which I mall ever be ready to give every affiftancs Their most obedient
in my power; and that it is with the highest

And moit humble servant,
respect and admiration for their conduct that I

RICHMOND, &C have the honour to be,

To Licui. Col. SHARMAN.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


Collected from the Philosophi al Ironsafiions of the Royal Society of London, the Me

moirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences ai Paris, and other periodical Publications,
both foreign and domeftic. To which are added the opinions of lome of the most cor
lebrated Philosophers concerning the nature and properties of theje Meteors.

(Concluded from our lajt, page 456.) IN N the 477 th number of the Philoso- Somerset-house in the Strand, London;

phical Transactions, a gentleman which made its course nearly from the who figns C. M. (perhaps Cromwell S. E. to N. W. its height seemingly Mortimer, M. D.) says, as he was crof. not half a mile. The head and body sing the parade in St. James's Park, on emitted an extremely lucid and white the 16th of December, 1742, about fiame, and the tail was of a transpa40' paft 8 at night, he saw a light rise rent blue, like the fame of sulphur. from behind the trees and houses in Mr. Chalmers, of his Majesty's ship the S. by W point; which he took at Montague, then under the command of first to be a large sky-rocket; but when Admiral Chambers, being in lat. 42.48 it had risen to the altitude of 20', N. long. 9° 3' W. on the 4th of Noit took a direction nearly parallel to vember, 1749, about ten minutes before the horizon, not altogether in a straight noon, as he was observing the sun's line, buc fuipewhat waved, and went meridian altitude, was called to by one on to the N. by E. o'er the houses. of the quarter-inaiters to look to windIt seemed so near, that he thought it ward. He did, and saw a large ball paffed orer Queen's Square, the island, of blue fire, rolling on the surface of and canal in the Park, and he loft fight the water, and about three miles from of it over the Hav.market.

them. They inmediately lowered tion was fo flow that he had it above down their topfails, and inanned their half a minute in his right; and, con fore and main clew-garnets, in order fequently, had time enough to CH to haul up their courses; but it came template its appearance tolls. lis down on them so fuft, that before they head was about 30' of a degree in dia- could raise their main tack they saw it meter, was of a bright flame, which rise from the ica almoit perpendicular seemed to turn backwardi, as if froin to it, and nut above forty or fifty yards the relistance of the air, and of the co

from the main chains. It went off lour of burning charcoal, with some with an explosion, as if forne hundreds opaque stripes on it, like the bands of of cannon had been fired at one time, an iron frame tbat contained the fiery and left so strong a smell of briinstone, matter. There iliucd from is a train that the ship seemed to be nothing but or tail of ñre, about 30 in length, and fulphur. After the noise was over, one eiglıth of a degree in breadth, which did not last longer than half a that was bright twards the heat, but fecond, they looked up, and saw their fainter towards its extremity.

main-top-mnast hivered into an hun. On the 27th of May, 1944, at 11' dred pieces, and the main-maft rent paft 11 at night, a ball of fire was seen quite down to the heel. Some of the by Mr. Cradock, from the terrace at spikes that nailed the tith to the main,


Its mo

mast were drawn out of it with such or three miles from him. The beauty force, that they were stuck into the and splendor of its nucleus, particumain-deck fo fait, that the carpenter Jarly the fore-part of it, furpaffed all was obliged to use an iron crow to the fires he ever saw; being, he says, of draw them out. They had five men a bright silver colour; its tail was the knocked down, and one of them greatly colour of a burning coal, but rather burnt by the explosion. They thought fainter. The nucleus appeared to him that the ball, which appeared of the under an angle of more than 2°; and size of a mill-ftone, struck the middle its tail was of 21 degrees. He loft of the main-top-inatt, as the top of fight of it in a cloud, not above 200 that maft, above the hounds, was not above the southern part of the horizon; splintered. They had had a very liard but a friend of his being about four gale of wind from the N. by W. to the miles more southerly, saw it again after N. N. E. for two days before the ac- it came out of that cloud, till it entered cident happened, with a great deal of another. The weather had been exrain and hail, and a large fea from the ceeding hot all the preceding part of northward, but no thunder or light- the month. ening either before or after the ex On the 26th of February, 1754, at plosion. The ball came from the N. 10" 55' apparent time, Mr. Hinit, F. E. and went to the S. W.

