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have been made. Lassel's 2-foot reflector, made by himself, did much good work, and discovered four new satellites. But Lord Rosse's 6-foot reflector, 54 feet focal length, constructed in 1845, is still the largest ever made. The imperfections of our atmosphere are against the use of such large apertures, unless it be on high mountains. During the last half century excellent specula have been made of silvered glass, and Dr. Common's 5-foot speculum (removed, since his death, to Harvard) has done excellent work. Then there are the 5-foot Yerkes reflector at Chicago, and the 4-foot by Grubb at Melbourne.
Passing now from these large reflectors to refractors, further improvements have been made in the manufacture of glass by Chance, of Birmingham, Feil and Mantois, of Paris, and Schott, of Jena; while specialists in grinding lenses, like Alvan Clark, of the U. S. A., and others, have produced many large refractors.
Cooke, of New York, made an object-glass, 25-inch diameter, for Newall, of Gateshead, which has done splendid work at Cambridge. We have the Washington 26-inch by Clark, the Vienna 27-inch by Grubb, the Nice 29}-inch by Gautier, the Pulkowa 30-inch by Clark. Then there was the sensation of Clark's 36-inch for the Lick Observatory in California, and finally his tour de force, the Yerkes 40-inch refractor, for Chicago.
At Greenwich there is the 28-inch photographic refractor, and the Thompson equatorial by Grubb, carrying both the 26-inch photographic refractor and the 30-inch reflector. At the Cape of Good Hope we find Mr. Frank McClean's 24-inch refractor, with an object-glass prism for spectroscopic work.
It would be out of place to describe here the practical adjuncts of a modern equatorial — the adjustments for pointing it, the clock for driving it, the position-micrometer and various eyepieces, the photographic and spectroscopic attachments, the revolving domes, observing seats, and rising floors and different forms of mounting, the siderostats and coelostats, and other convenient adjuncts, besides the registering chronograph and numerous facilities for aiding observation. On each of these a chapter might be written; but the most important part of the whole outfit is the man behind the telescope, and it is with him that a history is more especially concerned.
Since the invention of the telescope no discovery has given so great an impetus to astronomical physics as the spectroscope; and in giving us information about the systems of stars and their proper motions it rivals the telescope.
Frauenhofer, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, while applying Dollond's discovery to make large achromatic telescopes, studied the dispersion of light by a prism. Admitting the light of the sun through a narrow slit in a window-shutter, an inverted image of the slit can be thrown, by a lens of suitable focal length, on the wall opposite. If a wedge or prism of glass be interposed, the image is deflected to one side; but, as Newton had shown, the images formed by the different colours of which white light is composed are deflected to different extents — the violet most, the red least. The number of colours forming images is so numerous as to form a continuous spectrum on the wall with all the colours — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. But Frauenhofer found with a narrow slit, well fo– cussed by the lens, that some colours were missing in the white light of the sun, and these were shown by dark lines across the spectrum. These are the Frauenhofer lines, some of which he named by the letters of the alphabet. The D line is a very marked one in the yellow. These dark lines in the solar spectrum had already been observed by Wollaston."
On examining artificial lights it was found that incandescent solids and liquids (including the carbon glowing in a white gas flame) give continuous spectra; gases, except under enormous pressure, give bright lines. If sodium or common salt be thrown on the colourless flame of a spirit lamp, it gives it a yellow colour, and its spectrum is a bright yellow line agreeing in position with line D of the solar spectrum. In 1832 Sir David Brewster found some of the solar black lines increased in strength towards sunset, and attributed them to absorption in the earth's atmosphere. He suggested that the others were due to absorption in the sun's atmosphere. Thereupon Professor J. D. Forbes pointed out that during a nearly total eclipse the lines ought to be strengthened in the same way; as that part of the sun's light, coming from its edge, passes through a great distance . in the sun's atmosphere. He tried this with the annular eclipse of 1836, with a negative result which has never been accounted for, and which seemed to condemn Brewster's view. In 1859 Kirchoff, on repeating Frauenhofer's experiment, found that, if a spirit lamp with salt in the flame were placed in the path of the light, the black D line is intensified. He also found that, if he used a limelight instead of the sunlight and passed it through the flame with salt, the spectrum showed the D line black; or the vapour of sodium absorbs the same light that it radiates. This proved to him the exist
1 R. S. Phil. Trans.
ence of sodium in the sun's atmosphere." Iron, calcium, and other elements were soon detected in the same way. Extensive laboratory researches (still incomplete) have been carried out to catalogue (according to their wave-length on the undulatory theory of light) all the lines of each chemical element, under all conditions of temperature and pressure. At the same time, all the lines have been catalogued in the light of the sun and the brighter of the stars. Another method of obtaining spectra had long been known, by transmission through, or reflection from, a grating of equidistant lines ruled upon glass or metal. H. A. Rowland developed the art of constructing these gratings, which requires great technical skill, and for this astronomers owe him a debt of gratitude. In 1842 Doppler” proved that the colour of a luminous body, like the pitch or note of a sounding body, must be changed by velocity of approach or recession. Everyone has noticed on a railway that, on meeting a locomotive whistling, the note is lowered after the engine * The experiment had been made before by one who did not understand its meaning. But Sir George G. Stokes had already given verbally the true explanation of Frauenhofer lines. * Abh. d. Kön. Böhm, d. Wiss., Bol. ii., 1841–42, p.