Advertisement

Important Observations of Prof. Holden.

The last bulletin of the Royal Astronomical Society contains the first of a promised series of letters by Professor Holden, formerly of Harvard University, but now director of the observatory of the University of California. These Jetters will set forth at length the observations which have been made by means of the Lick telescope. A comparison of the results of the observations taken by Prof. Holden by means of the Lick telescope, and the results obtained by means of the best English and American telescopes shows that the Lick lens is immeasurably superior to any of its predecessors. Formerly there was supposed to be only one star, called Alpha Lyre or Vega, within the ring of the nebula of the constellation Lyra, but recently five stars have been clearly defined within this ring, and an immense amount of detail concerning the structure of the nebula itself brought out. The nebula of the constellation of the Dragon has been shown to have an unsuspected construction. It seems to be in the shape of a corkscrew, the centre of which is dense. This is surrounded by a nebulous fog, which has been proved to be gaseous matter and which gives forth a peculiar blue light.

As in all astronomical observations, the work is slow, but further discoveries will undoubtedly be made when the planets and solar system are systematically observed.

Advertisement