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THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY COMET.
Professor Hind, of the British Nautical Almanac Office, recently sent an interesting letter to the London Times on the comet depicted in that famous piece of embroidery known as the Bayeux Tapestry. Probably no one of the great comets recorded in history has occasioned a more profound impression upon mankind in the superstitious ages than the celebrated body which appeared in the spring of the year 1066, and was regarded as the precursor of the invasion of England by William the Norman. As Pingre, the eminent cometographer, remarks, it forms the subject of an infinite number of relations in the European chronicles. The comet was first seen in China on April 2, 1066. It appeared in England about Easter Sunday, April 16, and disappeared about June 8. Professor Hind finds in ancient British and Chinese records abundant grounds for believing that this visitant was only an earlier appearance of Halley’s great comet, and he traces back the appearances of this comet at its several perihelion passages to B.C. 12. The last appearance of Halley’s comet was in 1835, and according to Pontecoulant’s calculations, its next perihelion passage will take place May 24, 1910.
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LACK OF SUN LIGHT.
Some interesting information as to the way in which the human system is affected under the peculiar conditions of work in mines has been furnished by M. Fabre, from experiences connected with the coal mines of France. He finds that the deprivation of solar light causes a diminution in the pigment of the skin, and absence of sunburning, but there is no globular anaemia—that is, diminution in the number of globules in the blood. Internal maladies seem to be more rare. While there is no essential anaemia in the miners, the blood globules are often found smaller and paler than in normal conditions of life, this being due to respiration of noxious gases, especially where ventilation is difficult. The men who breathe too much the gases liberated on explosion of powder or dynamite suffer more than other miners from affections of the larynx, the bronchia, and the stomach. Ventilation sometimes works injury by its cooling effect.
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By means of igneous fusion the authors have succeeded in reproducing two types of crystalline associations, which, in their mineralogical composition and the principal features of their structure, are analogous, if not identical with certain oligosideric meteorites. The only notable difference results from the habitual brecchoid state of the meteorites, which contrasts with state of quiet solidification of the artificial compounds.—F. Fouque and Michel Levy.