration of various other points in California proposed, finally selected the summit of Mount Hamilton, situate in the county of Santa Clara and about thirteen miles east of the city of San José (in a direct line).

In consideration of this selection, the county of Santa Clara agreed to assume the expense of constructing a suitable road from San José to the observatory site, which is now completed.

By said road the distance from San José to the summit is about twenty-five miles. From San Francisco to San José the distance is a little less than fifty miles by railroad, with two lines available.

The summit of Mount Hamilton is elevated above the sea about 4250 feet, and in point of atmospheric conditions favorable for an observatory is, so far as appears from present information, probably


as good as the summit of any other mountain in the California coast range of equal elevation.

It has not yet been decided whether, in attempting to construct an instrument “superior to and more powerful than any telescope ever yet made,” the better success would be promised by attempting a great reflector or a great refractor. The opinions of many distinguished astronomers, as far as we have yet learned, seem to be divided on this question.

The nature of the site of the observatory will perhaps enter as one of the many important considerations in determining the kind of instrument.

Work will not be commenced, nor will any steps be taken towards contracting for the great telescope, until the claims of Mr. Lick's heirs against his estate are settled by the suits now pending in our courts.

The heirs have offered a compromise for $383,000, which all of the various beneficiaries have agreed it advisable to accept; but the California Academy of Sciences have demurred to the proposition to pay the compromise-money from the residuum of the estate after all the specific bequests have been paid in full (they being, with the Society of California Pioneers, the residuary legatees), and are now contending in court for a pro rata payment of the compromise-money -to wit, that all the bequests be adjudged liable to provide their pro rata of the amount necessary to complete the compromise.

The trustees hope soon to get a decision of the court which will finally settle this matter, and enable them to begin carrying out the various objects of Mr. Lick's donations.

I have mailed you such printed matter as I could furnish to aid you in determining for yourself if there is any matter of interest for your purpose.

I am, yours, respectfully,

H. E. MATHEWS, Secretary.

Lehigh University Observatory, South Bethlehem, Pa.

Professor C. L. DOOLITTLE, Director. The observatory was founded by Robert Sayre, of this place, and is known as the Sayre Observatory.

It built primarily with a view to furnishing facilities for instruction in astronomy to students of the university. Since my connection with the institution, I have been engaged, as far as my other duties would permit, in making and reducing the following series of observations:

1st. Determination of longitude of observatory. Signals were exchanged with the Washington Observatory on six evenings for this purpose, a preliminary reduction of which gives our longitude 6m 40.38 (South Bethlehem) E. of Washington. A final reduction may change this slightly.

2d. A series of 450 observations with zenith telescope, for latitude, made on sixty pairs of stars. A preliminary determination of the latitude from 182 of these observations gives 40° 36' 23.75" N.

3d. A series of micrometrical measurements of the position of Mars during the recent opposition for parallax determination.

It is intended to publish the foregoing in the form of a pamphlet, which, I hope, will appear before the end of 1877.

There is no especial provision given for regular astronomical work. Such as I undertake is on my own responsibility, and in addition to the work of instruction. The only assistance in that direction is such as I can get from my pupils.

Our instruments are: A 6-inch Equatorial, by Alvan CLARK AND Sons; a Zenith Telescope, by Blunt; a Field Transit, by STACKPOLE; a Sidereal Clock, by BOND AND Sons.

Observatory of Vassar College.

Miss MARIA MITCHELL, Director. First. The personnel of the observatory is confined to myself. I have the aid, however (and it is often very valuable), of volunteer work by my students.

Second. The instruments of the observatory are: An Equatorial Telescope, of 13} inches aperture, the glass of which has been reground by ALVAN CLARK, and is very good; a Meridian Instrument, by YOUNG, of Philadelphia, the aperture 34 inches (adapted to this are two Collimating Telescopes, by CLARK AND Sons, of Cambridge); a Sidereal Clock and Chronograph, by BOND AND Sons, Boston. The observatory has also the use of several portable telescopes, photographic apparatus, etc., but they are private property.

Third. Photographs of the sun are taken every fine day, and have been for several years.

Observations with the Equatorial are made on the planets Jupiter and Saturn, with measurements, whenever the weather is suitable.

Observations for Time.—These observations it is proposed to continue during the coming year.

Hopkins Observatory, Williams College, Williamstown, Mass,

Professor T. H. SAFFORD, Director. The personnel of this observatory consists of the director and two students.

The main instruments are a 74-inch CLARK Equatorial, of ancient date, and a 31-inch Simms Transit, with Clock, by MOLYNEUX AND COPE. Observations for a year past have been such as were needed for teaching the undergraduates and making myself acquainted with the instruments and their capacity. My intention is to observe right ascensions of certain stars with the present Transit, and, if practicable, to get a better Meridian Instrument and pursue the observation of the zone 35° to 40°, undertaken at Chicago.

My leisure is rather limited. I am professor of physics and astronomy, and am printing two volumes: (1) Observations of right ascension, about 15,000 in number, made at Cambridge in 1862–65 by several observers (about half my own), on a plan arranged between Professor G. P. Bond and myself. The stars are largely those near the pole, and contribute to my general plan of work. (2) A compiled catalogue of 2018 latitude stars, for Lieut. Wheeler, U.S.E. Modern authorities are utilized, including many scattered series by Bessel, Gauss, Argelander, Struve, and others, which have mostly escaped notice because used in special memoirs on latitude. My last publications, with one exception, treat of the solar motion as connected with the stars' proper motions and distances; and the observations of the next year will bear on this subject.

My present working list contains nearly 400 stars. These are such as occur in the two books above mentioned and need reobservation; mostly those which exhibit a decided proper motion not yet determined with accuracy; in many cases wrongly given elsewhere.

« EelmineJätka »