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meteorites were seen to fall by eight or ten persons. Twelve fragments were found, the largest of which weighed four and a half pounds. On the 25th of June, between nine and ten o'clock A. M., a small meteorite fell in Kansas City, Mo. A large fire-ball, moving in a westerly direction, passed over the States of Michigan and Wisconsin, on Saturday evening, July 8th, about fifteen minutes before nine o'clock (Chicago time). It was seen by Mr. E. L. Linsley, at Stratford, Conn.; Mr. Benjamin Vail, at Henryville, Clarke County, Ind.; Mr. William L. Taylor, at Wolcottville, La Grange County, Ind. ; Rev. Robert Beer, at Valparaiso, Ind., and by nuany others in various parts of the Western and Northwestern States. From the observations of the persons named, with those of others who witnessed the phenomenon, it has been found that the course of the meteor was a few degrees north of west; that its height when first observed was certainly over 100 miles; that it passed vertically over the counties of Branch, St. Joseph, Cass, and Berrien, Mich. ; that it did not reach the earth's surface, but passed out of the atmosphere in its cometary orbit about the sun; and that its nearest approach to the earth could not have been less than 70 miles. The meteor was apparently one of great magnitude, as its brilliancy was compared by observers to “the glare of a calcium-light.” The body left a luminous track in the atmosphere, which continued visible at least thirty minutes. On Saturday morning, December 16th, at 12" 45", an immense ball of fire was seen from San Francisco, Cal. When first observed it was descending rapidly, and, a few moments afterward, it fell into the sea at apparently no great distance from the shore. The fall was followed by a loud explosion. On Thursday evening, December 21st, at 8" 45", Cincinnati time, a meteor of extraordinary magnitude passed over the States of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Its course was 17° or 18° north of east, and it passed almost vertically over Fort Riley, Kan.; Weston, Mo.; Peoria, Ill.; Rochester, Ind. ; Toledo, Ohio, and Erie, Pa., somewhat south, however, of the place last named. At Bloomington, Ind., the meteor was first seen at a point about 10° south of west, and less than 5° above the horizon. It appeared as a single globe of light, surpassing the moon in magnitude and brightness. When northwest of Bloomington, Ind., or soon after it had passed the zenith of Peoria, Ill., the body was seen to separate into numerous fragments. The apparent size, however, of the principal mass, was not sensibly diminished. The explosion was followed by a violent detonation, resembling a heavy clap of thunder. The height of the meteor when the explosion occurred was estimated at from 45 to 48 miles.
The fragments thrown off by the explosion were more retarded than the principal mass by the resistance of the atmosphere, so that, in the last part of the course, the appearance was that of an elongated cluster about 3° in breadth and 20° in length. The height of the meteor when first seen was probably 70 or 75 miles; length of the visible track, 1,000 miles; time of flight, two minutes; velocity with reference to the earth's surface, 8 miles per second; true orbital velocity, between 22 and 25 miles per second. The interval between the disappearance of the meteor and the violent detonation as observed at Bloomington, Ind., was fifteen minutes, indicating a distance of about 180 miles. A fragment of the meteoric mass, weighing about a pound, was found three miles northwest of Rochester, Fulton County, Ind., on the following morning, December 22d. Star Systems.-Polaris has long been known as a double star, its companion being of the ninth magnitude, and at a distance of eighteen seconds from the larger component. In 1869, M. de Boé, at Antwerp, detected two other companions, much nearer and fainter than that previously known. The observer sought, subsequently, to confirm his discovery, but his efforts, until recently, were without success. In 1876, using a six-inch equatorial, he rediscovered the two new stars, and the observation has been lately confirmed by that of Baron von Eithorn. The light of the new members of the system is probably variable. The Binary Star Omega Leonis.-In the “Transactions” of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. xxvi., Dr. Doberck, of Markree Observatory, Ireland, has given the details of his elaborate determination of the elements of this binary system. The period is 111 years—considerably greater than that of Uranus; the eccentricity, 0.536. Gamma Corona, Australis.-Prof. Schiaparelli has recently measured this binary star with the eight-inch Merz equatorial of the Observatory of Brera, Milan, and, by comparing his own observations with those of Powell, Sir John Herschel, and Jacob, has calculated its orbit. The periastron passage will take place in 1882; the orbital eccentricity is 0.6989, and the period of revolution 55.582 years—somewhat greater than that of Sirius. Eta Cassiopeia.