« EelmineJätka »
first of that animal found in the cave, together with the human fibula, and hitherto supposed to be R. tichorinus, is now considered by Prof. Busk to be R. leptorhinus.
Of Deer found this year we have several. One is a base of an antler with brow-tine (Cervus tarandus), but the species is marked as doubtful; another tine is doubtfully referred to C. elaphus; another is a fragment of a very large antler, and no species is assigned to it; also there is a patella of a very large deer, which was near the surface.
Of Goat several remains have been found; and it would almost seem possible, from the depth to which some of them occur, that this animal may have existed in Britain at an earlier age than has usually been assigned to it; but we cannot put forward this idea confidently without further confirmation. One humerus of an exceedingly small Goat has cuts upon it which are evidently human workmanship; but there are circumstances which render it desirable to reserve any further remarks upon it to a future occasion.
In our last year's report we called attention to the existence in the Victoria Cave of a “fauna which we may confidently assign to a cold climate, separated in some parts, by an accumulation of deposits 12 feet or more in thickness, from an earlier one, which is equally characteristic of high temperatures ; whereas in another part of the cave not far off, where the material to separate them is wanting, we have animals from icy and tropical countries intermingled in a confusion which would be puzzling did we not get the clue hard by." We remarked that it was evident that the separation was natural and regular, the mixture abnormal and accidental. “As distinguished from the lower bed, the chief characteristics of the upper were the presence of the Reindeer, and the absence of Elephant, Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, and Hyæna." These remarks were made solely on the evidence which passed through your present reporter's hands since he undertook to conduct the exploration of the cavern. Prof. W. Boyd Dawkins has kindly written to remind us that Reindeer was found in the lower cave-earth, below the laminated clay, when he had charge of the explorations, and he has no doubt that it was dragged in by Hyænas. The Hyæna-bed at that spot, viz. the mouth of the cavern, was at a depth of 16 feet below the laminated clay; and your reporter had an impression that the Reindeer-remains occurred at some height above the Hyæna-bed. Be that as it may, Prof. Dawkins's opinion is entitled to great weight, and is, indeed, the view generally held. At the same time, considering that Hyæna and Reindeer are not uncommonly found together in caves, when, as in this case, we see them mixed together at one or both ends of a section but separated through an interval of 70 feet in length by a thickness of deposits, we may regard the fact as at least an interesting one, and, when found, noteworthy.
The excavations still throw light upon how the Cave was formed. As far as we have yet worked at the present level, the right wall of the cave is seen to have been hollowed out by streams. Several grooves occur, indicating water-levels; but, except quite at the entrance, we have not got down to the ancient floor. We are already working in deposits which are probably of greater age than the older Thames gravels. The river is now running 900 feet below us. What earlier records we may disentomb we cannot tell ; we must work on and wait.
Report on Observations of Luminous Meteors during the year 1875–76,
by a Committee, consisting of James GLAISHER, F.R.S., R. P. GREG, F.G.S., F.R.A.S., C. BROOKE, F.R.S., Prof. G. FORBES, F.R.S.E., WALTER FLIGHT, D.Sc., F.G.S., and Prof. A. S. HERSCHEL, M.A., F.R.A.S.
[PLATE IV.] The principal subjects of discussion in the present Report are, as they have been in former years, the descriptions of meteors and meteor-showers of which the Committee has received information during the interval of a year which has elapsed since the presentation of the last Report.
Of such materials a large supply has as usual been contributed to, or has been sought for by, the Committee. Most of the appearances described are fireballs of an occasional character, some of which have given rise to a good deal of remark and scientific discussion in the public journals of the day, both from the exceptional character of brightness and from the quick repetitions of their occurrence.
Large fireballs were seen on the 3rd, 7th, and 14th of September last, which were observed over such a considerable extent of country as to allow of their real heights and paths to be calculated with a somewhat unusual degree of accuracy. The paths of these meteors were calculated by Captain G. L. Tupman, of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich ; and very satisfactory conclusions were arrived at as to the probable meteor-showers or systems to which these large fireballs, two of which were detonating, appear pretty certainly to have belonged.
Other instances have occurred where bright fireballs have been seen at several points in England sufficiently far apart, and have been observed with sufficient accuracy to lead to definite although not generally more than very rough determinations of their actual heights, velocities, and directions. One of the largest of these bolides was seen in bright sunshine on the 22nd of December, 1875; another of great brilliancy was noticed on the evening of July 25th, 1876: of these meteors, as only a few well-recorded descriptions were obtained, the probable real paths are only generally indicated, or have only hitherto been provisionally computed. Meteors of this conspicuous character appeared also on the 16th of August, 1875, and on the 15th of April, 11th, 13th, 15th, and 21st of August in the present year. Some heights of shooting-stars observed in the August shower in 1874, and described in the Catalogue of last year's Report, are deduced from the observations, and are here presented as completely as the accuracy of the observations would permit.
