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and then gradually diminishing in frequency. While every other meteoric period has intermitted, this of August holds out with little change.
The observations below stated were made in the open air, from the top of the southern tower of the Alumni Building of Yale College, by a corps of observers consisting of J. W. Gibbs, Jr., Charles Tomlinson, J. W. Johnson, W. C. Johnston, H. W. Siglar, J. B. Chase, with myself. During the hour from 2h to 3h A. M., there were but six observers. Each meteor was called aloud, and no one was reckoned twice. Between 10 P.M. of the 9th and 3 A.M. of the 10th of August, 1860, we observed s. hundred and sixty-five different shooting stars, distributed as folOWs, viz:
The meteors were reckoned in that quarter where they first became visible, but it is of course impossible to indicate satisfactorily by words their distribution on the face of the sky. The majority of them were inferior in brilliancy to stars of the second magnitude. Many however were as bright as stars of the first magnitude, and a few rivalled in splendor Mars and Venus. Several of them left luminous trains, but none appeared to explode. Their general Southwesterly direction was evident, and as nearly as we could estimate, at least three fourths of all conformed to the radiant of former years, in the vicinity of the swordhandle of Perseus.
During our watch the sky was clear except that between 1h and 2h A. M. there were some clouds about the west. The moon in her last quarter embarrassed our view after 11 P.M., and doubtless concealed about one third of all the meteors which might have been seen in her absence. At 3 A. M. mist was forming rapidly, but we saw after that hour five meteors not included above; and while we were arranging for the watch a few minutes previous to 10h we saw eighteen, making a total of 588 meteors observed by us during five hours and ten minutes. Had the moon been absent we should probably have seen 800 during this
eriod. This is not far from six times the common nightly average for It is perhaps hardly worth mentioning that the Aurora Borealis was visible all night, being by turns quite active after twelve o'clock. This phenomenon has been seen here with uncommon frequency this summer, but it appears to have no special connection with shooting stars.
a like interval.
AM. JOUR. SCI.-SECOND SERIES, Vol. XXX, No. 89.-SEPT., 1860.
During the entire nights of the 8th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of this month, our sky was wholly overcast. EDw'D. C. HERRICK.
Yale College, New Haven, August, 1860.
v. MISCELLANEOUS SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
1. The Fourteenth Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was held, August 1st–8th, 1860, at Newport, R. Island, in the old State House, dating from the Colonial times under Queen Anne. The Hon. W. H. Cranston, Mayor of Newport, pronounced an address of welcome from the city of Newport, to the members of the Association. The general enjoyment of the occasion was amply secured by the kind and abundant hospitality of the city and its citizens, leaving on all who participated the most agreeable impressions of Newport. The weather was superb, neither fog or rain marred the pleasure of the unequalled drives by beach and shore over this American Isle of Wight, and the Geologists with Mr. Hitchcock's map" of the Island in hand found the conglomerates of ‘Purgatory’ and ‘Paradise” and the graphitic anthracite of these most overdone and contorted coal measures a fruitful theme of discussion both in hall and field. The numbers in attendance at the Newport meeting were small compared with most previous meetings. An erroneous impression appears unfortunately to have gone abroad that Newport was a very costly place to visit and that the “height of the season' at a great watering place was not a time when science could hold ground against fashion. While all this was eminently untrue, the effect of such an impression was visible in the absence of numbers of familiar faces. Neither can we, if we would, conceal the fact that while many papers of marked ability were presented, the character of this meeting was not in all respects creditable to American Science. A conviction prevailed among many who were present at Newport of a decadence in the scientific character of the Association, of a loss of tone which if not already a demoralization threatened soon to become such. There was a time when weak speculations—by whomever put forth—were promptly trampled on and their authors made to feel that they were answerable to a power of united public sentiment which bore rule with a righteous severity. The evidence of this power was wanting at Newport—signs of concession to scientific charlatanism were visible in quarters where we least looked for it, and we left the meeting with a persuasion that unless the old order of proceedings could be restored, the American Association must come to a speedy and disastrous end. We do not despair of the immediate restoration of a higher standard—the effort will certainly be made. One of the bright points of the Newport meeting was the opportune return of the Labrador Astronomical Expedition, sent out under the auspices of the United States Coast Survey and under the immediate sci
* Furnished gratuitously to all members by the City Government.
entific leadership of Prof. Stephen Alexander of Princeton, to witness the total Eclipse of July 18th. As we elsewhere give a detailed statement of the results from the pen of one of the expedition, it is only necessary to add that the “Bibb" made Newport harbor on her return in season to secure an agreeable reunion on Tuesday evening, and that on Wednesday morning Prof. Alexander recounted the results of the Expedition to that land of ‘monumental desolation’ in a brief but fervid recital, deeply moving his audience by his peculiar eloquence. It was a happy circumstance that the meeting could close under so agreeable an impression.
