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A SECOND MOON : WHEN IT HAS BEEN SEEN.

■ ♦ The year 1898 seems likely to prove a memorable one in the anuals of astronomy. Not only has it already witnessed one of the most successful total aolar eclipses known, but a Hamburg astronomer has announced the dissovery of a second moon of the earth ! "The second moon of the earth," saj'B Dr George Waltemath to a representative of the London " Daily News," "has been- actualty observed passing the sun on the 16th of February, 1897, it Munich, by Mr C. Waller, art painter, and a friend, aud also on the £th of February, 1898, at Greioswald by-Post-'Diicctor Fregler and eleven r>ther persons. Besides this, on the 2lst_qf January, 1898, at Berlin, it was '^CKy^Lby (lUtftiQuaries^ of .th. _ i itiperial Post officeat five o'clock in tho morning sinning at full light." Dr Waltemath predicts that our hitherto unobserved satellite will be visible on the 30th of July next, when it will pass across the"'stm's disc. It may be expected that astronomers^ — who are at present somewhat sceptical about this discovery — will keep a good look-out for this body, which has hitherto eluded their observation. De Waltemath states that ho was led to the search for the new moon by the known fact that the motion of our satellite, the old moon, was somewhat quicker than it ought to be according to the laws of gravitation. Could this irregularity be due to another moon ? This was the thought that occurred to Dr AValtemath, and he set to work to hunt up such observation of remarkable spots seen before the sun as might jus-tify the idea of the existence of a secondary satellite. His researches succeeded in proving (to his own satisfaction) that the new moon had actually been seen by several persons at various times and in divers places as a round black spot travelling across the face of the sun. Comparing all the observations, he was able to compute the orbit of the little moon and its dimensions. Its mean distance from the earth, so says our astronomer, is 640, 000 miles. The amount of the diameter is 435 miles, the area jcoyers nearly 600,000 square miles (more than ten times the surface of England and Waleß together). The power of the new moon to reflect the sun's light is so small that as a rule its body will only be seen by help of a telescope. Sometimes it shines like a sun at night-time, but only for about an hour at a time. Lieutenant Greeley, when in Greenland in 1881, remarks that he was surprised to see the sun again, ten days after the sun had gone. Dr Waltemath declares that this " sun " was really the little j moon in its greatest brilliancy.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NA18980625.2.36.5

Bibliographic details

A SECOND MOON: WHEN IT HAS BEEN SEEN., Northern Advocate, 25 June 1898, Supplement

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462

A SECOND MOON: WHEN IT HAS BEEN SEEN. Northern Advocate, 25 June 1898, Supplement

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