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Popular Science Monthly/Volume 39/October 1891/Obituary Notes


Dr. Eduard Schönfeld, Director of the Observatory and Professor of Astronomy at Bonn, died May 1st, in the sixty-third year of his age. His attention was especially directed to astronomy while a student in the University of Marburg. In 1852 he became a pupil and assistant of Argelander, who was beginning his Durchmusterung, or survey of the stars of the northern hemisphere. In 1859 he was appointed Director of the Observatory at Mannheim, where he prepared two catalogues of the variable stars. On Argelander's death, in 1875, he was made his successor at Bonn. He extended the Durchmusterung to stars in zones down to 23° of southern declination.

M. Alexandre Edmond Becquerel, an eminent French physicist, died in Paris, May 11th, in the seventy second year of his age. He was the son of Antoine César Becquerel, the founder of electro-chemics, and himself led a career hardly less distinguished. The investigations with which his name is connected include those on the laws of electro-chemical decomposition, the disengagement of heat by electricity passing in circuits, the disengagement of electricity by mechanical action, the properties of electrified bodies, the action of magnetism on bodies, the property of diamagnetism, the magnetic quality of oxygen, the constitution of the solar spectrum, the chemical action of light, phosphorescence, etc.; respecting which he made important discoveries and published valuable papers in the scientific journals. He also published books—treatises on Terrestrial Physics and Magnetism (1847) and Electricity and Magnetism (2 vols., 1855), and a Précis d'Histoire of Electricity and Magnetism (1858).

Mr. Norman R. Pogson, for thirty years Director of the Observatory at Madras, India, has recently died there. Till 1851 he was connected with Mr. Bishop's Observatory in Regent's Park, where he took part in the observations for forming the ecliptic charts that were published there. He then became an assistant in the Radcliffe Observatory at Oxford, and there discovered several minor planets, and in his investigations of variable stars fixed upon the number whose logarithm is 0·4, which has been adopted to express the ratio of the amount of light that separates two consecutive magnitudes. He left England in 1861 to take charge of the Madras Observatory, from which several volumes of observations were published under his direction.

Captain Cecilio Pujazon, Director of the Marine Observatory at San Fernando, near Cadiz, Spain, died April 15th, in his fifty-seventh year.