The address of the retiring President, Prof. Stephen Alexander, was delivered on Wednesday morning, just before the adjournment, and will appear in the Transactions of the year.
Prof. Bache gave an interesting public discourse reviewing the history of discovery, and the method of investigation employed in regard to the Gulf Stream. This address we hope to present to our readers in full in a future number of this Journal, as also the substance of another public address by Prof. Henry, on Atmospheric Electricity, delivered as a popular evening lecture at Newport, by the distinguished Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
List of papers presented to the Association.
Section A-MATHEMATICS, PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY.
General Account of the Results of Part II of the Discussion of the Declinometer Observations made at the Girard College, Philadelphia, between the years 1840 and 1845, with special reference to the Solar Diurnal Variation and its Annual Inequality; by A. D. Bache. On some of the Relations of the Violet and Green Modifications of Chrome Alum to Soda, Potassa and Ammonia; by E. N. Horsford. Reflections on the Origin, Development and Changes of Languages; by Henry M. Harman. The Great Auroral Display of August 28 and September 2, 1859; by Elias Loomis. Brief Abstract of a Memoir on the Theoretical Determination of the Dimensions of Donati's Comet; by W. A. Norton. On the Solution of Ice in Inland Waters; by B. F. Harrison. On Natural Ice-Houses and on Frozen Wells; by Elias Loomis. Description of a new Registering Thermometer; by James Lewis, of Mohawk, N. Y. Presented by W. B. Rogers. On the Phenomena presented by the “Silver Spring,” in Marion County, Florida; by John LeConte. Influence of difference in the mean velocity of winds from the different points of the compass, in modifying the mean direction of the atmospheric currents over the United States; by James H. Claflin. Can the Sudden Cooling of one Part of a Metallic Rod cause another Part, as a consequence, suddenly to become warm ; by E. N. Horsford. Improvement in Barometers; by H. A. Clum. General Account of the Results of Part III of the Discussion of the Declinometer Observations made at Girard College, Philadelphia, between the years 1840 and 1845, with special reference to the Investigation of the Influence of the Moon on the Magnetic Declination; by A. D. Bache. Some experiments and inferences in regard to Binocular Vision; by W.B. Rogers. On the data and methods of the Hindu Astronomy; by W. D. Whitney. On Atmospherical Electricity; by Joseph Henry. Note on Sources of Error in the employment of Picric Acid to detect the Presence of Potash; by M. C. Lea. Presented by B. Silliman, Jr.
On a series of new combinations of Ammonia Picric Acid and Metallic Bases; by M. C. Lea. Presented by B. Silliman, Jr. On the Combustion of Wet Fuel; by B. Silliman, Jr. Theory connected with the Solar Spots; by C. W. Hackley. B option of a new Portable Coffer Dam for Foundations under water; by E. . Hunt. On certain Variable Stars; by B. A. Gould. Modern Warfare; its science and art; by E. B. Hunt. Abstract of the principal results of the observations of the Tides at Van Rensselaer harbor, made by the second Grinnell Expedition under command of Dr. E. K. Kane, U. S. Navy, during 1858, '54, '55, from a reduction and discussion by Charles A. Schott, Assistant Coast Survey. Presented by A. D. Bache. On Catachroism, a new optical property belonging to certain Crystalline Surfaces, with some remarks on Polarization, by reflection from colored surfaces; by M. C. Lea. Presented by B. Silliman, Jr. On a new theory of Light, proposed by J. Smith, of Manchester, England; by O. N. Rood. Some reflections on the Observations of the Solar Spots and of the Magnetic Wariations; by James Hyatt. On the Actinism of the electric discharge in vacuum tubes; by W. B. Rogers. Investigation of the problem regarding the existence of a lunar tidal wave on the great fresh-water lakes of North America; by J. D. Graham. On the Hydrates of Sesquioxyd of Chromium; by E. N. Horsford. On a series of investigations, on the assimilation of gaseous nitrogen of plants, footed during the year 1857, 1858 and 1859, at Rothamsted, England; by E. ugh. Vital Statistics of the Blind, with an approximate Life Table; by E. B. Elliott. Influence of difference in the mean velocity of winds from the different points of the compass, in modifying the mean direction of the atmospheric currents over the United States—discussed by the direction and at the expense of the Smithsonian Institution, from materials collected in its archives for the years 1854, 1855, 1856 and 1857; by James H. Coffin. An attempt to estimate the Height, Velocity, &c., of the Meteors of the evening of July 20, 1860; by H. M. Harman. On the meteors of 1859, Aug. 11, and 1860, July 20; by B. A. Gould. On the Induction-Time in