John Almon.

The American journal of science and arts online

. (page 33 of 102)
Online LibraryJohn AlmonThe American journal of science and arts → online text (page 33 of 102)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


group occupy the place of one) was originally associated, have prejudiced
ritish botanists against the thing ; and it was on this account that we
preferred the unobjectionable name of choris!s, — defining it in the terms
«f the above parenthesis, and illustrating it, in the class of cases in quea-
lioB, by the comparison of such compound stamen with a compound
leal In another class of cases, antepoeed parts are likened to intrafolia-
eeous stipules. a. o.



Digitized by



Google



Botany* S75

6. Remarkable union of iwo trees ; bj Patsok W. Ltm av. — Near
the Tillage of North Chester, in Hampden Co., Mass., there stands a
remarkable elm tree ( Ulmus Americana), of which the annexed sketch
will give a tolerably accurate idea.
It stands near the summit of a range
of hills, on the eastern bank of a
branch of the Westfield River, in a
narrow ravine, on either side of which
wooded hills rise abruptly. It is con-
siderably exposed to the light, being
near the edge of the woodland.

The two parts of the tree, which
rise from the ground and support the
arch, are 80 feet apart, the one on the
left of the sketch being as much as
2^ feet in diameter, and rising to a
height of nearly or quite 100 feet,
while that on the right is If feet in
diameter, and not so high. The arch
Borings from the tree on the left at

the height of 14 feet, and connects ,

with that on the right at the height of 4 feet. Its diameter, near its
junction with the former, is fully 1^ feet, gradually diminishing in size
toward its junction with the latter, where its diameter is about 6 inches.

Its union is equally perfect at either end, though its connection seemi
to be more natural and regular at its larger extremity ; which would lead
one to suppose that, in some way, a branch of the tree on the left had
been bent over and become engrafted into that on the right The prob-
ability of this supposition is enhanced by the statement of the gentleman
who owned the land forty years ago, that the tree then stood on the lin^
of a fence, and that he, noticing the arch, supposed that it had been
bent over to form part of the fence. He further states that, if he re-
members correctly, tlie branch now forming the arch then extended be-
yond the tree with which it has united.

The arch runs lengthwise of the ravine, and, together with the trunks
which rise from it, derives its nourishment from both sets of roots. Of
these three intermediate trunks, that on the left is 14 inches in diameter,
and attains an altitude equal to that of the main trunk on the left of it
The diameter of the second is 11 inches, and of the third 6 inches, the
two rising to a height proportioned to their size. By a rough estimate
it would appear that the horizontal branch supports a weight in addition
to its own of about 4400 pounds. About midway between the two
original trees, there rises a beech tree (Fagus ferruginea)^ which divides
before reaching the arch, which it includes within its branches, but does
not in any place come in contact with or support it

A person desiring to see this remarkable tree would need to go about
a half-mile north of the village of North Chester, to a saw-mill, where
he would cross to the east side of the stream, traverse the fields, and
climb the hill, following a little ravine for a distance of forty or fifty rods
to the edge of the wetland, where he i«oald readily disooTsr the tree»



Digitized by



Google



876 Sdeniific bUetl^ence.

It is sonewhat diflcvlt of aooets, bat wovid repay luiy one iatoreitod in
objeeU of thk kind for the trouble required to reach it It ban been
knowD more or less to iodiTiduali id its Tioinity for forty yean at laaati
but hat never attracted very wide attention.
Amherit OoU«g«, Jao. 10th, 186*7.

IV. ASTBOBrOMT AND KSTEOBOLOGY.

1. Nwfemher nuteon in 1 866. — Accounts of the grand meteoric ihover
on the morning of the 13th-14th of November continue to reach nt»
We compile the foUowing Miromary.

U.) In the SaniwUk I$land$ (W. long. 168*, N. lat 21*' 15').— Mr.
J. P. Cooke, with leven others, saw 817 meteors in five hours on the
night of Nov. IStb-Uth, 1866.