R. S. coming down the hill adjoining On the 22d of July, 1750, and about to the fouth fide of Hornsey-church, 20' past nine at night, a ball of fire found himself suddenly surrounded was seen by Mr. William Smith, of with a light equal to that of the full Peterborough, and others, between that moon, though the moon (which was place and Werrington, a village about then four days old) had been fet near two miles to the N. W. of that place. an hour. He turned round to that He saw it first on his lett hand, about quarter from which the light came, and 20° high, moving from N. W. to s. had a distinct, though Mort view of a W. It was bigger than a star of the ball of fire, which, when he firft saw it, first magnitude, and not much unlike was about 15° high, and bore W. by a rocket; haring a tail of light, to N. 'The path of its descent was not his conception, about 32 feet long. It perpendicular to the horizon, but made mored in a straight line, horizontally, an angle of 80° with it, so that it sunk and its motion through the air was a below the horizon at W. N. W. It moved little swifter than that of a pigeon, with great velocity, so that its continuhawk, or duck. He had fight of it ance above the horizon was not much for about three-quarters of a minute, more than 2''; but short as its duration and then loit figlit of it behind soine was, its size and shape night be welldistrees. It was seen also by several cerned; and Mr. Hira judged that the persons on the south side of Peterbo- diameter of its nucleus,or head, was about rough, who


the same account of half that of the full moon, when pretty it: also at Bourne, which is twelve high, and its tail, which terminated in miles N. W. of Peterborough, as well a point, seemed not longer than twice as in Borough Fen, which lies a con the diameter of its head. Neither its fiderable way to the N. E. of it, on appearance nor exit was attended with the same hand, of the same form, any noise; nor did it leave any lumiand moving in ihe same direction.

nous track behind it. 'There is some This meteor was also feen at Nor- reason to believe this meteor was seen wich, by Mr. William Arderten, F. in Ireland; but the accounts which R. S. and many others, at nine o'clock were given of it were so extra agant, in the evening, true time. Mr. Ar- that no reliance could be placed on them. derton says its direction was nearly On Sunday, the 26th of November, from N. to S. and it moved with great 1758, a very remarkable meteor, of the velocity. When due east of him, he kind I am now giving accounts of, was judged it to be about 30° high; and scen almost all over England and Scotby its distinctness not more than two land, as well as fome parts of Ireland,




about nine o'clock at night, the track towards a point of the horizon, which, of which that excellent philofopher, as Mr. Mitchell found afterwards, lore the late Sir John Pringle very care N. 23° W. the head, which went forefully investigated: and I shall give moft, was of a bright white, like iron, the substance of the information which when almost of a melting heat, but it he received in as short a compass as I emitted no sparks; and its diameter possibly can.

was about half that of the moon. It The most southerly place in this had a tail, which was about a hith part island that we certainly know it was the breadth of the head; and this tail seen at was near Ilchester, a town in was longest when the meteor was about Hampshire, about 45 statute miles W. 27° high, and might then be about 60 S. W. of London. It was seen there long. When the head was about ge by three countrymen; but the Rev. or 70 high the tail burst; and, afterDr.Shipley, then minister of that parish, wards, appeared like three small balls, took great pains to ascertain the cir- following the head, or large one, uncumstances, by taking the men to the til they defcended below the horizon. place, and making them point them The light, according to all these chout, and the different situations, by the servers, was such, that the minutes obobjects that were round them, and jects might be discerned on the ground; taking the altitude and bearings with and when the tail burst, the light was proper instruments. They described it so great to the Cambridge observer as to be at its first appearance of the size to dazzle his The time was of a large fhooting Itar; but its motion about half past eight o'clock. much slower: that its direction was Following the meteor northward, it northerly, declining towards the hori was next seen by Lord Derby's garzon, and leaving a stream of light behind dener, at Knowiley, about seven or it. In its progressit grew larger, so that eight miles from Liverpool. He said at last it became as broad at the great he saw a ball of fire, of half the end as a man's head, was of a conical breadth of the moon, moving horizonfigure, with the point upwards, and appa- tally east, a little inclining toward the rently about five feet long. They further north, with a hilling noise. . That a related that, a little before it reached the train of light followed it, which being horizon, it burst into a flame resemblinga foon collected into a body, it burft; flash of lightening, and then immedi- part seeming to fall down like itars, ately disappeared. Dr. Shipley found and the relt vanilhed. He thought he from their description, that it burit at saw it for two minutes. Others, in the altitude of about 1° 15', and bearing the fame neighbourhood, describe it N. 35o W. The time could not be as a ball of tire which rose in the east, determined.