The occurrences of meteor-showers during the past year have been very slight and ill-defined, with the exception of the August-shower displays of 1875 and of the present year. The present year's recurrence of the August shower was, however, less plentiful than has been visible for several years past, and has amounted to a real minimum of intensity of its annual apparitions.
A new general catalogue of meteor radiant-points, with an accompanying key-map, compiled during the past year by Mr. Greg, appears in the Report, and a valuable contribution of reviews of the past year's records and examinations of aërolites (of which the many remarkable occurrences continue to increase in scientific importance year by year), by Dr. Flight, concludes its pages. One of the most interesting of such events, it will be recollected, took place this year in England, when a mass of iron weighing 7 lbs. fell at Rowton, near the Wrekin; and this, it may be observed, is only the seventh instance where a mass of metallic iron of meteoric origin, or an aërosiderite, has aetually been seen to fall. This event took place in Shropshiro, at 20 minutes to 4 o'clock p.M., on April 20, 1876.
| 1871. hms
Perhaps the same
as that seen at Cardiff and Bristol at 12h 22m to 230 A.M. See these Reports for
1872, p. 81.) May 14 3 5 a.m.
About as large as White ......... About 3 or 4 First appeared a the planet Venus
seconds. 1 little eastward when most bril.
of the moon liant.
(then in the S.S.W.), and passing a little below it disappeared to the westward of that luminary at about
150 above the | 1874,
horizon. Aug. 10 10 15 30 Lynton, N. Deron Very bright metcor'.
Position of the p.m.
¡ From 3371° +5°
to 331 +3
1010 16 p.m. Radcliffe Ob. As bright as Venus..
from y to B A!! servatory,
dromedæ. Oxford. Sept. 6 S 40 p.m. Bristol. .......'= Jupiter......
From 273° +20°
to 255 - 12 Passed between B and y Opole
uchi. 13 8 53 30 Crediton, Deron = Jupiter........
From 15° above the I p.m.
horizon to Ursa
........ Very slow ...
From 43° +30°
1 to 7 - 4 11 9 41 p.m. Ibid. ............ =Venus ....
........ Slow ...
From 31° -6° | 1875.
10 24 -13 Feb. 4 9 30 p.m. Melrose, Scot. Brilliant meteor .........
... Travelling north... land. May 10 8 40 p.m. Greenhithe, Kent About=Venus ... Rerl ........... About 6 or 7.......
... Descended at an angle of about Died gradually out, and left no F. V. Jacques.
from the brightness of the W. F. Denning.
[The recorded courses of this Muminated all oljects with S. J. Johnson.
I saw the streak as stated,
Andromedæ. [Identical with “Radcliffc Observa.
the last meteor: W.F.Denning.) tions,' vol. for 1872. 370; long path: Directed from y Lyra ......... Left a streak almost vertical in W. F. Denning.
S.W. for a second.
........ Very bright; left no streak ...... S. J. Johnson.
W. F. Denning. 470 .......... Radiant F... ..................... Lest a long train for 3 seconds ... W. F. Denning.
Radiant the lIyades, or « An. Only the end of the flight ob- Id.
served ; no visible streak.
Its visible from west to east ........
course ex. 1
tended half 1 across the I sky.
... Falling stars on February 4th at Communicated by G. J.
and pieces dropping from it at paper; communicated
7 2 15 a.m. Melrose, Scot- Brilliant ineteor .......
land. 25/11 20 p.m. Cambridge ...... Fine meteor........ July 7/10 54 p.m. Bristol .............=Jupiter..........
812 2 a.m. Ibid. ............!=Venus .. ........
Passed just under
| Cassiopeia. . Shot towards the
sword-hand of Perseus.
Aug. 1 9 25 p.m. Ibid. ............ = Jupiter..........
8 10 10 p.m. Ibid. ............ About=Venus ........
.............. 16 10 20 p.m. The Garden Cliff, Large meteor ...... White, like Several near St. Agnes,
burning 1 seconds. Cornwall.
a= = From 126° +530
to 125 +46 Shot across or near
S.E. to a little N. of E.; but a few degrees above the neighbouring
hills of Penball's | Mine. Came from about Corona, its course ending about 10° below a, B Ursa Majoris.
Sept. 2 9 22 p.m. Regent's Park, Large and brilliant Rather ruddy..
3 9 52 p.m. Radcliffe Obser- About 3 X 4. [Disk Blue, changing 5 seconds. [1.5 First appeared just
vatory,Oxford, 15', of dazzling to green. l or 2 seconds. west of Saturn. [Royal Obser- brightness.]
rapid.] [Passed between vatory, Green
a and B, disap wich, &c.].
pearing close to
* Aquilæ.] 4 About West Dereham... Splendid meteor ....
In the north-west.. | 8 45 p.m. 610 Op.m. Bristol ............ Large fireball ..........
... In the eastern sky..
711 21 p.m. Radcliffe Obser. Brighter than Ju. Blue with red Duration 2 or Seven or eight well
vatory,Oxford, piter or Venus. sparks. Blue 3 seconds. observed appa-
of the moon. bright.