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these powers, which might seem at first to be original gifts of nature, have, I do not doubt, acquired very much of their activity from their careful and energetic use."

Adverting to the Catalogue of fixed stars, for which more especially the medal was bestowed, Mr. Airy observes,—

"Had this Catalogue proceeded from an observatory of which the personal establishment was charged with no other labours, we should have

considered it as a highly meritorious work What, then, shall we say

to this work in the circumstances under which it has reached us? It has come, the voluntary enterprise of an individual, who could not, by any construction of his connexion with the Hamburgh Observatory, be supposed to owe to the world a hundredth part of the labour which it has cost. It is the fruit of observations made in the watches of the night, and calculations made in the leisure hours of the day, by a person who would seem, to vulgar eyes, to be engrossed to the limits of human endurance by an onerous professional office. Well may we consider it as a remarkable instance of voluntary labour, undertaken under difficult circumstances, not for public display, but as an aid to science, and skilfully and steadily directed to that purpose alone."

M. Riimker was a Member of the Royal Academies of Munich and 66'ttingen, the Batavian Society of Rotterdam, the Royal Astronomical and many other English and Foreign learned Societies. He was elected Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 1855.

After having laboured long and profitably, repeated attacks of illness, accompanied by an asthmatic cough which increased in severity at each relapse, forced him at length (in 1857) to rest from his labours, and to seek a milder climate for the benefit of his shattered health.

At his suggestion the care of the Navigation School was entrusted to M. Niebour, who had been his assistant for many years, and that of the Observatory to his only son, George Riimker, at that time the Astronomer of the Durham Observatory, and now his successor as Director of the Observatory of Hamburg.

He had visited and been pleased with Lisbon during his earlier voyages, and was induced to select that place for his retreat There, after R residence °f six years, tenderly watched over by his wife, a lady of English birth, and 'be discoverer of the comet VI of 1847, retaining full possession of his faculties, he died on the 21st of December 1862.

Hiving served in the British Navy, and received the medal given to those wbo shared in the battle of Algiers, he was followed to the grave by officers of the British fleet in the Tagus, and by his German friends. He lies buried in a spot chosen by himself, close to Fielding's grave in the cemetery of the church of Estrella.




November 19, 1863.
Major-General SABINE, President, in the Chair.

In accordance with the Statutes, notice of the ensuing Anniversary Meeting for the election of Council and Officers was given from the Chair.

The President stated that Captain L. L. B. Ibbetson, who by reason of non-payment of his annual contribution ceased to be a Fellow of the Society at the last Anniversary, had applied for readmission; and an extract from his letter to the Council was read, explaining the circumstances under which, during his absence on the Continent, the omission of payment had taken place. Notice was accordingly given that the question of Captain Ibbetson's readmission would be put to the ballot at the next Meeting.

William Crookes, Esq.; Frederick Field, Esq.; and John Russell Hind, Esq., were admitted into the Society.

Dr. Alderson, Mr. Busk, Dr. Gladstone, Professor Pole, and Mr. Archibald Smith, having been nominated by the President, were elected by ballot Auditors of the Treasurer's accounts on the part of the Society.

The following communications were read :—■

I- "On Mauve or Aniline-Purple." By W. II. Pbukin, Esq. (See vol. xii. p. 713.)

H. "Notes of Researches on the Intimate Structure of the Brain." —Third Series. By J. Lockhaut Clarke, Esq., F.R.S. (See vol. xii. p. 716.)


III. "A General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars for the Year 1860-0, with Precessions for 18800." By Sir J. F. W. Herschel, Bart., F.R.S. Received Oct. 16, 1863.