-During the past year, Dr. Doberck has rediscussed the observations of this star and obtained new elements differing considerably from those previously computed. The periastron passage will occur in the spring of 1909; the eccentricity is 0.5763; the period, 222.4 years; and the semi-axis major, 9.83". The parallax of Eta Cassiopeiae, according to Struve, is or of a second. It results from these data that the mean distance of the companion from the principal star is about 64 times the radius of the earth's orbit, and the mass of the system 5.25 times that of the sun. The distance and apparent magnitude of this binary system are very nearly identical with those of 700phiuchi, while the mass of the latter is less than that of the former in the ratio of three to five. Sirius.--From a discussion of the observations of the companion of Sirius, Dr. Auwers has found the period of revolution to be 49 years and 146 days; the semi-axis of the orbit, 37 times the distance of the earth from the sun; and the eccentricity, 0.6148—somewhat greater than that of Faye's comet. The mass of the companion is half that of the principal star; or, more exactly, the mass of Sirius is 13.76, and that of the telescopic star 6.71, the mass of the sun being unity. As the light of Sirius, according to Sir John Herschel, is 324 times that of an average star of the sixth magnitude, and as the satellite discovered by Clarke is of the ninth or tenth magnitude, the light of the latter must be much less than onethousandth part of that received from the principal star. The facts seem to indicate a remarkable difference between the physical constitution of Sirius and its satellite. Procyon.—It was stated, in our volume for 1874, that M. Otto Struve had discovered a small companion of Procyon, by which it was believed the anomalous motion of that star might be satisfactorily explained. Strangely enough, however, the most diligent search for this new star with the twenty-six-inch refractor of the Washington Observatory has been hitherto unsuccessful, although three other companions have been distinctly recognized by Profs. Newcomb and Holden; their distances from Procyon being 6", 9", and 10", respectively. The difference of atmospheric circumstances could scarcely explain the contradictory character of the observations at Pulkowa and Washington. We must conclude, therefore, that the observations of Struve were somehow erroneous, or that the light of the new star is variable. Cincinnati Catalogue of New Double Stars. -The search for new double stars has been recently prosecuted with eminent success at the Cincinnati Observatory. As a first result of these labors, the director, Mr. Ormond Stone, has distributed a catalogue of fifty, all included in the zone between 8° and 40° south declination. They vary in distance between 0.8" and 8”. The estimated magnitudes of the components are given, together with their distances asunder, and their angles of position. Variable Stars.--Dr. Gould, Director of the Cordova Observatory, has found the period of a variable star in Musca to be less than that of any other variable hitherto determined. This star, at minimum, is entirely beyond the reach of unassisted vision even in the sky of Cordova, though at maximum it is distinctly visible. The period of variation is about thirty hours. In February, 1876, M. Tisserand, Director of the Observatory of Toulouse, undertook a series of observations on the small stars near vol. xvi.-4 A
the trapezium in Orion. The instrument used was the Foucault telescope of 31 inches aperture, then recently mounted. Especial attention was given to those stars which M. O. Struve had designated as variable, and not only were the suspicions of the Pulkowa observer for the most part confirmed, but in the case of several other stars in which he had detected no change variations of magnitude were clearly indicated. The existence of so many variable stars in this remarkable nebula will be regarded by astronomers as a fact of no ordinary interest and significance.
The Pleiades.—The report of the Council of the Royal Astronomical Society to the fifty-sixth annual meeting (1876) contains the following statements in regard to the Pleiades group, several members of which are found to be variable:
M. Wolf, of the Paris Observatory, has made a series of measurements of this interesting group of stars, including all visible through an object-glass of 0.31 millimetre aperture. The exact positions of the 58 stars observed by Bessel, referred to Eta Tauri by differences of right ascension and polar distance, are given in a table containing the meassurements of M. Wolf, compared with those of Bessel reduced to January 1, 1874. The relative magnitudes of these 53 principal stars have been determined with very great care, in order to detect any possible variation of brightness since Bessel's observations. M. Wolf has been able to detect no less than 499 stars around Eta Tauri, contained within a rectangle of 135 minutes of arc in length and 90 minutes' breadth. These vary from the third to the fourteenth magnitude. The observed magnitudes have been compared with those in the catalogues of Jeauret, Lalande, Piazzi, Bessel, and Argelander; from which M. Wolf concludes that among the eight principal stars of, the £o; Merope and Atlas are decidedly variable, and Maia appears also to have increased in magnitude since the observations of Piazzi and Bessel. The five others show no evidence of variability, but some of the smaller stars, have certainly changed their relative brightness since the former observations.
