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HALLEY'S COMET AFTER 75 YEARS RUSHES
EARTHWARD AGAIN Mary Procter Wtcnc* art thou, «ty. tbon p«le winded nietsea- And Tvhltliw jrof*tT What thy history! , And what thy future? Tell \u25a0 waiting world Ere vl*itln* wr»ln you ellent 4e<v«- RFTER an absence of 75 years Halley's comet (so named after the astronomer who determined Its orbit) is on a return trip. The magnified eyes provided by sci entists in the giant lenses of the tele scopes at' Uie Lick and Yerkes observa tories will be enabled to get a glimpse of the returning: wanderer from space in the fall of the present year. As the comet approaches nearer and nearer to our planet the smaller telescopes will have their chance. The surprising fact, however, is noted by Prof. E.. E. Barnard of the Yerkes observatory, that the comet will be found by the camera before It can be picked up by the greatest telescopes. In reply to questions regarding the expected return of Halley's comet I have received the following interesting reply from Professor Barnard. He is an eminent authority on the subject and Is well known for* his remarkable \u25a0work In celestial photography, espe cially in the photographs he has taken of comets. In this way we have learned much of the marvelous changes these celestial visitants from the sky undergo while Journeying: through space. By means of photography a new chapter will be added to our knowledge of the peculiar characteristics of Hal ley's comet, and doubtless many fine photographs of the wanderer will be obtained before it recedes on Its return trip through space. "I think you can say with absolute certainty," says Professor Barnard, *»that Halley's comet will be visible in the 40 inch telescope in the winter of 1908. It ought to be a bright object then In a. good telescope, and should be visible in any telescope of five or six inches aperture, because, according to Holetchek (Astr. Xach. for 190S, June IS) it will on October 2. 1909, be of the fourteenth magnitude. It will, of course, get brighter after that date. "On October 2, 1908, it will be un usually faint, because its computed magnitude will be 18.2 m. According to Dr. Holetchek the brightness of the comet at its best will be 3.7 m. This would make it not very different from the brightness of- Daniel's comet of that year. But you must bear in mind that a comet is an uncertain quantity, so far as a prediction of its brightness Is concerned, and it may come up- to some of its glory of the middle ages, though this Is not probable, for the comet at each return must lose a great deal of its tail producing material, and hence- at each successive return it must present a less brilliant aspect. the position of Halley's |*Soomet at the return is not. yet . known with any decided accuracy. Cowell and Cromclin (Monthly. Notice, Royal Astronomical society, Vol. 68) give the perihelion passage April 3, 1310. They are doubtless nearer it than others, but there Is an uncertainty of perhaps several weeks. The largest field of view of the 40 Inch telescope is less than clx minutes Of arc. This .will be covered many times by the lit tle finger nail held at arm's length. The astronomer, therefore, can see but a small speck of space. If the position of an object be closely known, it can be readily picked^ up if bright enough to be seen In the 40 inch. But if the place is uncertain by some degrees it would be a great loss of time to hunt for it with the 40 inch. *'At the same time, the photographic plate is far more sensitive than the naked «ye to the light of a comet. The field of view of a photographic tele scope is far greater than that of the visual telescope so that it can readily take In, in one picture, ail the region that is lil:e!y to contain the comet. There are much greater chances of the comets being picked up with some of the reflecting tetescopes, or with some of the portrait lenses, by aid of the photographic plate. Though the comet will- be very faint the coming fall and winter I have, no doubt that It -will be found v photographically." The comet is now out between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn. It will be within the distance of Jupiter/s orbit after March I, l»0». It Is possible that some one with the aid of a great tele scope or photographic camera may catch sight of the expected visitor dur ing the Winter of 1908-1909. We may begin to search for it as early a* Sep tember. 