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A DESCRIPTIVE TREATISE UPON THOSE BODIES.
A CONDENSED ACCOUNT
THE NUMEROUS MODERN DISCOVERIES
A TABLE OF ALL THE CALCULATED COMETS,
From the Earliest Ages to the Present Time.
J. RUSSELL HIND,
FOREIGN SECRETARY OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON;
AND FORMERLY OF THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY, GREENWICH.
THERE is perhaps no branch of astronomy in which our knowledge has progressed more rapidly of late years than that relating to the Comets, but I believe there is not at present any special descriptive work upon the subject. In treatises on the science of astronomy generally, the space allotted to the Comets is usually very limited, and many interesting points connected with their history are necessarily passed over unnoticed. I have endeavoured, in the following pages, to supply the want of an elementary treatise upon these bodies, and to place before the reader a popular account of the discoveries which have been made in the cometary department of astronomy in modern times, and a brief description of the most remarkable comets recorded in history. The facts which are here collected together are, for the most part, scattered through many works of a purely scientific character, usually in foreign languages, and not known or easily accessible to the general reader. The Catalogue of the elements of the Orbits of Comets, with the accompanying Notes, will, it is hoped, be acceptable to the young student, as presenting in a small compass the results of a vast amount of time and labour which various astronomers have expended upon them.