He concludes, from a comparison of the differences between his and Bessel's measurements of the 53 principal stars, that the Pleiades form a grou whose members are physically connected one wit the other; and, moreover, there appears to exist in the group a relative displacement of the stars, which carries the greater number of them in a contrary direction to the diurnal motion, slightly diminishing their polar distance. M. Wolf hopes that his two years' observations may serve as a certain basis, at a future period, for the determination of the proper motion of the separate components forming the Pleiades group.
Spectroscopic Obserrations.—Sir George B. Airy, the astronomer royal, has recently published the results of spectroscopic observations made at Greenwich for determining the motions of stars in the line of sight. The velocity of approach or recession of the stars observed is found by the displacements of the lines of known elements in their spectra; the estimated rates of motion being corrected for the earth's velocity resolved in the direction of the star. The rate of recession assigned to Sirius by these observations is 27 miles per second, or about 852,000,000 miles per annum
It will be noticed that Alpha and Beta of the Great Bear (the two stars known as “the pointers”) are moving in different directions. The former, which is nearer the pole, is approaching the sun; the latter is receding from it. Nebula.-M. Stephan, Director of the Marseilles Observatory, has been recently devoting special attention to the search for new nebulae. The result has been the discovery of 400 of these bodies, all of which had escaped the notice of former observers. The fact that they are generally small is favorable to the accurate determination of their positions—a point of great importance for the future investigation of their proper motions. Supposed Changes in Messier's Nebula No. 17. —This nebula, which was discovered by Messier nearly a century since, has lately been the subject of critical study by Prof. Edward S. Holden, of the Washington Observatory. It was the object of these researches to determine whether the nebula has undergone any sensible changes since the date of the earliest trustworthy descriptions. The conclusion derived from an elaborate discussion is that, while the stars in and about the nebula have retained their relative positions, the part of the nebula known as the “Horseshoe" has moved with reference to the stars, and that, therefore, “we have evidence of a change going on in this nebula.” This may be a change in the nebula's internal structure, or it may be “the bodily shifting of the whole nebula in space in some plane inclined to the line of sight.” Variable Nebula in the Pleiades.—Of this interesting object the “Monthly Notices” of the Royal Astronomical Society for February, 1876, says: The most remarkable object of the group, is the nebula around Merope. Discovered by M. Tempel in 1859, it has also been seen by Profs. §o. and Schmidt, who were of opinion that the nebulosity
must be variable. On March 7, 1874, it consisted of two portions, one of which was nearly concentric
with Merope, but extending slightly toward the east; the other, more luminous, was about seven seconds of arc from the star, on the same parallel, the diameter being about one second. From the month of November, 1874, to the end of February, 1875, the nebula was invisible, although it was looked for on many occasions when the sky was very favorable for the purpose. M. Wolf, therefore, considers that this nebula is certainly variable, with a moderately short period. Knobel's Reference Catalogue of Astronomical Papers and Researches.—The thirty-sixth volume of the “Monthly Notices” of the Royal Astronomical Society contains, in its supplementary number, an elaborate and exhaustive catalogue of the literature of sidereal astronomy. This catalogue, prepared by E. B. Knobel, Esq., consists of a list of references to all books, papers, and notes, relating to the following subjects: 1. Double Stars, including the Mathematical Investigation of the Orbits of Binary Systems. 2. Variable Stars. 3. Red Stars. 4. Nebulae and Clusters. 5. Proper Motions of Stars. 6. Parallax and Distance of Stars. 7. Star Spectra. The list of references is derived mainly from a systematic examination of the libraries of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society, the first of which is said to be peculiarly rich and complete in the transactions of scientific societies. The work was prepared, the compiler informs us, “in the hope that these references may be found useful to astronomers in guiding them to the particular literature giving information on the abovementioned branches of stellar astronomy, and thereby reducing their labors in reading up the subject to a minimum.” Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.—The gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society was awarded, in 1876, to M. Leverrier, Director of the Paris Observatory, for his theories of the four great planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Leverrier's theoretical investigations of the motions of all the principal planets have now been presented to the Académie des Sciences. His theories of the four inner planets were completed several years since, and for these, it will be remembered, the medal of the society was awarded him in 1868. At the annual meeting in February, 1876, the president, Prof. Adams, reviewed the labors of the distinguished mathematician, upon whom the highest honor of the association had been a second time conferred; explained the grounds on which the council had based their decision; and, in concluding, expressed to M. Leverrier the deep interest with which astronomers had followed him in his unwearied researches, and the admiration which they had felt “for the skill and perseverance by which he had succeeded in binding all the principal planets of our system, from Mercury to Neptune, in the chains of his analysis.”
