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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/814

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The nearest approach of the comet to the earth was about November 18, 1880, when it was distant from the earth 0ยท13 of the earth's distance from the sun. The period, as determined by Professor Frisby and Mr. Upton, is probably somewhat too large, owing to the uncertainty arising from the shortness of the arc of observation. The length of the period of revolution affords a reason for the fact that the comet escaped observation at its last return; since then it must have been in the direction of the sun.

It will be seen, from the drawing, that at aphelion the comet passes beyond the orbit of the planet Jupiter.

About the 22d of June last, a comet flashed into view which was unexpected as it was brilliant. It was seen with the unassisted eye by a multitude of persons in widely separated localities. Among the earliest

Fig. 2.
PSM V19 D814 Comet orbit in relation to earth.jpg

of those who discovered its presence in the northern sky was Mr. G. W. Simmons, of Boston, Massachusetts, who chanced to be in camp at Morales, Mexico. This gentleman first saw it on the morning of June 20th. It had, however, been discovered nearly one month earlier