From 10i< to I lb f.m^ 9% meteon^ Sky dear.

- 11 - 12 " 44 - Cloudy in N.E.

•* 12 ** 1 A.iL,47 ** Sky half ooverML

" 1 " 2 " 6S " Clear.

•• S - 8 « 141 « Clear.

Total io five hours, 817 "

There was no special radiation from Leo. A few brilliant meteoit
were observed between 8*^ and 4^^ A.U., but they were not as nnaieioas
as between 2 and 8 o*clock. No count of them was kept however.

These observations serve as a continuation of those in the United
States, and show that there was no revival of the shower directly alttf
our dawn.

(b.) Aiia iftnor.— Rev. A. T. Pratt, M.D., in a letter from Marash,
Turkey, gives the following account of the shower as seen at that plaoei

^ After midnight, we did not look out till 2^ 46°^ A.if., when they were
decidedly frequent Miss Spencer, who is living with us, being called,
we went out and took our station to count them, with result as follows :

N.W. &W. ToUL

FromSh Dm to 8h ism, 200 298 498

•* 8 16 •* 8 80 800 666 888

*• 8 80 *« 8 46 486 662 1,148

*^They were so numerous after this as to make it impossible to count
them ; foiling by dozens and scores at a time till about 4*^ SO™, when
from 4*" 30^ to 4** 40°^, in the southwest, were counted 200, — ^the num-
ber having sensibly decreased, — when we were compelled to leave the
field.

** All the meteors radiated from the same space in the heavens (hardly
the same point), i. e., that between y and e Leonis, and passed thenoe in
every direction, only two or three being observed which did not conform
to this law.''

(e.) In India. — Rev. Wm. Wood, in a letter to his son from Ahmed-
nuggur (N. lat 19* 5', E. long. 74* 55'), says that he watched all the
ni^t of the 13th-14tb, and that a good many meteors fell before mid-
night, and so on till three o'clock, but that from that time till light thers
was a shower of them. At one time he counted 100 in five minutes.*

* It is net certak), however, whether thess wers sssa by one or bj five psrsoaa



Digitized by



Google



Astronomy and Meteorology. ^1

Ode roetdor left a train which moved wutward^ being visible for fi?«
mioDte^.

{d,) la India, — Rev. Edward Chester, writing from Dindigul (N. lat
10^ 25', K Ion. 78^), says: ''For a few moinento I began to count the
meteors, but they came so thick and so many at a time that I had to
give it up. I saw thousands. I saw nothing else from 4 o*cIock until
daybreak, and even saw some within fifteen minutes of sunrise.''

'(e.) In the N, ^//and'c— Mr. E. Guillemin,* at sea 45 miles N.E. of
Flores, saw the meteors cross the sky from E. to W., with long trains.
A narrow cloud 10^ high lay along the horizon. From behind it, from
a point N. 50^ E., luminous trains shot across the sky. The parallel
paths were projected into the meridiaim of a sphere, the point of diverge
eoce being the pole. Those which were near the horizon were shorter
and more like the ordinary shooting stars. Toward the zenith, however,
they were much more brilliant, and their time of flight longer. Those
which crossed the zenith rose perpendicularly from the eastern horizon,
and leaving behind an immense phosphorescent arc, disappeared low in
the west. From lO'* to 11*^ the stars appeared either isolated or in
groups of two and three, at intervals of from four to twenty seconds.
They moved with uniform velocity, and had a mean duration of flight of
•even or eight seconds. After 11 o'clock the display gradually dimin-
ished, and ended about half past three in the morning.

(/.) At Cape of Good Hope, — Mr. G. W. H. Maclear reports (Astron.
Monthly Notices) between 10^ p.m. and 18^ a.m. 33 meteors seen at the
Cape of Good Hope. Between IS*" 3*° and le** 21°" a.m. tliey saw 2742.
Of these there were 1774 between 13^ 51"" and 14^ 36"^ 45% that is, in
about three-fourths of an hour. The number of observers is not stated.

