AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, NEW YORK

1880 Science  
P'rofessor Eggleston, Rev. D)r. Trimblc, Arkansas; Professor Daniel S. Martin, RItger's ('ollege, with many others. Thc additions and iml)rovements since thc last reception, in May of the present vear, mav be briefly summarized as followvs: In the lower hiall the ilinney and lBland collection of land and fresIl water shells formied a nev feature. It contained the typ)ical specimens that are to be met with in the vorks of those autlhors, and was presented by twelve mcmibers. The wh)ole was
more » ... ed in a desk case, placed between cases IR anid K. Biesides this the skeletons of tiiree Australians were there to chiallenge the attention of scientists. 'These interestinig specimnens were the gift of Mr. Mlorris K. Jestl), and maly be inlsl)ected in case A. In the main hall, tihC lMaximilian collection of birds, attracted the attention of visitors ; they hlave been re-mounted oni tile new stands described in an article in " SCIENCE," October 7 last, under the title of " lirdl Furniture, by Dr. hIolder, the Assistant Suiperintendenit. WVe direct the atteintion of those makinig collectionis of Natural I listory specimens, to tihese stands; the ' are inexpensive, and possess many advtantt.ges. T'lhe Noi-tih Amiiericani collection w;as increased by six hulntdred specimens. 'T'he gallery stairway sliowed a detailed ethnological inap of Africa, dra%wn on a large scale by l rofessor lBicknmore. Thie ad(litions to the Etthnologicail Collection from tile South Seas conisist of a war canoe (case No. x), New Zealand weapons and carvings (case No. 3) arid stone axes fromii New Gtiinea (case No. 4). The set of ornanments and carvings from BIritish Columbia, presented by MIr. II. R. Blishop (case M1), proved to be interesting, as many items were include(d which appeared unfamiliar to most peol)le presetit. The (Geological I lall rcceived seveni geological maps of E,astern Nortlh America, sotime E,ncrinites and other fossils from vAriotis formations. Cases A, B; C, 1) and E were re-arranged and labelled. In the desk cases specimenr.s were placed which served to illtistratc Dana's " Alanual of Geol-ogy^." The rearrangement an( laIbelling of the portions alltided to are a considerable improvement. Altogether the several collections and their belongings presented the appearance of being well kept aned arranged accrding to the l)cst scieitific princil)les. The trustees say that thc elevated railroad has b)r-ught a greatly incrcased numnberof visitors to the Mluseumi, aind thyc hope to mnake it still more attractivc as a Iplace of instructive amltuscimcint. It has becen suggested that sUcii advanced clatsses of the highier sclhools an(d colleges as are making a regular stti(ly of naturall history could find in thtis collectiont an exceilent opportunity for advancinig thiemiiselves in tliheir chosen branch of CdIcation. If lprofessors or teaciers wotild accomiipany thicir im. pils periodically thlrotugih the MItmscuin, giving progiessive lectiures on thc difierenl)t subjects presenited for consideration, it is believed that the resuilts wotild, tinlder all aspects. be most l)enelicial. ASTRONO)MICAL NOTES. I)r. IV. L. Elkin hals made a re-discussion of the variois series of observations of a Centauri for the deterininiation of the value of its p)arallax. rhese incitide time observations of I lenderson, SMaclear. MSoesta, and I,. J. Stone. icsides a recomputation of thec absolute parallax, I)r. Elkin lhas selected the observations which were made on niglhts wlhen both a and / Centauri were observed, and fromi tlhese: detcrinined their relative )parallax. 