1808, provided good epheraer ldes are at hand. Almost certainly it may be found by September or October. It will then be only a round nebula, whatever tail it has being almost di rectly behind it as seen from the earth. The date of Its nearest approach to the sun, according to 11. C. Wilson, should, be March 10. 1910. After October, 1909, the comet will probably be visible to the unaided eye. Even now It Is nearer to us than Saturn and Is rushing forward at the rate of 620 miles a minute. After it passes Jupiter, the next planet on Its way, the speed will Increase to 783 miles a minute. It will then plunge through the zone of asteroids, or tiny planets which wander between Jupiter and Mars. Woe to any small asteroid it may encounter on the way, but worse still for the comet, should It crash .head on In Its mad career Into the giant planet Jupiter, the great dis turber of comets. It is a well known fact that the giant planet has a way of annexing comets and even tiny asteroids which may happen to drift his way in a most unprincipled fashion. Suspicions have been aroused concerning two new moons acquired 'of late years "which ' doubtless were once members of the asteroid family. Jupiter has been, gravely accused by some learned as tronomers of exerting his mighty In fluence on the helpless woridlets and adding them to his own family plrcle. Not only that, but he has reached out for passing comets and captured no less than 80, which are now recognized and spoken of as Jupiter's "family of comets. AT its appearance in 1885 Halley's 'comet made a fairly near ap proachto Jupiter, which caused the' comet to hasten Its return some what However, on its present Journey no unnecessary alarm need be felt re garding a possible encounter with the celestial robber, Jupiter, as the comet will not approach that planet within several million 'miles. In fact, none of tfte other large planets comes anywhere near the comet on this trip, and In the case of Neptune' this is fortunate, for when the elements of the 1910 orbit were computed Neptune had not been discovered. Consequently no allowances had been made for the possible effect of a close encounter with this planet. It is the outermost in the solar system and possesses no small attractive pow ers of its own, though not to be com pared with that exerted by Jupiter. At present Neptune Is credited with a family of six comets, including Hal ley's comet, and providing all, goes well with the latter on Its return trip it will continue a member of the Nep tunian retinue. After "passing Jupiter, the asteroids and Mars the comet will Increase Its speed to 1,284 miles a min ute, dashing onward past our planet at the increased rate of 1,548 miles a minute, and rushing frantically «around the sun as though to escape its in tense heat at the rate of 1,878 miles a minute. By that time it will have reached the limit of the 'pace that kills,* for an increase In speed of about 17 miles a minute would end disastrously. The comet would be drawn along, a path so changed in direction that we would never see It again. On May 2, 1910, or one day before the comet makes lts.nearest approach to the sun, it will pass Venus. Seen from that planet, the comet would* oc-v cupy a position within two degrees of ' the pole star. This is equivalent to, nearly half the distance separating the so called pointers In the Great Dipper, their distance apart being five degrees. \u25a0 Y~v N June 12, 1910, the comet 'Will II pass within live to ten million miles of the earth's orbifand-then grad ually recede Into space, after, making its obeisance to its mighty ruler, the sun. As it recedes the comet's pace will decrease, as though, it felt • out .by the stupendous efforts ; already made. Passing by Neptune, its. speed will have slowed ; down to 65 xnllc3 a minute, and by the time it has. reached its 'greatest distance from, the ,«un -it will have attained the rate of 39 miles a minute, an "aphelion crawl," as it has been Jocosely termed by scientists. \u25a0"»-,/ As another 75 year cycle must pass awayrbQfore the_comet' wili again come within our ken, it behooves us" to fol low the example .of the astronomers and be on the lookout for the 