(g.) Eaetem Asia, — There appears to have been no remarkable display
at Shanghai, and at Yokuhama in Japan a watch kept that night de-
tected nothing unu<»ual.

(A.) At Athens, — Dr. J. F. J. Schmidt deduces hourly numbeis for one
observer for the twelve hours from 6** p.m. to 6** a.m. from observations
made at Athens. There were different persons aetURlly counting during
the separate hours, but allowances are made for personal peculiarities.
During the two critical hours, 2** to 4*' a.m., no direct count was kept up.
The following are the numbers :

6 6 183 785 (t)

6 7 980 405

6 60 1055(1) 125

Total in the 12 hours, 3564 meteors.

(/) Throughout the continent of Europe the shower was observed,
and it maintained everywhere the same general character, no differ-
ences being noted that may not be due to personal peculiarities or to the
weather. In Paris and Rome the weather was unfavorable.

Mr. A. Quetelet, at Brussels, locates the radiant at H.A. 148^, N. Deo.
24^ The time of the maximum was, he thinks, about a quarter past
one o'clock.

(k.) In Great Britain. — At Edinburgh one observer saw the follow-
ing numbers in successive minutes from 12^ 58*° to 1*^ 38™ (G. m. time),

* Comptet Readus, Izili, 961. Compare this vol, p. 88, No. 25.
Am. Joub. Sol— 8ecoMD Ssaui, Vol. XLUI, No. 12&— Mabch, 1867.
36



Digitized by



Google



378 Scient^ Intelligence.

another peraon keeping the reoord. The enms of the colnmns give the
numbers for each five minutes.



28


80


88


40


44


88


80


86


29


86


81


80


82


34


80


85


80


28


60


64


40


62


29


28


60


88


41


60


29


28



210 202 178 212 168 182

During the next half hour were seen 305, making a total of 1492 for
one observer in the hour. Similar records of numbers by other observ-
ers are given in the Astr. Soc. Notices.*

Sir John Herschel located the radiant at long. 142'' SCK, lat 10^ 15' N.
Since this point is very nearly — perhaps exactly — 90® from the sun, he
concludes that the orbit of the meteors is very nearly circular and tlie
motion retrograde. He adds (Astr. Soc. Notices^ xxvii, 21), **Hov &r
this conclusion of a retrograde motion of the meteorites' revolniion
round the sun — a conclusion already, I believe, arrived at by Mr, New-
ton — is compatible with the truth of the * nebular hypothesis,' we maj
leave it to the advocates of that hypothesis to consider."

A train observed by him remained visible six minutes, drifting slovly
southwards over a space 8® or 9^^ and at the same time changing its di-
rection so that at its disappearance it was at right angles to its original
position.

Mr. A. S. Herschel gives (Astron. Soc. Notices) the following d6te^
minations of the radiant. Most of them are from paths recorded by dif-
ferent observers upon charts of the British Association.



Long.


N. Lat


Long.


N.Lat


Long.


N.Ut


1410 6'


10« 6'


144® 46'


10<> 4'


1460 40'


11° 62'


142 41


10 68


141 87


11 19


148 41


9 546


148 7


9 16


148 81


9 28


148 12


10 S


142 10


10 15


141 86


9 27 .


142 58


9 9


142 28


9 49


146 41


10 20


142 51


10 42



The magnets at Greenwich were remarkably quiet during the night
Prof. Challis remarked an unusual glow in the atmosphere during the
display.

(/.) Observations with the spectroscope, — Mr. A. S. Herschel and Mr.
John Browning were provided with spectroscopes arranged for direct
vision. Mr. Browning says (Astron. Soc. Notices, 1867, p. 77):

** After catching a few spectra in different directions, [ at length de-
cided on keeping the direct-vision prism pointed a little to the west of
Leo Majori with the axis of the prism parallel to the horizon. The spec-
tra which I saw were those of meteors which started from the radiant
point and passed through the belt of Orion. Of course the numl^er of
meteors which came into my field was comparatively limited, but the
whole of them travelled in a direction parallel to the axis of the prism,
a condition essentia! in the observation of the spectra.