'hlc discussion inicludes a newv determination of the orbit of a considercd as a dotble star, as well as a discussion of the relative proper motions of a and ,3. From a carefuil examination of eaclch series hc concludes that Maclacr's is the only one worthy of confidence. le finds that, altlioughi the probable error of 223 Moesta's series is small, the annual variation may be ac. counted for as the effect of changes in temperature. Maclear's observations give for the relative parallax of a and j3: o'.so+o'.o. Dr. Henry Draper has succeeded in photographing the bright part of the nebula in Orion in the vicinity of the trapezium-The photographs show the mottled appearance of this rcgioni distinctly. They were taken by the aid of a triple objective of eleven inches aperture made by Alvan Clark and Sons, and corrected especially for the photographic rays. The exposure was for fifty minutes. A detailed description of the negatives has not yet been published, but will be soon. 0. S. The large comet discovered by Prof. Lcwis Swift on the night of Octer ioth in R. A. 21 h. 30 m. north declination 17 30', is now in excellent position for observation. On October2lst it followed the fourtht magnitude-star K Peqass by somewhat less than I . At 8 11. WVashington m. t., I determined its position by the aid of a ring micrometer, R. A. 2 11. 42'4 m. Dec. + 25' i'. The following night, October 22d, its position was at 1o h. 0o m. R. A. 21 h. 44 m. 3 sec-eCC. + 26' 2. It is moving moderatcly fast in a north. easterly direction. It was observed again on the nights of October 23d and 24th. The coniet is perfectly transparent. At each observation it passed over a number of small stars, 8 or 9 mag., thiese were seen through its very centre ; they wereslighltly dimmlie(d by the mnaterial of the comet. It appeairs large an(d diflused with a slight conidensation at the imiddlle or time preceding side, with probably faint evidences of a ditfiused tail. It caii be secii wtitlm a very small telescope, being plainly visible on time 24th in il)y i ' in. finder. NASI\V1L1.FmE, TExN.N., Ocit/be) 25. B'0TA~NY. 'The first annual Report tipoin Useftil and Noxiotis Plants, presenltedl by I'rofessor T. J. lBurrill to thie Illinois State Bloaid of Agriculture, contains a paper suggestinig the milore genmermal ciultivation of the Catal pas (Cala/paz bit)nonioides.) Professor lBiuririll states : " I write ' these trees' advisedly, blelievinlg that tImc two kindls niow known as lihe conmimlon atnd the hardy, or the casterni or souitileril indl thic western, are really (liflecrent spe)cies. T'le wonder is that botanists hlad ilOt loInKg ago detected( this diffkrence and that in our manuals of botanyi the two lhad ntot been giveIl inider specific ntaines. At Urbalna, Ill., in i88o, the one came into flower thec first week in Jtt-ie ; time other was tlearlv thIree weeks later, beitig inl ftill floWer ablotit Jlille 24thl. They dilkcr in otlier respects (Iiuite as iiltcl as well reciogilized species of oak, ash aii(l cottonI-wood ; ililticiI iuite than described species of wvillow. lBit (Ca/tapa /binozonid(.s, Wait., is the Oilly itaiine t) lie fouittid in the Orrdi iary books, devote(l to thellial;, ill whiomle or patrt, of N'tilh Amtle-rica. In 1853 D)r. W\arder(, of (O)hio, noticing tle FIShowy) Ilowers of Simmie (rees ait I)Davto1 0)io, andl Siutpposing theelt to lie aI f,t' of tile well .k nown speci-s with thtis p' cliaritv, named tele variety st.e 1(s0. It n111w app(-ars that this large flowered kinidi iS tleit ('1111110o11ilinhig1o0i1S fotlll1 fotliid ill tIlStates of Indiati, Illinlois, Kentutmcky, Tenimessec', 'Viscomusiii, Arkallsas, tetc., aili lbitamiists will dotiless leilcceforib write catalpa spei.tu, WVardtr, ais a dlistinict species. Contrasted Xwitii (Cal/tal /biq,-'nwid,hls thefmlovers are carlier and larger; thte seed pods are larger ; thc bark is darker, and clots 11ot s(cIale off giving cliiitta d ifhr-nt aspectn)o the trttink of a imature specimien ; time growthi is mtiore er-ect. catisiing a better lole and linerl he-ad, and time tree is inot so liable to be kl ledi 1b) time sevem itics of winiter. Added to all tihis the tre.-e-s are SO .clharacteristicalily difleremit that anyone cani readily distiigtisim theimi. hIi C. bi"Znwtioides tiey are na.tr. row ani( time frinige of tIme wving is close anti pointed ; in C. spc.,dusa time larger se-ed Ihas a wider wiing, termimiated at eat-li -iidn with a broad frinige of softer hairs. Umifortuinately moiist of time cultivated ( Catal pa trees in Illiilois have betemll of tie temider slecies, cundi, atlhotiglh tile lvclodeful dturability
doi:10.1126/science.os-1.19.223 pmid:17737275 fatcat:ur4ynpvwpneidgmwliynm2n6em