AUERSPERG, ANToN ALEXANDER, Count vox, also well known by his nom de plume, Anastasius Grün, an Austrian statesman and poet, born April 11, 1806; died September 12, 1876. He received his first education at home, was sent to the Theresianum in Vienna, in 1813, from there he went to the Engineering Academy. Upon the death of his father he was placed in a private institution to prepare himself for the university. After having studied law and philosophy in the Universities of Vienna and Gratz, he traveled through Italy, France, England, and Germany; took charge of his estates in 1831, and in 1839 married the Countess Maria von Attems, living after that partly on his estates and partly in Gratz and Vienna. Every office in the service of the Government or of the court he decidedly refused, being bitterly opposed to the policy of Prince Metternich. He began early to gain a reputation as a poet. Even while a student in Vienna he had contributed numerous small poems to the Philomele and the Theaterzeitung, and in 1830 published a small volume under the title of “Blätter der Liebe, von Anastasius Grün.” Under the same nom de plume he published, during the same year, “Der letzte Ritter” (eighth edition, 1860), a romance, in which he intended to show to the effeminate administration of that period the manly picture of the last knight, Maximilian, in the form of Theuerdank. This was followed by “Spaziergänge eines Wiener Poeten” (1831; sixth edition, 1861), which appeared anonymously in 1831 in Hamburg. This volume, a collection of thirty patriotic poems, produced great excitement throughout Germany. The authorities jo. every means to discover the author, and when they finally found that the “Wiennese poet,” Anastasius Grün, and Count Auersperg, were one and the same person, the latter was fined fifty ducats. In 1835 he published another collection of patriotic poems, under the title of “Schutt" (twelfth edition, 1869), which is generally considered as his best production. He then collected his smaller poems, sketches, etc., into one volume, “Gedichte” (1837; fourteenth edition, 1868). In 1848 he was elected a member of the German “Vorparlament,” and afterward of the National Assembly in Frankfort. In this body he always voted with the Left Centre, but left it in September, 1848, because the murders of Lychnowski and Auerswald had utterly disgusted him. For some years helived in entire seclusion on his estates, publishing in 1852 the poetical works of his friend Nikolaus Lenau. After the change of affairs in Austria in 1859, he again took an active part in public life. In that year he was appointed by the Government a member of a commission to draw up a communal law for Carniola. In 1860 he was called by the Emperor to the “Verstärkter Reichsrath" for Carniola, and in 1861 was created a life-member of the Austrian Herrenhaus. Here he was the regular reporter and author of addresses to the throne,
with the exception of one session. In all questions of legislation he voted with the Liberals, while in the constitutional debates he was with those who advocated centralization and afterward dualism, rejecting the federal idea decidedly. The address of January, 1870, was an able argument for the preservation of the constitution, and against the impending federalistic experiments of the minority; that of November, 1870, culminated in a most decisive vote against the vacillating policy of the ministry, and was adopted even in the Herrenhaus by an almost unanimous vote. He spoke repeatedly for a peaceful and constitutional settlement of the difficulties with Hungary, and for a closer connection of Austria and Germany. In the Diet of Carniola, from 1861 to 1867, and afterward in that of Styria, he was an active supporter of German ideas and of the Liberals. In 1868 he was unanimously elected president of the delegation of the Austrian crown-lands. But, with the exception of his seat in the Herrenhaus, he resigned all his positions. In this body he continued to take an active interest up to his death. Among his speeches those delivered during the confessional debates of 1868 and 1874 have gained particular celebrity. His last poetical work of any importance was a German version of “Robin Hood" (1864).
AUSTRALIA AND POLYNESIA. The area and population of Australia and Polynesia were, according to the latest accounts, as follows:
so. Miles so. Miles Popul'tion popula.