'* From the rapid flight of the meteors rendering the spectra very diffi-
cult to catch, I cannot pretend to speak with confidence of the appea^

* lliere b an important misprint in the 25th line, p. 87 of the last nnmber of tbt
Journal, in Dr. Gould's letter. For 12^ 89n Os, read I2b 59ai Qi.



Digitized by



Google



A$lronamy and Meteorology. S70

•ace of the Bpectra shown by the priun, but I saw a great difference be-
tween the spectra. I believe that I saw spectra of the following kinds :

'* A. Continuous spectra, or those in which the whole of the colors of
the solar spectrum were visible, excepting the violet rays.

^ B. Spectra in which the yellow greatly preponderated ; but which in
every other respect resembled those above described

"' C. Spectra of almost purely homogeneous yellow light, but with a
faint continuous spectrum, that is, a faint trace of red on one side and
green on the opposite side of the yellow portion of the spectrum.

^ D, Spectra of purely homogeneous green light ; of this kind I only
saw two.

'* I observed through the prism spectra of several trains. The light
which was mostly blue, green, or steel gray, generally appeared homoge*
neons ; but this may have arisen from the light having been too faint to
produce a visible spectrum. Stars below the second or third magnitude,
although visible through the prism, fail from this cause to give spectra
in which blue and red are perceptible."

As was indicated in the last number of the Journal (p. 88), the eastern
limit of the shower roust have been in Central Asia. It was a little east»
however, of the line there given.

Several papers concerning the theory of the meteors by Schiaparelli,
Faye, LeVerrier, Peters, &c, of which we had intended to give here an
abstract, must be deferred to the next number of the Journal. h. a. k.

2. New minor planet^ Antiopey (§). — Dr. Luther discovered a minor
planet on the Ist of October, to which the name Antiope has been given.

3. New minor planet^ @. — ^The ninety-first minor planet was discov*
ered by Mr. Stephan at Marseilles on the 4th of November.

4. Comet. — Mr. Stephan discovered a telescopic comet on the night of
the 22d of January, in R.A. 2^ 34", and N.P.D. 74^ 26'.

5. Aurora Boreaiie at Highland^ Illinois ; by A. F. Bandbltvr. (From
a letter to the editors, dated Highland, Madison Co., III., Nov. 11, 1866.)
— ^I find in No. 119, 2d series of this Journal, (SepL 1805,) observations
on the aurora of Aug. 3, 1865, at your city, among which I notice tome
remarks on the change of color of auroral streamers, from white and yellow
into a rosy hue ; which the observer attributes to the efiect of '* sunlight
striking the tops of those streamers at the height of several hundred
miles — as it must have been at that hour — above the earth's surface.^
The learned author of the said communication calling the attention of
auroral observers to this fact, I venture to transmit to him, through your
kind intermediary, some extracts from ray auroral note-book (kept since
1860, and containing new observations of 47 displays), bearing on the
points alluded to by him.

1860, Aug. 12, 9*4 p. M. — A group of splendid streamers appeared IT.
16® W., white at first, but turning into purple above.

1860, Sept 6, 8*33 p. m. — A bluish glow, N. 30® W., issuing a duster
of red streamers ; they shifted slowly toward Ursa Major, color turning
from purple into an intensive bloody red.

10-5. — ^The entire upper border of the dark segment dissolved into a
smoky cumulated mass, out of which a perfect sea of streamers is seen to
issue. The streamers are white below, purple above, the most vivid red
being always toward the middle of the streamer.



Digitized by



Google



280 Miscellaneous Intelligence,

10*25. — E. and W. the Btrenmers incline toward the horizon, and as-
sume the deepest red hue, while in the N. the color is much paler.

