Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

therefore, to have been diverted from its original course as a falling star, at the moment of its brilliant expansion into a ball of pale blue light, and from this instant to have directed its course directly upon Liverpool, until at the final explosion and fading of the blue light, the lurid portions of the meteor again assumed a course parallel to their original direction. An observer in the open country, about eight miles from Manchester, informed Mr. Brothers that " at first the meteor appeared stationary, and his first thought was 'that's a strange place for Venus to be in,' when the meteor immediately darted downwards diagonally." This observer could, unfortunately, not give particulars of the position in which the meteor at first appeared stationary as a large bright star, but we are able to infer from this observation that before the meteor turned towards Liverpool as a fire-ball, it was directed in the form of a shooting star towards Manchester, and that at last, on the second shock, it followed in its expiring condition the same direction which it had originally at the outset.

The two changes of course were attended by distinct flashes of light, between which no great alteration of figure occurred in the meteor, but one coruscation, brighter than the rest, may, perhaps, be traced to have intervened. Those whose attention was attracted by the first flash noticed no change of direction. The alteration of course of the fragments at the final explosion was, however, observed in one instance at least (at Parkhill, Ross-shire), and ascribed to the effect of gravity on the liberated parts.

As a fireball, it had not a great length of run. Its angular extent at Hereford was only 2°; at Liverpool it was foreshortened to a point; at Douglas and at Preston it appears to have measured from 15° to 20°; at Manchester and at Burton-uponTrent from 12° to 15o. The thick rain and dense clouds which hid the sky appear to have caused a perfectly erroneous impression of the meteor as observed at Hastings. The explosion

[ocr errors]

at Haslingden, near Blackburn, in Lancashire, took place at at 4 degrees under a Lyre.

The meteor appears therefore to have originated as a shooting star at 90 miles above Stonykirk, at the head of Luce Bay, Wigton, in Scotland, and to have thus advanced to 60 miles above the Irish sea, 40 miles due west from Hawkshead, Windermere, where it altered its course and expanded in light with a loud explosion, audible at Hawkshead, like the roar of a railway train. From this point the meteor moved as a fire. ball of the largest size towards Liverpool to a place 30 miles above the sea, and 17 miles West of Fleetwood, where it again underwent an explosion, with alteration of its course, and great expansion of its light terminating its display. The fragments moved from this point towards Manchester, and disappeared at a height of 20 miles above the neighbourhood of Lytham, on the coast of Lancashire. (See map, fig. 3.)

The distance from the point of first explosion to Hawkshead, Windermere, is 72 miles, and this interval is recounted by Mr. R. S. Hart to have been travelled by the sound in the lapse of from “four to five minutes.” The velocity of the meteoric sound was, therefore, somewhat greater than a mile in four seconds of time, or than that ordinarily received as the velocity of sound in a horizontal plane of air.

At this meeting a paper was also read

ON THE

LEPIDOPTERA OF THE HUNDRED OF WIRRAL,

WITH A LIST OF THE SPECIES.

By J. FITZHERBERT BROCKHOLES, Esq.

[This paper and list will be found in an APPENDIX at the end of the volume.]

NINTH ORDINARY MEETING.

ROYAL INSTITUTION, 22nd February, 1864.

Rev. C. D. GINSBURG, LL.D., V.P., in the Chair.

Ladies had been invited to this meeting, and there was a large attendance.

Mr. Moore exhibited the following recent additions to the Free Public Museum :-A splendid pair of reindeer (Tarandus rangifer), obtained expressly from Lapland by S. R. Graves, Esq., by whom they were presented to the Museum. A very large calamary or squid presented by Capt. Graham, screw-steamer Nova Scotian; in lat. 47° 51' N., and lon. 38° 16' W. that vessel, while running before a strong gale from the westward, Feb. 13, on her voyage from Montreal to Liverpool, shipped a heavy sea, when it was supposed to have been washed on board, as it was found on the forecastle about two hours after at daybreak. The specimen, the species of which is at present undetermined, belongs to the family of cephalopods, of which the Loligo vulgaris of the British seas is an example. It is, however, very much larger, the body being 26 inches in length, the eight ordinary arms surrounding the mouth varying from 13 to 15 inches, and the two extensile arms, measuring 40 inches, so that when these are stretched out, the total length of the creature is six feet. It lived for some hours after it was discovered, and was then kept in ice for six days. It arrived in perfect condition, and is a very interesting addition to the series of these creatures contained in the Museum. Also a globe of living fish taken from the Nile at Hagar, where the river is crossed by the railway, by Mr. Hardcastle, C.E., in charge of the line, who gave them to Captain Browne, of the screw-steamer Agia Sofia, who kindly presented them to the Museum. They are a species of carp, closely allied to the gold carp.

[ocr errors]

Captain BROWNE exhibited a pair of slippers, taken from an Egyptian mummy, and elaborately ornamented in gold, and having an inscription upon them also in gold. This inscription the Chairman stated to be in Coptic.

The Rev. H. H. HIGGINS exhibited a large specimen of Chiton, lately purchased for the Museum. It was obtained at Vancouver's Island, and appeared to be undescribed.

Dr. COLLINGWOOD explained a very beautiful diagram, made at the Liverpool Observatory by Mr. Hartnup, exhibiting the indications made by the anemometer, barometer, thermometer, &c., in the great gale of December 5.

A paper was then read, entitled

THE GOOD OLD TIMES.

BY REV. JOHN ROBBERDS, B.A.

TENTH ORDINARY MEETING.

ROYAL INSTITUTION, 7th March, 1864.

J. BIRKBECK NEVINS, M.D., V.P., in the Chair.

[ocr errors]

M. F. Archer, jun., B.A. Cantab., and Thos. Skinner, M.D., Edin., were duly elected ordinary members.

The PRESIDENT drew attention to the recent death of Sir William Brown, Bart., one of the honorary members of the Society, and a resolution was passed expressive of sympathy with his family. It was suggested that members of the society who could make it convenient to do so should attend the funeral as representatives of the society.

Mr. GEORGE S. Wood made a short communication on the subject of the gyroscope, illustrated by experiments.

The following paper was then read

THE ARITHMETIC OF BUILDING SOCIETIES.

By J. M'FARLANE GRAY, Esq.

BUILDING SOCIETIES generally have for their object to enable working men to become the owners of house property, which is purchased with money borrowed from the Society, and repaid by small periodical instalments, which include interest at about 7 per cent. per annum. By receiving this high rate of interest these societies are enabled to give a proportionately high rate of interest on the money entrusted to them, and become an eligible investment for those small sums which form the savings of the working classes.

In Liverpool, as far as I can learn, there are three classes of Building Societies—the Terminating, the Accumulating Permanent, and the Dividend Permanent.

A Terminating Society begins at a certain date and has a time fixed for its ending. In general its object is to yield to every investor of 10s. per month the sum of £120 at the termination of the Society. To enable them to accomplish this object, the subscriptions of the members are lent out among themselves at such a rate of interest as will increase the subscriptions to the promised amount in the given time. This description of Building Society is fast disappearing, and almost all new Societies are formed on the permanent principle.

An Accumulating Permanent Society is much the same as a Terminating Society, but its operations are continuous. A member can join it at any time without paying up any arrears, and when his subscriptions have continued for a specified

« AnteriorContinuar »