This Catalogue contains all the nebulae and clusters of stars which its compiler has been able to find anywhere described, and identified in position sufficiently to warrant their inclusion, with exception of a few which, having been observed by Lacaille or others with telescopes of very small power, have been obviously nothing but insignificant groups of small stars indistinctly seen. The number of objects comprised in it is 5078, including —1st. 2508 nebulae and clusters described by the late Sir Wm. Herschel in his Catalogues of Nebulae communicated to the Koyal Society. 2ndly. Those comprised in the lists published by Messier, discovered by himself, Mairan, Oriani, and others, to the number of 102. 3rdly. Those contained in M. Auwers's list of "New Nebulae" (Verzeichniss neuer Nebelflccke) at the end of his Catalogue of Sir Wm. Herschel's nebulae (about 50 in number), and those few of Lacaille's nebulae which seem entitled to be regarded as such from the description given of them. 4thly. A great many nebulae pointed out by Lord Rosse in his paper in Phil. Trans. 1861, their places being indicated with sufficient probable precision to allow of their being re-observed and identified. 5thly. 125 new nebulae obligingly communicated by M. D'Arrest, of his own discovery, for inclusion in this Catalogue; and some few others (some very remarkable ones) collected from various sources, as announced from time to time by their respective discoverers. And 6thly. 15 nebulae not before described, communcated by Professor Bond, which are included in a small supplementary list. The remainder will be found described and their places (reduced to 1830) given in the Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters communicated to the Royal Society by the compiler in 1833, and in his 'Results of Astronomical Observations at the Cape of Good Hope,' published in 1847.

The places of the objects contained in the present Catalogue were in the first instance brought up by its compiler to the common epoch (1830), availing himself, so far as respects the nebulae of Sir Wm. Herschel's catalogues, of a reduction to 1800 of all the individual observations of each nebula, by his sister the late Miss Caroline Herschel, which reduction, arranged in the form of a catalogue in zones, together with the originals of all the " sweeps" in which the observations are contained, and a synoptic register of those of each nebula in separate sheets for reference, with other original papers elucidatory of the above-mentioned documents, as weU as the whole series of Sir Wm. Herschel's observations of Messier" s nebulae, accompany this communication for future reference.

In order, however, to render the catalogue so compiled available for future observation, it was considered desirable to bring the whole up to a later epoch. The computations necessary for this purpose being very extensive and of a nature to be safely entrusted to other hands, the Royal Society, on the application of the compiler, readily and most liberally consented to supply the funds for defraying the necessary expense of this operation. On consultation with the Astronomer Royal, it was resolved that the places having been first roughly brought up to 1860, the places so obtained should be used to compute the precessions for 1880, by the application of which to the original places the final and exact places for 1860 should be obtained and entered up. This will secure the availability for the use of observations, of the present Catalogue, without fear of material error up to the year 1930 at least. The actual computation was executed by Mr. Kerschner, one of the computists employed at the Royal Observatory, the Astronomer Royal kindly undertaking the arrangement and supervision of the work. The computations were made on printed forms, and are preserved for reference.

The Catalogue is arranged in general order of right ascension—in columns, containing a current general number, four columns of synonyms and references to the original authorities; the right ascension, precession in R.A., and the number of observations on which this element relies; a similar set of columns for the North Polar distance, and a brief description, in abbreviated language, of the object, deduced from a careful comparison inter se of all the descriptions given in the original observations. Lastly, are appended two columns,—the one containing the total number of times the object has been seen by Sir Wm. Herschel and by the author of the present paper; the other, references to a series of notes annexed at the end of the Catalogue, and to a general list of places where engraved figures of the objects will be found.

The notes so appended contain remarks on every particular brought under discussion as affecting the evidence on which the adopted places rest, and whatever else may be considered requiring explanation in reference to each object. In particular they give the results of a very careful comparison of the present Catalogue with the elaborate catalogue (for 1830) of M. Auwers, already mentioned, of the existence of which the compiler was not aware till the whole of the computations had been completed and the present Catalogue arranged and copied out. This comparison has led to the detection (as might very reasonably be expected) of several instances of mistaken identification of stars of comparison, and some few of numerical error, and has so far resulted in the expurgation and improvement of both catalogues.

A general list of figured nebulae, with references to the works in which the figures are to be found, and lists of errata and corrections discovered in the various works consulted, concludes the work.

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