1861, March 9, 8*20 p.m. — ^The dark segment has completely vanished
and a semicircle of streamers has taken its place. They reach as high as
the pole-star, and assume a red hue above an altitude of 25^ The most
beautiful color is at both the eastern and western extremities.

Observation made on Durham Terl-ace, Quebec, Aug. 7, 1862, in
bright moonlight. Yellow streamers rose from N.R to N.W., their base

being at an altitude of 25^-28^ and the tops reaching the zenith

These streamers appeared stationary, but the intensity of the light rooved
regularly through their feet from £. to W. and backward, also flowiof
upward along the streamer. (Same observation at 8'10 p.m. of Aug. 8,
on St. Lawreuce river, near Trois-IiiviereSf moon shining very brightly.
Streamers of yellow hue.)

1862, Oct. 3. — Full moonlight and display rather iudistinct on aeeoont
of it. I noticed the sky to turn purple in the £. at a low altitude, and
at the beginning of the Hurora.

Feb. 20. — Near the moon there was a patch of pale carmine, of alle^
nately increasing and decreasing intensity.

In general, I have never seen a single streamer that was not originally
Vfhiiey but turned sometimes into purple or bloody-red upon reaching <(
certain altitude. At the moment of issuing, the beam is white and
brightest at its base ; as it increases in size, it generally attains a rootioa
along the horizon to the west, and also the intensity decreases below and
appears greatest in the middle of the beam. When the beam has
reached its most westerly position, then the base vanishes and the top
appears brightest, the streamer appears as an isolated cloud of more or
less brilliant light of varying intensity, until it begins to vanish.

When several arches or layers of auroral matter succeed each other
and the tops of the streamei-s of one arch (still below our hori*>n) ap-
pear at tht;ir vanishing points behind the arch immediately preceding, we
may sometimes notice the sky under an auroral arch in sight to torn
purple also.

I have also noticed that the condition of the atmosphere has great in-
fluence on the color of auroral light. By hazy weather streamer! ap-
pear red, nearer the horizon than by a clear transparent sky.

IV. MISCELLANEOUS SCIE^TIFIC INTELLIGENCE.

1. Analysis cf a Meteoric Iron from Colorado ; by Dr. C. T. Jackbow.
(From a letter to one of the editors, dated Boston, Nov. 10, 1866.)— I re-
ceived last Tuesday, Nov. 6th, a piece of meteoric iron from Rev. Mfc
Thompson, who brought it from Colorado and who had negotiated for
the large mass with the intention of presenting it to the Boston Society
of Natural History. I have just learned that Prof. Shepard through the
Agency of a friend in Denver City has secured the original mass, said to
be two feet in diameter, for his cabinet. It appears from Mr. Shepard't
letter to me that it is the eame mass that is mentioned in the last (Sept.)
No. of your Journal, page 250. I made the chemical analysis of it be-
fore i>eing aware it was the aame meteorite described, and since no previ-



Digitized by



Google



Miscellaneous Intelligence. 881

OQs analysis of it faaa been made, I offer mine to you for the Journal,
Prof. Shepard expressing a desire that it should be published.

The piece of meteoric iron given me by Mr. Thompson, who brought
It from Colorado, weighs four ounces. It has been heated in a forge fire
in order to cut it more easily ; but still the Widrnannstattian figures
come out, when dilute nitric acid is applied to the polished surface, as
distinctly as possible and consist of a series of small nearly equilateral
triangles with the lines well defined and quite elevated. On one side of
the specimen was a crust about one-eighth of an inch thick, consisting
of sulpbid of iron. This'probably in the unaltered meteorite is a bisul-
phid of iron mixed with oxyd of iron.