'arrival; of oar celestial guest. The advance guard to welcome it on Its return will be stationed at the Lick and the Yerkes telescopes; . then the owners of smaller 1 telescopes will get their opportunity, until finally by October, 1909, It will be possible for all to see the comet with the unaided eye. \ It is impossible to say^ anything re garding the position of the* comet in the sky, as observable from the earth, until certain . computations have been made. A prize has been offered by the German astronomical society of 1,000 marks for the most exact \u25a0 calculation, and when it is made we shall know ; exactly where to ; look for the cornet.,; As seen from the sun its position when', nearest to that luminary will be about four or five degrees from Theta In the constellation of the^ Eagle,*: a distance ; eaulvalent to that separating the Point-" ers. ..'.\u25a0\u25a0' .' V - \u25a0 • ........ . \u25a0\u25a0 \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 \u25a0\u25a0 . \u25a0As to the" appearance of the comet on:; its return it depends entirely upon Its ,-' position : with regard to the earth' and sun. If the earth happens to," be near, the comet about the time of Its passage round the sun, when the comet's light is necessarily : greatest i and the train ' most extended, then we shall have a splendid view of. the glorious spectacle. At Its return in 1769 the. comet. had a train 50 feet -in . length and was best seen ln_the:southern hemisphere. That is, the train of the comet extended to, a distance equivalent to: a little more than half the way from the zenith^ to the horizon. At its next return, : in '1835, it was somewhat. shorn of its splendor," for its train wag but 15 degrees in length. Even so, that means a length three times as great as that- separating- the Pointers, ;whlch forms , a very : conven ient scale for denoting distances of ob jects \u25a0\u25a0 observed . in - the sky; ; How ; the ' comet will look on its next return it isi impoßßible to conjecture, J but "*. it is to be hoped that itwlll treat us,*to>a^dis^ play worthy of its former reputation. UNFORTUNATELY, ''.. r cornets^ /are S made of; such flimsy material and: : use it : in ! such an- extravagant ; fashion in;,the formation of traiiTs,: lri. order that they may be presentable, as it. were, when they visit the Tsuni. that many such visits ultimately >lead -to, bankruptcy. ' Halley's comet . has f* the (, reputation for; being specially \~ reckless in ; this way, -.; "adorning : itself with!; trains long enough to reach from the earth to the - sun and millions of miles'; beyond." :* No court bt-auty ; about : to ..be f presented to her. monarch "could vie i in \u25a0 vanity with this celestial couuettu. \u0084 \u25a0 " V" ," ",' . _ - :\u25a0;;-. '" ' * Millions of dollars spent on arielabo- 1 rgte presentation gown fade Into In? • significance compared with -the -millions, of millions of /miies of glittering! gold. dust\formlng- the .comet's train. This'" •gorgeous raiment can be I, worn but once, for as the comet recedes In Bpace the material forming the train Is scat- ; tered.far and wide, and the comet grad ually withdraws into the : obscurity of spae'e, devoid of adornment of any klndi'i As it drifts by Neptune it f will present the; appearance., of 'an insignificant; fluffy ball, Just as it wllT doubtless ap-i pear whenwo get our first glimpse of it in the sky. , . f' : \ ' A- comet's photograph is absolutely • useless so far as/ identifying; the wan-, derer on its return is a concerned. Some- / 'times a comet will blaze out with three -j trains, as in the case of the comeVob served by Donati in 1858, . and \ at -its next' return /will without 'any ; 'train at all, or surprise us -Btill more,;. as in the case of Biela's comet, which , split In. two nrid^eventually ; went tto\; - pieces. /.- •'."'.• > , }' \u25a0•: - ' . ,', - s • j \u25a0"-'•-\u25a0'.. \u25a0\u25a0 '\u25a0 \u25a0 \u25a0 '..'•. - - ' : Then again it -"is to. be hoped 'that Halley's comet will treat' us better than \ th*^expected /shower J of the .33 year roundtrlp November meteors on the oc casion of their 'return in 1899. Mar-; /velous accounts had been given i of ipre-/* vious displays • in ,1833 and ' 1866, /when v the meteors were said to' fall as thickly,; .