Monday, 5 July 2021

Comet in 1830


Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser Tuesday 25th May 1830

Comet in the Constellation Pegasus—This comet was first discovered by Mr Gambart, director of the observatory at Marseilles on the 21st April. Its position in the heavens was then right ascension 21h 10m north declination ?? 37 mins. Mr Gamhart intimated to the president of the Astronomical Society of London, James South Esq, that this interesting visitor had arrived within the view of the inhabitants of the earth; and he with his well known zeal for the improvement of astronomical science, immediately communicated the intelligence to individual astronomers and to the public generally, through the channel of newspapers. Mr South possesses one of the finest achromatic telescopes if not the best in the world ( the object glass of which alone cost we believe, a thousand guineas): it is no less than twenty feet in length: he also has a five feet equatorial telescope, with suitable circles divided by the masterly hand of Troughton;

Owing to the brightness of the Moon the image the image of the comet was hardly bright enough in the equatorial telescope to bear the illumination of the micrometer wires; hence the determination of its R A was liable to some uncertainty; but its declination was observed with more accuracy. On the moon’s setting the comet became more distinct, and its nucleus was well terminated. It then could be dissected by the micrometer wire without difficulty. In the large telescope the nucleus was well defined, with powers 130 and 346 and was more satisfactorily shown than than any Mr South had seen.

In a night glass of four inches aperture, he says it appeared not unlike a school master’s well used birch. He does not say that it had been visible to the unassisted eye; but for several days past, the state of the atmosphere has not admitted of any observations on the phenomenon.

My Note

Although first seen from Europe by Mr Gambart at Marseilles it had previously been seen by Mr Fallows at the Cape of Good Hope and by others from March 17th

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