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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Representatives. The report of the committee, presented at this session by Mr. Adams, should be read by every student of astronomy, for the fervor of its eloquence and the nobility of the truths it enunciates. Lieutenant Gilliss was equally unwearied in the cause. It was by his diligent and successful observations that he secured the essential confidence and coöperation of the Navy Department, and of the naval committees. He was the first person, in the United States, who gave his whole time to practical astronomical work. He first published a volume of observations, prepared a catalogue of the stars, and planned and carried into effect the construction of a working observatory, in contrast with one intended simply to teach. For this arduous work he was specially gifted, possessing a wondrous acuteness of the perceptive powers of eye and ear. Prof. Peirce, after examining his observations from 1838 to 1842, gives him the second place in the long list of observers, living and dead, whose results were critically and searchingly tested by the so-called personal scale. Profs. Bartlett, Kendall, and Walker, contributed largely by their labors to the establishment of the institution. Their series of astronomical observations, their publications, and the able report on European observatories, by Prof. Bartlett, in 1840, had a powerful influence in rousing public interest in the subject, and, combining with other influences, produced the desired result.

In 1844 Commander Maury was appointed superintendent of the new observatory, assisted by the same officers who had been attached to the Depot of Charts. Under the instruction of the Secretary of the Navy, the most extensive astronomical work was proposed in cataloguing the stars. The task set before the infant observatory, said a critic in the North American Review, was "nothing less than assigning color, position, and magnitude, to every star in the heavens, which could be seen with the instruments." With the resources at the command of the officers at that time, it would have required a century to complete it.. The work was, however, commenced of making a catalogue of the stars down to the ninth and tenth magnitude. In 1846 the first volume of observations was issued from the press. In 1847 the observatory was first brought into prominence by the identification of the newly-discovered planet Neptune, with a star of Lalande's catalogue of 1795. Astronomers thus obtained an observation of Neptune made fifty years before, which afforded the means of an accurate determination of its orbit; and the superintendent of the "American Nautical Almanac" was enabled to publish an ephemeris of the new planet two years in advance of all other parts of his almanac. In 1848 the institution first bore the name of "United States Naval Observatory" instead of "National," an honor justly due to the Navy Department which controlled it, and to the navy officers who had charge of its interests. But the preparation and publication of Wind and Current Charts absorbed the attention of the superintend-