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some remarks having been made upon the desirability of printing Dr. Holyoke's meteorological journal in extenso, the original manuscript, along with Professor Nichol's letter, was referred to a committee, consisting of Messrs. Hale, Paine, and Gould.
Mr. Everett read extracts from a letter of Professor Schumacher of Altona, stating the conditions required to be observed by the candidates for the medal awarded by the king of Denmark to the discoverers of telescopic comets. As the conditions in respect to the immediate transmission of intelligence to the proper persons are indispensable, and appear not to be well known in this country, Mr. Everett read a translation from the original German, in the Astronomische Nachrichten, No. 400, which, for the sake of wider dissemination, is herewith given in the subjoined note.*
* A gold medal of 20 ducats' value was offered by the predecessor of the late king of Denmark to the discoverer of a telescopic comet. This foundation was confirmed by the late king, by whose authority the following regulations were established:
1. The model will be given to the first discoverer of any comet, which at the time of its discovery is invisible to the naked eye, and whose periodic time is unknown.
2. The discoverer, if a resident in any part of Europe except Great Britain, is to make known his discovery directly to Mr. Schumacher at Altona. If a resident in Great Britain, or any other quarter of the globe, except the Continent of Europe, he is to make his discovery known directly to Mr. Francis Baily, London. – [Since Mr. Baily's decease, G. B. Airy, Esq., Astronomer Royal, has been substituted in this and in the 7th and 8th articles of the regulations. ]
3. This communication must be made by the first post after the discovery. If there is no regular mail at the place of discovery, the first opportunity of any other kind must be made use of, without waiting for other observations. Exact compliance with this condition is indispensable. If this condition is not complied with, and only one person discovers the comet, no medal will be given for the discovery. Otherwise, the medal will be assigned to the discoverer who earliest complies with the condition.
4. The communication must not only state as exactly as possible the time of the discovery, in order to settle the question between rival claims, but also as near as may be the place of the comet, and the direction in which it is moving, as far as these points can be determined, from the observations of one night.
5. If the observations of one night are not sufficient to settle these points, the annunciation of the discovery must still be made, in compliance with the third Messrs. Edward Desor and Charles Jackson, Jr., were elected Fellows of the Academy.
Professor Spencer F. Baird, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, was elected a Corresponding Member.
Three hundred and fifth Meeting. February 1, 1848. — Monthly Meeting. The PRESIDENT in the chair.
Professor Horsford read extracts from a letter from Professor Liebig, communicating the results of some experiments made with a view to determine the permeability of membranes to air, water, and various solutions. He has arrived at the conclusion, that the secretions from the blood-vessels and alimentary canal are directly produced by the evaporation from the skin and lungs, on the one hand, and the pressure of the atmosphere on the other.
Professor Horsford also made the observation, that chloroform, and several other compounds which taste sweet, may be written in the list of the various sweet bodies enumerated in his paper upon Glycocoll. To illustrate this he presented the following formulæ :
article. As soon as a second observation is made, it must be communicated in like manner with the first, and with it the longitude of the place where the discovery is made, unless it take place at some known observatory. The expectation of obtaining a second observation will never be received as a satisfactory reason for postponing the communication of the first.
6. The medal will be assigned twelve months after the discovery of the comet, and no claim will be admitted after that period.
7. Messrs. Baily and Schumacher are to decide if a discovery has been made. If they differ, Mr. Gauss of Göttingen is to decide.
8. Messrs. Baily and Schumacher have agreed to communicate mutually to each other every announcement of a discovery.
Allona, April, 1840.
* For the observation that this and the following four bodies may be included in the series, the author is indebted to his friend Dr. Peirce, of the Cambridge Laboratory
+ The hydrofluate of methylene has a pleasant ethereal smell.
“ It is not to be denied that there are bodies having the number of atoms occurring in sugar, and yet not tasting sweet. Still, the correspondence in constitution among so many bodies, containing such a variety of elements, and all having the common property of sweetness, is an interesting fact. Do sweet bodies owe their sweetness to a common arrangement of their ultimate particles ? or, in other words, Have sweet bodies a common form?
“ It may further be remarked, that the constitution of acids, as sug. gested by Davy in relation to inorganic acids, and applied by Liebig to organic acids, permits them to be written in a common formula =H + x; x representing all that part of the isolated acid not replaced by metal in neutralization. A few examples follow.
+50g = Sulphurous Acid.
“ The interest which attaches to the above formulæ will not be diminished by the consideration, that many bitter bodies, such as aloes, assafetida, myrrh, and the resins in general, have a constitution referable to a single fundamental type. Heldt, in a recent elaborate paper, in Liebig's Annalen, upon Santonine and the formation of resins from essential oils, gives several probable modes of production, which may be expressed in the following formulæ. It will be seen that the constitution is such that a certain amount of hydrogen may be oxidated without the oxidation of the carbon. The general conception of Heldt has been long entertained by chemists, but has, in his paper, for the first time, met with a full exposition.
“ Bitter Bodies.
[Cao H]+[HD] =R.” Professor Peirce communicated the following elements of the “Orbit of Flora, computed at Göttingen, from normal places Oct. 22.5, Nov. 20.5, and Dec. 19.5,” by Benjamin Apthorp Gould, Jr., A. A. S. .
“ Epoch 1848, Jan. 1.0, Berlin Mean Time.