Monday, 9 March 2009

Friday March 9, 1894

R.A.S. Meeting. Shewed photo’s taken with 28in telescope corrected for photography. Also photo’s of Sunspot of February -------- and magnetic disturbances.
Went to Mr W.H. Whites R. Institution lecture on the making of a modern fleet.

William Christie, Astronomer Royal

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R.A.S. The Astronomer Royal shewed trial photos taken with 28in.
Frank Dyson, Chief Assistant
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RH says..... An account of this day's Royal Astronomical Society meeting from The Observatory magazine can be downloaded here. Christie presented the photographs with caution, saying that although they hoped that they had nearly got the adjustment corrected they were still in the experimental stage. As Sir Howard Grubb was in town, having been at Greenwich the day before to discuss the proposed 26-inch telescope, he was present and asked to comment on the lens. Sounding rather defensive, he pointed out that "As this was the only large object-glass I ever had to make without having to make the mounting for it, I was placed under very peculiar circumstances, not being able to try it on a celestial object until it was at Greenwich" but, all things considered, he was pleased with the results. The data about sunspots and magnetic readings was presented by E. Walter Maunder, head of the ROG's Photographic and Spectroscopic Department and one of the RAS's secretaries.
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W.H. White's Royal Institution lecture was reported in The Times the next day. 'The Making of a Modern Fleet' focused on the programme of shipbuilding begun after the passing of the 1889 Naval Defence Act. White reported that all but eight or nine of the 70 ships paid for would be ready for service by the end of the month, the date specified in the Act. It was (according to White and The Times) "an unprecedented feat which no other country in the world could rival".

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