443,442 Catholics, 8,243 Hebrews, 15,521 of other denominations, and 46,839 not known. In New Zealand there were, in 1874, 241,082 Protestants, 40,371 Catholics, 1,215 Hebrews, 4,764 pagans, 4,367 of other denominations, and 7,715 whose religion was unknown. Of the inhabitants of Australia in 1871, 1,817,187 were born on British territory; of these, 993,362 were born in Australia, and 807,786 in Great Britain. There were also 35,506 persons born in Germany, 5,475 in the United States, 3,046 in France, 31,036 in China, and 23,525 were born in other countries.
The movement of population in 1874 was as follows:
colonies. Marriages. Births. Deaths.
4,343 22,178 8,652
4,925 26,800 12,222
South Australia. 1,611 7,696 8,434
The following table shows the rate of taxation per head of population, the revenue, the imports and the exports for 1874, and the public debt on December 31, 1874, for each of the Australian colonies:
name of colony. Rate of Taxation. Revenue. Debt. | import. Exports.
Victoria........ 22 858. £4,106,790 £13,990,553 £16,954,000 £15,441,000 New South Wal 2 08 8,509,966 10,516,871 10,887,000 8,957,000 South Australia. 1 81 1,008,820 2,989,750 3,983,000 4,408,000 Queensland.......... ---------- 8 88 1,160,947 5,353,236 2,834,000 8,750,000 Tasmania.......................... 2 07 827,925 1,476,700 1:35,000 925,000 West Australia 8 14 - 119.9% 864, 429,000 New 13,366,986 8,122,000 5,251,000
Total £47,712,596 £44,352,000 £39,156,000
Education in the different colonies is provided for by primary schools, grammar-schools, colleges, and universities. The latest statistics of the primary schools were as follows:
5 Pupils. COLONies. f #
F | Boys Girls. Total. New South Wales...| 1,503 |2,334 57,917152,370 110,287 Victoria............. ,048 2,416 73,826 62,136, 135,962 South Australia (1874) 820 815 1......l...... 18,774 West - (1874) 85 1......l......l...... 8,000 Tasmania (1874)..... 147 288 ... ...!...... 7,970 Queensland (1874)... 203 590 12,890 16,112 29,002 New Zealand (1874)*l 680 1,272 21,774 19,253 41,027
The railroad statistics for 1874 were as follows:
Miles in Miles in
Colonies. Operation. Building. New South Wales................... 401.5 |Toss ictoria............ 605 65 South Australia. 133 142 West Australia 88 35 Tasmania..... 45 121 Queensland... -- 249 106 New Zealand......................... 209 621 Total........................... 1,680.5 1,376
The length of telegraph-lines at the close of the year 1874, the length of wires at the close of 1875, and the number of stations in 1875, were as follows:
Colonies. Lines. Wires. stations. New South wales.......|Tao Too Tiar Victoria... .................. 3,888 4,613 163 South Australia......... . 8,900 8,904 105 West Australia......... - 763 1,600 20 Tasmania...... . . .291 547 82 eensland. . 3,616 8,617 90 ew Zealand. - 2, 5,284 111 Total....................... so Too Toss
- inclusive of grammarschools and colleges.
The population of the four principal cities of New Zealand was estimated as follows on May 1, 1876: Dunedin, 19.657; Auckland, 13,186.; Wellington, 11,298; Christchurch, 10,772.
The agricultural statistics of New Zealand show Canterbury, standing at the head of all provinces, with 550,759 acres in cultivation; Otago coming next, with 451,669; Wellington third, with 432,802; and Auckland fourth, with 356,988 acres; the total for the whole colony being 2,230,988 acres, showing an increase of 442,221 over 1875. Canterbury has the largest area in every kind of crop, with the single exception of oats, in which the Scottish province of Otago takes first place. The area sown with wheat shows a decrease for the whole colony of 14,868 acres as compared with the previous year.
A census of South Australia, taken on March 26, 1876, gave a population of 213,721, of whom 110,941 were males, and 102,780 females. Adelaide had 31,573 inhabitants, of whom 15,104 were males and 16,469 females. The next largest cities were Norwood and Kensington with 6,576, Hindmarsh with 4,120, Port Adelaide with 2,885, and Glenely with 2,028 inhabitants.