Electro Magnets; by A. D. Bache and J. E. Hilgard. The loss by fire of Berdan's Mechanical Bakery in Boston, due to Spontaneous Combustion; by E. N. Horsford. normation. on Hydraulic Cements; by Q. A. Gilmore. Presented by E. B. unt. On the Motions of Uranus; by Truman Henry Safford. Fire Damp Explosions in Collieries by lighting with coal gas; by E. B. Hunt. The Meteor of July 20th, as seen from Washington, Dutchess County, New York; by James Hyatt. Some remarks on the Open Sea of the Arctic Regions; by W. W. Wheildon. On the Paradoxes of the Atomic Theory of Chemistry, with a proposition of a new Hypothesis; by Clinton Roosevelt. On the production of Ethylamine by reaction of the Oxy-Ethers; by M. C. Lea. Presented by B. Silliman, Jr. Abstract of the principal results of the astronomical observations at Van Rensselaer harbor and other places near the northwest coast of Greenland, made by the second Grinnell Expedition, under command of Dr. E. K. Kane, U. S. Navy, during 1858, '54, '55, from a reduction and discussion by Charles A. Schott, Assistant Coast Survey. Presented by A. D. Bache. A new Ammonia Chrome Alum, and the Violet, Green and Red Modifications of Chrome Salt; by E. N. Horsford. On the Time Necessary to Double the Pressure of Steam under certain circumstances; and the practical lessons therefrom; by James Hyatt. Systematic Views on Mechanics and Mechanism, with inferences on Organisms; by E. B. Hunt. On the nitric acid and ammonia in rain water, collected Sept., 1859, between New Work and Liverpool about the middle line of the Atlantic Ocean; by E. Pugh.
On the Relations of Salts of Zinc and Alumina to Soda and Potassa; by E. N. Horsford. On our inability through the retinal impression alone, to determine which retina is impressed; by W. B. Rogers. The Theory of Probabilities applied to determine the Identity of Words and Languages; by H. M. Harman. On the possibility of expressing the polar co-ordinates of the Asteroids by converging series, admitting of tabulation ; by G. W. Coakley. Analysis of a Bituminous Earth from Brazil; by E. N. Horsford.
Section B–NATURAL HISTORY AND GEology.
Remarks upon certain points in Ichnology; by Edward Hitchcock. Synchronism of Coal Beds in the Rhode Island and Western United States Coal Basins; by C. H. Hitchcock. Geology of Newport and Vicinity; by C. H. Hitchcock. Additional facts respecting the Clathropteris of East Hampton; by Edward Hitchcock. Description of brecciated trachytic Dykes in Shelburne, Vt., with special reference to their temperature, when formed ; by Edward Hitchcock. Upon a Diatomaceous Earth from Nottingham, Calvert Co., Md.; by C. Johnson of Baltimore. Jottings on the Geology of the Eastern part of Maine, &c.; by W. B. Rogers. On the recent discovery by Mr. Norman Eastop, of Fossils in the conglomerate of Taunton River; by W. B. Rogers. On the origin and stratigraphical relations of the Trappean rocks of Lake Superior; by J. W. Foster and J. D. Whitney. On the Lead Region of the Upper Mississippi; by J. D. Whitney. On the arrangement of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Cambridge; by L. Agassiz. 6. origin and distribution of the Sediments composing the stratified rocks of North America; by J. S. Newberry. On the Surface Geology of Western America; by J. S. Newberry. Some points in the Surface Geology of the Northwest; by J. D. Whitney. Remarks on the distribution of Gold in Weins, with notes upon remarkable Gold Specimens from Georgia; by Wm. P. Blake. On the Ethnological Value of the imitative faculty in relation to the characteristics of ancient and modern American Races; by Daniel Wilson. On the Petroleum Wells of the Mississippi Valley; by J. S. Newberry. Description of a new species of Trilobite of the Genus Conocephalites, from the Potsdam Sandstone; by F. H. Bradley, with notes by E. Billings. Presented by B. Silliman, jr. On to in Phenomena of the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia and North Carolina; by Nathan B. Webster. On methods in Zoology; by Louis Agassiz. On the American Reindeer; by L. E. Chittenden. On the food of Birds, with special results in the investigation of the food of the Robin, (Turdus migratorius); by J. W. P. Jenks. On the later extinct Floras of North America; by J. S. Newberry. Age of the so-called Taconic Rocks in Vermont; by C. H. Hitchcock. On the origin of the Prairies of the Northwest; by J. D. Whitney.
In obedience to a pledge given in 1859, that the next meeting should be held in some Southern city, the Association adjourned to meet in Nashville, Tennessee, in April, 1861, the exact date to be fixed by the local Committee.
The Officers of the Nashville Meeting are, President, F. A. P. Barnard, LL.D., President of the University of Mississippi; Vice President, Dr. Robt. W. Gibbes, of South Carolina; General Secretary, Prof. J. W. Mallet, of Mississippi; Secretary, Dr. A. L. Elwyn, of Philadelphia.