appeared to increase in size for some It was seen by a person between time, and then burst without noise. Thorpe and Colchester in Effex, who Its direction, they say, was towards the says its direction was from N. W. to north. S. E. its motion very swift, its body

At Cockermouth, in Cumberland, not so large as the full moon, but more it was described to be as big as the bright; and that it left a train of light moon when high; but much brighter: behind. He did not see it break into that it had a tail of a conical form; Atars, like a rocket; but it seemed to and the light very intense. Its motion fall whole into a wood.

was towards the N. W. and very swift. In the neighbourhood of Cambridge None of the preceding observers heard it was seen by two persons; from one

any explofion. of whom the Rev. Mr. Mitchell, then The same meteor was seen at Carlisle, fellow of Queen's-College, collected, at the altitude of 32o, when it bore with great care, the circumstances at- N. 41° W. moving towards the N. tending it. When they first saw it, it W. and it burit at an altitude of 8°: was at least 70° high, and it appeared about a minute after which two very 10 he moving directly from the zenith loud reports were heard, as of cannon LOND. MAG, Dec. 1783.


3 R

fired at two or three miles distance, and, wise, and fa.dit was a ball of fire, about immediately after, a rumbling noise as big as the fun, with a tail as long as in the air, which continued for at least her arm; and that it pafled almoft ditwenty feconds. It appeared here of a rectly over her head. That it burit conical forn, the head being about without noise into sparks, which fell fourteen inches diameter, and the down, and, as she thought, alınost reachlength about five yards. It continued ed the tops of the houtes. in light about twenty-five feconds; and The Rev. Mr. Turnbull, minister of its path was wholly to the westward of Abbotrule, a parish about forty-four thai city. The report was also heard, miles N. E. by E. of Dumfries, was though I do not find that the meteor fitting in his parlour, which had a S. W. was seen, at Stone-garthside, a place window, about nine o'clock at night, about fifteen miles N. by E. of Car- and saw a fan of lightening, as he lifle. The noise is said to be much thought it to be, but was surprised at louder than the report of any heavy its colour and permanence. However, camon, and it continued about feven having no thoughts of any thing else, or eight feconds.

he waited in expectation of a ciap of The meteor was also seen to burft thunder; accordingly, at the end of when bearing N. W. by N. at Butterby, five or fix minutes, be heard an exploabout'a miie fouth of Durhain; but no fion, not indeed so much like thunder, noise was heard there. It pafled a little as the crathing noise of a house falling weit of Newcastle, about nine o'clock, down: and being perfuaded that this was moving northward; and appeared to really the case, and that the gable-end be about the fize of a man's head, with of his own had fallen down, he ran out, a tail of two or three yards long. but found no damage done; and the

The Rev. Mr. Henderson, vicar of evening was very fine, and without Felton, a village about twenty-four clouds. miles N. N. W. of Newcastle, faw it The best account by far, that we had a little after nine o'clock. The road of this meteor from Scotland, was given was instantiy enlightened, so that he by James Turnbull, a farmer at Ancould have ieen a pin. Its head was cram. Ancram is a village about thirtye the tize of a fix or feven pound Mot; two miles S. E. of Edinburgh. This and it had a tail like a comet, of about very intelligent person was just going a yard long. The relocity was very into his house, which fronts the S. E. great, and the time he saw it not above about nine o'clock at night, and faw tix or seven seconds; but his view was the whole side of his house fuddenly confined by a hili on one side, and trees enlightened with a brightness, as if of on the other. Its path was towards funthine. He turned quickly about, to the N. W.

fee what might be the cause of it, and It was feen at Dumfries in Scotland, law a globe of fire, the diameter of which is a few miles N. of Solway which might be about half or two firth, and 30 N. W. by W. of Carlitle, thirds that of the moon when the is by a young man, who was in a room pretty high. It came from the S. E. by looking .. E. and who described it to S. and, as he thought, directly towards be about as large as a middle fized max. him. He had scarcely tiine to think According to his report, its direction before it patted by him with great was from S. E. to N. W. and the swiftness, and very high in the air; broadeft part went foremost