A portion of the clean metal sawed ofif from the mass has the sp. gr.=;:
1-692:

On chemica] analysis by the most approved method, separating the
iron from the nickel by succinate of ammonia and determining the nickel
as oxyd of nickel and then analyzing this oxyd for cobalt and copper — a
separate portion of the meteorite being employed in analysis for the tin
which was twice determined, and the nitric solution being tested for phos-
phoric acid and sulphuric acid,^<&c. — the results per cent of my analysis
Are as follows :

Metallic iron, .... 90650

" nickfi], ... - 7-867

" cobalt, .... 0010

" tin, .... 0*020

Insoluble matter coDsisting of a little silica, schrei-
bersite and chrome as proved by blowpipe in-
vestigation, - - ... 0*960

99-497

2. Hailstones in China; by S. W. Williams. — On Tuesday at 6 p. m.
on June 5, 1866, a thunder storm came from the northeast, and broke
over Peking with great violence. The hailstones soon followed the first
dash of rain, and increased in size and quantity till the rain almost
seemed to cease. The shower lasted forty minutes, leaving the yards
white with hailstones, but as the wind was li^ht no damage was done.
The very largest stones were 4 to 4^ inches m circumference ; the pre-
vailing shape was conical, and almost all the stones exhibited a kernel of
clear iee enclosed in frozen snow, with a covering of ice outside. The
strata of air through which they passed in their descent must have been
of very different degrees of temperature to produce such distinct layers
of ice and snow in the stones. Such hailstorms are not frequent in the
North of China, and the people say that this one is the most remarkable
since July, 1838^ when the stones were like oranges and apples and mel-
ons for size, and did great damage to dwellings and trees.

3. U. S. Coast Survey. — The eminent mathematician. Prof. Pierce of
Harvard, has been appointed to the office of Superintendent of the Coast
Survey, left vacant by the death of Prof. Bache,

4. Chicago Museum of Natural History, — The late Major Kennicutt
at the time of his death was Director of the Chicago Museum of Natu-
ral History, an institution of which he was essentially the founder. This
office has recently been filled by the appointment of Mr. William Stimp-
8on, one of the best zoologists of the country.



Digitized by



Google



MS Miscellaneous Intelligence,

OBITUABT.

Prof. Bachb. — ^Tlie death of Professor Albxahdrb Dallas Bacbe, just
announced, will awaken profound regret throughout a very large circle
of scientific friends. For the last thirty years he has been intimately con-
nected with the progress of American Science. In some important de-
partments he, more than any other man, may be regarded as the leader.

He was graduated at 'the Military Academy at West Point, in 1825,
holding the first rank in his class. He was immediately appointed As-
eistant Professor of Engineering in the Academy, and occupied the position
for one year. After senring as an oflScer in the Corps of Engineers for
three years, he resigned to accept the professorship of Natural Philosophy
and Chemistry in the University of Pennsylvania, to which he was elected
in 1827. After filling this place with distinguished success, for k num-
ber of yeara, he was calleil, in 1836, to the presidency of .the Girard Col-
lege, then recently established in Philadelphia by the princely bequest of
Stephen Girard. Six years later he received and accepted the appoint-
ment of Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey, a post made
vacant by the death of Professor Hassler. He entered upon this office
10 November, 1843. Since that time, a period of twenty- three years, the
results of his labors have been public property. It would be out of plaoe
ID this brief notice to speak of the magnitude or the importance of that
great national work, the Coast Survey. It is proper to say, however,
that few men could have carried to it such ample scientific preparation,
•o much practical wisdom, and such signal, almost unrivalled, adminis-
trative talents. His annual reports to Congress, growing in fulness and
extent as the work advanced, form an invaluable series of scientific papers.
They have justly won for him not only an American but a European
reputation. It is well known that eminent scientists in Europe, engaged
in the vast labors of geodesy undertaken by the different governments,
have sought with eagerness for the Reports of the American Coaat Sur-
vey, and have placed them, as regards accuracy and exhaustive thorough-
ness, in the first rank of works upon that subject.



Online LibraryJohn AlmonThe American journal of science and arts → online text (page 33 of 102)