Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 095.djvu/311

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on the singular Figure of the Planet Saturn.

June 1. It occurred to me that a more accurate measure might be had of the latitude in which the greatest curvature takes place, by setting the fixed thread of the micrometer to the direction of the ring of Saturn, which may be done with great accuracy. The two following measures were taken in this manner, and are more satisfactory than I had taken before. The first gave the latitude of the south-preceding point of greatest curvature 43° 26'; and the second 43° 13'. A mean of the two will be 43° 20'.

June 2. I viewed Jupiter and Saturn alternately with a magnifying power of only 300, that the convexity of the eye-glass might occasion no deception, and found the form of the two planets to differ in the manner that has been described.

With 200 I saw the difference very plainly; and even with 160 it was sufficiently visible to admit of no doubt. These low powers show the figure of the planets perfectly well, for as the field of view is enlarged, and the motion of the objects in passing it lessened, we are more at liberty to fix our attention upon them.

I compared the telescopic appearance of Saturn with a figure drawn by the measures I have taken, combined with the proportion between the equatorial and polar diameters determined in the year 1789;[1] and found that, in order to be a perfect resemblance, my figure required some small reduction of the longest diameter, so as to bring it nearly to agree with the measures taken the 27th of May. When I had made the necessary alteration, my artificial Saturn was again compared with the telescopic representation of the planet, and I was then satisfied that it had all the correctness of which a judgment of

  1. See Phil, Trans, for 1790, page 17.