^as snbwnakes'.; Consequently x our /ex- '\u25a0: pectationsfor, the 'display. In 1899 were \u25a0\ great, but tall those who /watched ;ifpr^ . the _: shower ; one; bitter cold / night - in ' November will recall the miserly, hand rful of meteors 'which'/ rewarded 'them ' ; for their trbubl e.:; Apparently trie me \u25a0 teors have been', scattered - far and /wide, ? or, through 'some 1 celestial catastrophe' I PROFESSOR BARWARD, ©F THE YEBKES — rOBSESVATOSIr;r OBSESVATOSIr; TELLS WHY THE CAMERA' "PICK W^fHE CELESTIAL TRAMP BE- FORE ST CAH BE SEEH BY THE GREATEST - unknown to ,us have been from itheir path. Let us hopeCthat, nothing has happened to detain the ex pected [comet, or to -mar its glory, , and ] that when.it returns It will be adorned in raiment befitting . its presentation' 1 of its supreme" ruler, the sun. • NEW ENGLAND GIRL COMES TO LICK : OBSBRVATOR Y • A' pretty Providence girl has : been honored by an appointment as Carnegie assistant at the I-ick observatory.- She is' th« only New England'; woman 7 in California's 'famous -observatory. She has attained one \ot the. highest pbsl tions in jastronomlcaliresearch* She -is an, expert sailor -and voarswoman. and one; of "the best in; Provi dence. ' ' :•". . : / \u25a0/: , '\u25a0;\u25a0 A..girl who ". : mans her own^sailboat, ,and, brings if safely to shore in a-- bad' gale^'jwho- crosses the; continent" alone rwhenvnecessary and' proves herself an \u25a0 example of v tne twentieth? century ' success in /women— such /is Miss " Leah B. Allen,, who' did special work 'in ; astronomy "under Professor Winslow ; Upton /at . Brown" and has , recently, left •for theJ-University of California, where : will be .Carnegie assistant at the Lick observatory. \u0084."'/': i .: Miss .Allen; was graduated from the , Hope ; street school '. f oiir^ years ago, and entered Brown two years later.- Always : ; interested in astronomy, her two years' course*; advanced her educationMn these nines so much ; that Professor Upton/ap plied ''for 'apposition ;-for her at* thie •University^ of; California: / .; :'itYwas "a* thing; she had dreamed of -all /her ilife.^butV did not . think, of/ at ' tempting ;• uhtiPshe could ; take a : third ; year/1 and .: a r government ; examination, The San Francisco Sunday Call h 'but. much to her surprise*- she received 'the enviable appointment. When Pres ident Wheeler of the university sent her appointment he r.dtled ,a very pret ty'letter—a note of v welcome-^-ln com Fattening Properties of the Potato W/ HEN. the lawyers of Harry Thaw \\V;made a plea a short time ago to have i the ; prisoner removed from one institution; to another on the ground that ,he/was being kept^ exclusively on a. diet'of :bread and potatoes, they at briceV/sounded a, note of cheer to the enormous Army of tjie Thin. For the argument 6f counsel was that the po«, tato diet made Thaw take on weight,' which he didn't at alliwant to take on,' and it is this argument which has caused the attentuated to make a care ful inquiry" into the antecedents and actions' of the .potato, with a view to its' possible adoption as a cure for the lean. " ' • \u25a0 One physician who was asked about the effect- of potato eating upon the system, salut "Yes, undoubtedly the 'eating; o*f 'potatoes kwill make one fat If anything will. But I do not believe an exclusive diet of potatoes would long agree with any- person. Not: that the potato/ in Itself is not a very valuable food *< product, for It is. but because it does not contain all "the elements re quired by the system: ' A person could not /live -very long .on ".a: potato diet without "harm. ; Many would become a prey to iniligestlon-.t Bur a diet of, say, jbread and butter. and. potato mightinot 'prove", injurious if the"; person taking it would' also take a great deal of bodily exercise; It . lsrbecause of the, starch : and water in the potato that it is bound to \u25a0 fatten'^ those *\u25a0 who eat /It regularly, and \u25a0 It is because of the starch ; that ; the potato y should be avoided- by j ' persons with.'a/tendency^to VheuTiatisih and In digestion.': Taktn with other f foods,*. the potatois one of .the greutest fatteners kno\vii't6 the medical profes3lon."jj^Ja / ;- And lthis'; fshow^ Mr. Potato is* made iup, getting an analysis '. from many dif ferent potatoes examined: , : *\u25a0 Per cent.' Water r. "«.ix> Starch 19. 