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[HISTORY
ASTRONOMY

1908; and a pair of Saturnian moons, designated Phoebe and W.H. Pickering. Themis, were tracked out by Professor W. H. Pickering, in 1898 and 1905 respectively, amid the thicket of stars imprinted on negatives taken at Arequipa with the Bruce 24-in. doublet lens. This raises to 26 the number of discovered satellites in the solar system.

Cometary science has ramified in unexpected ways during the last hundred years. The establishment of a class of “short-period” comets by the computations of J. F. Encke in 1819, and of Wilhelm von Biela in 1826, led to the Comets. theory of their “capture” by the great planets, for which a solid mathematical basis was provided by H. Newton, F. Tisserand and O. Callandreau. An argument for the aboriginal connexion of comets with the solar system, founded by R. C. Carrington in 1860 upon their participation in its translatory movement, was more fully developed by L. Fabry in 1893; and the close orbital relationships of cometary groups, accentuated by the pursuit of each other along nearly the same track by the comets of 1843, 1880 and 1882, singularly illustrated the probable vicissitudes of their careers. The most remarkable event, however, in the recent history of cometary astronomy was its Meteors. assimilation to that of meteors, which took unquestionable cosmical rank as a consequence of the Leonid tempest of November 1833. The affinity of the two classes of objects became known in 1866 through G. V. Schiaparelli’s announcement that the orbit of the bright comet of 1862 agreed strictly with the elliptic ring formed by the circulating Perseid meteors; and three other cases of close coincidence were soon afterwards brought to light. Tebbutt’s comet in 1881 was the first to be satisfactorily photographed. The study of such objects is now carried on mainly through the agency of the sensitive plate. The photographic registration of meteor-trails, too, has been lately attempted with partial success. The full realization of the method will doubtless provide adequate data for the detailed investigation of meteoric paths.

The progress of science during the 19th century had no more distinctive feature than the rapid growth of sidereal astronomy Sidereal astronomy. (see Star). Its scope, wide as the universe, can be compassed no otherwise than by statistical means, and the collection of materials for this purpose involves most arduous preliminary labour. The multitudinous enrolment of stars was the first requisite. Only one “catalogue of precision”—Nevil Maskelyne’s of 36 fundamental stars—was available in 1800. J. J. Lalande, however, published in 1801, in his Histoire céleste, the approximate places of 47,390 from a re-observation Star catalogues. of which the great Paris catalogue (1887-1892) has been compiled. A valuable catalogue of about 7600 stars was issued by Giuseppe Piazzi in 1814; Stephen Groombridge determined 4239 at Blackheath in 1806-1816; while through the joint and successive work of F. W. Bessel and W. A. Argelander, exact acquaintance was made with 90,000, a more general acquaintance with the 324,000 stars recorded in the Bonn Durchmusterung (1859-1862). The southern hemisphere was subsequently reviewed on a similar duplicate plan by E. Schönfeld (1828-1891) at Bonn, by B. A. Gould and J. M. Thome at Córdoba. Moreover, the imposing catalogue set on foot in 1865 at thirteen observatories by the German astronomical society has recently been completed; and adjuncts to it have, from time to time, been provided in the publications of the royal observatories at Greenwich and the Cape of Good Hope, and of national, imperial and private establishments in the United States and on the continent of Europe. But in the execution of these protracted undertakings, the human eye has been, to a large and increasing extent, superseded by the camera. Photographic star-charting was begun by Sir David Gill in 1885, and the third and concluding volume of the Cape Photographic Durchmusterung appeared in 1900. It gives the co-ordinates of above 450,000 stars, measured by Professor J. C. Kapteyn at Groningen on plates taken by C. Ray Woods at the Cape observatory. And this comprehensive work was merely preparatory to the International Catalogue and Chart, the production of which was initiated by the resolutions of the Paris Photographic Congress of 1887. Eighteen observatories scattered north and south of the equator divided the sky among them; and the outcome of their combined operations aimed at the production of a catalogue of at least 2,000,000 strictly determined stars, together with a colossal map in 22,000 sheets, showing stars to the fourteenth magnitude, in numbers difficult to estimate. (See Photography, Celestial.)

The arrangement of the stars in space can be usefully discussed only in connexion with their apparent light-power, or “magnitude.” Photometric catalogues, accordingly, form an indispensable part of stellar statistics; and Photometric catalogues. their construction has been zealously prosecuted. The Harvard Photometry of 4260 lucid stars was issued by Professor E. C. Pickering in 1884, the Uranometria Nova Oxoniensis, giving the relative lustre of 2784 stars, by C. Pritchard in 1885. The instrument used at Harvard was a “meridian photometer,” constructed on the principle of polarization; while the “method of extinctions,” by means of a wedge of neutral-tinted glass, served for the Oxford determinations. At Potsdam, some 17,000 stars have been measured by C. H. G. Müller and P. F. F. Kempf with a polarizing photometer; but by far the most comprehensive work of the kind is the Harvard Photometric Durchmusterung (1901-1903), embracing all stars to 7.5 magnitude, and extended to the southern pole by measurements executed at Arequipa. The embarrassing subject of photographic photometry has also been attacked by Professor Pickering. The need is urgent of fixing a scale, and defining standards of actinic brightness; but it has not yet been successfully met.

The investigation of double stars was carried on from 1819 to 1850 with singular persistence and ability at Dorpat and Pulkowa by F. G. W. Struve, and by his son and successor, O. W. Struve. The high excellence of the Double stars. data collected by them was a combined result of their skill, and of the vast improvement in refracting telescopes due to the genius of Joseph Fraunhofer (1787-1826). Among the inheritors of his renown were Alvan Clark and Alvan G. Clark of Cambridgeport, Massachusetts; and the superb definition of their great achromatics rendered practicable the division of what might have been deemed impossibly close star-pairs. These facilities were remarkably illustrated by Professor S. W. Burnham’s record of discovery, which roused fresh enthusiasm for this line of inquiry by compelling recognition of the extraordinary profusion throughout the heavens of compound objects. Discoveries with the spectroscope have ratified and extended this conclusion.

Only spurious star-parallaxes had claimed the attention of astronomers until F. W. Bessel announced, in December 1838, the perspective yearly shifting of 61 Cygni in an ellipse with a mean radius of about one-third of a second. Stellar parallax. Thomas Henderson (1798-1844) had indeed measured the larger displacements of α Centauri at the Cape in 1832-1833, but delayed until 1839 to publish his result. Out of several hundred stars since then examined, seventy or eighty have yielded fairly accurate, though very small parallaxes. But this amount of knowledge, however valuable in itself, is utterly inadequate to the needs of sidereal research; and various attempts have accordingly been made, chiefly by Professors J. C. Kapteyn and Simon Newcomb, to estimate, through the analysis of their proper motions, the “mean parallax” of stars assorted by magnitude. And the data thus arrived at are reassuringly self-consistent. A wide photographic survey, by which parallaxes might be secured wholesale, has further been recommended by Kapteyn; but is unlikely to be undertaken in the immediate future.

The exhaustive ascertainment of stellar parallaxes, combined with the visible facts of stellar distribution, would enable us to build a perfect plan of the universe in three dimensions. Its perfection would, nevertheless, be undermined Proper motions. by the mobility of all its constituent parts. Their configuration at a given instant supplies no information as to their configuration hereafter unless the mode and laws of their movements have been determined. Hence, one of the leading