. As it and when it came opposite to the gable proceeded, part of the tail was fepa- end of his house, he then faw the rated from the reft; but he thought true figure of it: namely, that it was

Itill followed the rest for some perfectly round at its great end, which time, and then burft to pieces, as it went foremost, and tapered for three split by gunpowder, but without noise, or four yards, as he thought, to a bln the body kept its course as far point. It pafled to the south-west of as he could fee it. 'A lady, who was his zenith; and when it had fu dune, in the firect at this place, saw it like and bore W. by N. about one-third


that part

part of it, toward the small end, broke from the west, a little northerly; towards off, separated into sparks of fire, and the east, a little foutherly. That it palied immediately vanished; while the re very near his zenith; but, if any thing, mainder of it proceeded forward, until to the north of it. That it appeared to is bore W. N. W. when it vanished him nearly as large as the full moun, alio, and the former darkness return when three or four hours hig!. That

The whole time that this perfon it was perfectly spherical, without tail, faw the mx teor, he thinks, might be but emitted, or dropped, sparks of vaabout a minute; but one may reasona- rious colours and magnitudes; and bly conclude, from some circumilances that its light resembled the fame which in his own relation, that it muit have arises froin burning spirits. The time been much less. After he got into the was about nine o'clock, and the night house, he looked at his watch, and very dark indeed. It may be proper found it to be s pait nine o'clock; to add, that after Dr. Mackenzie heard and in about five minutes more he his account differed to widely from heard a noise like a clap of thunder, others, he went again to the place where with fome continuance; and others of he saw it, revised all his bearings, and his neighbours heard alío a noise, but returned perfectly satisfied with the comparui it to the crash of a house fal- truth of them, as first related. ling down: one in particular ran out, It did not appear that this meteor thinking that the gable end of his own was seen out of the island of Greathouse and that of his neighbour's had Britain, except by a few perfons on actually tumbled down. Mr. Turn the eaitern coalt of Ireland; and all the bull could not speak positively to the information Sir John could get

froin height of the neteor when it patted thence, was an extract from a register him, but was certain it was pearer the of the weather, kept hy Mr. Thomas zenith than the horizon: and, by com- Garret, of Iliand- Bridge, near Dublin, piring its path afterwards, with itla- which runs thus: țion to the gable-end of his house, it Nov. 26th, 1758. Ilard blowing was found to have been about 589 Weather: wind at S. E. At " 15/22 bigh.

globe of fire moi cd from south to Sir John received any letters from north, as large, in appearance, as the the fouth-east parts of Scotland), all in full inoon; hut of a golden colour. It general agreeing with the above, but broke and dispersed like a starry rockti, wone of thein particular caough 10 nearly before the wind. When due merit a recital here, except that Mr. east, it was about 17°, abore the hoSimion, jun. 3 minifter, at St. Andrews, rizon. No sound was heard; and Mr. which is about 1 miles N. E. by N. Garret saw it but a few feconds; but cf Edinburgh, taw the furit appearance Emanuel Miller, a neighbour, faw it of the ineteor about S. E. anci as they from the beginning to the end, and afterwaris found, about 15° high. thought it was visible about haif a It appeared to him about as large as minute; and that it moved with less the full moon, at fier greatuit height; rapidity than falling itars commonly and he faw no tail, nor heard any nife. do.

The meteor was not been in any of from these observations it may reathe N. E. parts of Scotland; but I dily be computed that this ineteor could must not omit to obterre that it was noi be much less than one hundred feen on the N. W. wait of that king- miles high when it made its first apdom, at a place called Flowerdale, in pearance over Cambridge. That it Rorshire, by Dr. Alexander Macken- directed its course N. w. by N. nearly, zie, a phylician in that part of the ant, perhaps, in a straight line, but inujiand, as his observation corroborates clining a litels towards the plane of the very Irongly thoko made at Colchefer horizon, until it was vertical 10 foine in Lfx, and at knowley, near Li- place a little to the fouthward of the veipoul. Dr. Mackenzie luvs that its city of Glasgow; where part of it motion was very rapidl, and its direction - broke off, and dilparicd in bright


3 R2

« ElőzőTovább »