6S Sntrar .r..7:<"T. .-I.ZQ .Albumen ' . V. . . ...;...". .........;. . .70 «;uin '\u0084.................: ......... . .41) Asparaßln '...' ". .30 \u25a0Fat •. .30 > Solunln ........".........\u25a0..... .05 ' Other ' nitrocenous substances ;..". ..:.. ---.is "ln-wlnble -matter ..•;.". . .... .......... ...--.40 :&*K. .". : . . :. -. . • •• • — ..........^ ../. .&: : Total ' . ... •••• •-V .100.00 : .When -you,. get .a" food ? containing 95 per; cent- of water and -starch you get something .that's, bound -to" put 'oh the ;<*The trouble with the ; potato diet, in mendatlon of her achievement Her work for the present will be chiefly tabulating each day the results of , each -.night's observations: also in the .microscopic examination of the photographic negatives made in the ob servatory for the purpose of locating if possible -new stare or nebulae, not visible to . the naked eye of the 'ob server, even when aided by the pow erful telescopes, but showing more plainly on the photographic plates. Miss Allen was very studious while in college, but not a bookworm. She delighted in every department of out door and social recreation and always sailed her own sailboat. That sh« Is' an expert in handling her 21 foot craft is averted by her youpger sister, who declares: "I feel -, perfectly safe to go out with sister. , j when I wouldn't step- into the boat if half a dozen men were at the helm. "But onee — but once! My! We got too far Into the outer harber when a bis storm was coming up. Sis said rt was all right, so I Just hung on and let her sail. Some saucy waves came right Into the boat, and once I thought we were going over sure. Didn't seem to worry sis much, though she was very white. . \ -We got ashore all right The lire saving captain said he had given us -up for lost Our boat was half full of water and sis and I were drenched." Miss Allen has a delightful personal ity. She is a typical New England girl. the opinion of one doctor, is that it is too bulky. For, said he: "Even srant \u25a0 ing that^ six pounds of potatoes per day is sufficient to supply fully all the needs of the body, it must be evident that this quantity is still unduly bulky. . weighing, as it does, about twice as much as an ordinary mixed diet. The •\u25a0 result of Its continued use would be the undue burdening of the stomach and bowels, culminating probably in dilatation of these organs. The so called potato belly of the Irish peasant is an example of this result. - "In addition to being bulky the po tato contains too little proteid in pro portion to its starch. It would re quire about 22 pounds of potatoes to yield even 11 S grams of proteid daily, while, this quantity of potatoes' would contain more than four times as much carbohydrate as one really needs. As a matter of fact, however, Rubner has found that six and one-half pounds of potatoes are enough to furnish 3.000 calories of energy and to prevent any loss of bodily proteid. This is prob ably *to be explained by, the relatively enormous quantity..-- of carbohydrates— that is, proteid sparers— which the po j tato- contains."; So, despite the scientific objections of . certain of the > profession, the practical experiment demonstrates the fattening g Cpower of the -"spud." Then, of course," everybody wants. to. know what sort of a potato is going to produce the best results— that is, the best results from /the point ; of view "of the skinny — and 'the answer is the potato cooked with the Jacket ! on. It has been .calculated that If a bushel of potatoes were peeled and soaked before being boiled — and this Is the way that mo3t of our wives, /mothers,,, house keepers and cooks go about the preparation for the mashed \u25a0potato— the loss of nutrients would be nearly equivalent : to the amount con , talned In one pound of beefsteak. •That is wherb you get a line on the ' sustaining value of the vegetable and | also see how important it is that the skin be not taken off before cooking. It -follows then that potatoes should I- either be steamed , or" cooked In their ; skins.-. Two /mediUgm sized potatoes. I weighing, together 'five and one-third ounces,\when boiled and eaten in the. •usual way.'. remain from two to two and^ a* half hours'in'.the stomach, and that is ' /atshbVteV time than a similar weight of bread ,would: require.