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Nov. 27. 1826.-AT
-AT a General Meeting held at the Society's new apartments on the Mound, the following Office-bearers were elected for the ensuing year :
Sir WALTER Scott, President.' Right Hon. Lord Chief Baron. Lord Glenlee.
Vice-Presidents. Dr T. C. Hope.
Dr Brewster, Secretary. Thomas Allan, Esq. Treasurer. James Skene, Esq. Curator of the Museum.
PHYSICAL CLASS. Lord Newton, President.
John Robinson, Esq. Secretary. Sir William Forbes, Bart. Dr Turner.
Counsellors Dr Home.
Sir T. M. Brisbane, K. C. B. for the PhyProfessor Wallace. Dr Graham.
sical Class. LITERARY CLASS. Henry Mackenzie, Esq. President. P. F. Tytler, Esq. Secretary.m! Right Hon. Lord Advocate. Dr Hibbert.
Counsellors for the Sir Henry Jardine.
Lord Meadowbank. Sir John Hay.
Thomas Kinnear, Esq.
s Literary Class.
Proceedings of the Wernerian Natural History Society. 1826, Dec. 2.–At this meeting Professor Jameson read Dr Thomas Latta's Observations regarding the Arctic Sea and Ice, and the intended Expedition of Captain Parry to the North Pole.
Several sheets of the Great Map of the county of Mayo in Ireland, the work of our ingenious and active countryman Mr William Bald, civil engineer, now engraving in Paris, were laid before the meeting ; and the excellent execution of the work (done at one half of the London charges) met with universal approbation.
Specimens of the rare Macartney Pheasant,—a White Sparrow lately shot in Fifeshire,-a specimen of the beautiful Mexican bird called the Quezal,--and of the Lama of Peru, were exhibited ; and various interesting articles from the Burmese country were shewn and described by Professor Jameson.
At the same meeting, the following gentlemen were elected Office-bearers of the Society for 1827.
ROBERT JAMESON, Esq. President. 1
David Falconar, Esq.
Dr R. E. Grant.
Dr John Boggie.
Henry Witham, Esq.
Dr John Aitken.
1. Meteors seen in India. -Colonel Blacker has given the Asiatic Society an account of a singular meteor, having the appearance of an elongated ball of fire, which he observed at Calcutta, a little after sunset, when on the road between the CourtHouse and the Town-Hall. Its colour was pale, for the day
light was still strong, and its larger diameter appeared greater, and its smaller less, than the semidiameter of the moon. Its direction was from east to west, its track nearly horizontal, and the altitude about thirty degrees. Colonel Blacker regrets not having heard of any other observation of this phenomenon at a greater distance, whereby he might have estimated its absolute height. As, however, it did not apparently move with the velo city of ordinary meteors, it was probably at a great distance, and consequently of great size. So long as Colonel Blacker beheld it, which was for five or six seconds, its motion was steady, its light equable, and its size and figure permanent. It latterly, however, left a train of sparks, soon after which it disappeared suddenly, without the attendant circumstance of any report audible in Colonel Blacker's situation. Colonel Blacker concludes his paper with some interesting observations on luminous meteors : and considers them of perpetual recurrence, although day-light, clouds, and misty weather, so often exclude them from our view. Of their number no conception can be formed by the unassisted eye; but some conjecture may be formed of their extent from the fact mentioned by our author, that, in using his astronomical telescope, he has often seen what are called falling stars, shooting through the field of view, when they were not visible to the naked eye; and when it is considered that the glass only embraced one twenty-five thousandth part of the celestial hemisphere, it will be apparent that these phenomena must be infinitely numerous, in order to occur so frequently in so small a space
*. 2. Water-spouts in the Irish Channel.-Mr James Mackintosh, an accurate and intelligent observer, keeper of the Lower Lighthouse on the Calf of Man, in his monthly report to Robert Stevenson, Esq. engineer to the Northern Lighthouses, mentions,
on the morning of Tuesday the 14th November (1826), at a quarter to ten o'clock, he witnessed a remarkable phenomenon. The morning was clear, the wind from the east, inclining a little to the north, when he observed a column of water rising from the sea, off Kegger Point: this column was about the
. On the subject of falling stars seen during the day, see previous Num. bers of this Journal. The work of Brandes affords much information as to the vast number of luminous meteors always moving through the atmosphere.. EDIT.
height and diameter of the lower lighthouse tower (which is 50 feet high, and 18 in diameter), and there was the appearance of a smoke or fine spray on the top. It seemed be in rapid revolution, and likewise made great progress out to sea, maintaining the same figure till lost in the distance. This first column was immediately followed by a similar appearance from the same point, and which took the same direction. Fahrenheit's thermometer was at 46°; and the barometer fell to 28.52 on the evening of Monday the 13th, but had risen to 29.46 when the water-spouts were observed on the morning of the 14th.
3. Winds in the Polar Regions.--A decrease of wind invariably takes place in passing under the lee, not merely of a close and extensive body of high and heavy ice, but even of a stream of small pieces,--and so immediate is this effect, that the moment a ship comes under the lee of such a stream, if under a press of sail, she rights considerably. Another remarkable feature observable in the Polar Regions, at least in those parts encumbered with ice, is the total absence of heavy or dangerous squalls of wind. I cannot call to
I cannot call to my recollection, says Captain Parry, in the Polar Regions, of such squalls as, in other climates, oblige the seaman to lower his topsails during their continuance. -Parry's third Voyage.
We verily believe, that, at the Pole itself, neither wind nor tide, rain nor snow, thunder nor lightning, will be found to exist,--or, if any of them exist at all, it will be in the smallest possible degree.-Barrow.
CHEMISTRY 4. The presence of animal and vegetable matter, or emanations from them, not necessary for the formation of Nitre. M. Longchamp, in a memoir read before the French Academy of Sciences, endeavours to shew, in opposition to experiments considered as correct, 1, That nitrates are formed in places that contain neither animal nor vegetable matter, and which have never been exposed to emanations from animals: 2. That the nitric acid is formed in the open air, in materials which contain not a trace of animal or vegetable matters: 3, That the nitric acid is formed entirely from the elements of the atmosphere.
5. Phosphorus in Kelp.--Repeated trials, we are told, by Von Mons, have proved, that the roundish and longish veins found in the varec-soda or kelp, after the removal of the matter soluble in water has been removed, are principally composed of phosphorus.
6. Geognostical Structure of the Country around Darwar.“ The following geological fact is curious, whether new or not. The eastern part of this country, which we call the Dooab, is composed of granite, which is succeeded to the westward by an immense series of schists, extending the whole way to the sea. But, between the granite and the schists, is a considerable tract of country, consisting of what I would call pseudo-granite, which is the debris of the original granite, again consolidated. It is composed of felspar, quartz, and mica; the grains of which are not angular, like fresh crystals, but are rounded by attrition; and I have a specimen with an imbedded mass of felspar about the size of a pigeon's egg, completely worn into a round bali. From this description, you cannot doubt that this is not original granite. And now for my curious fact: This consolidated debris is almost every where intersected by small veins of quartz, or of quartz and felspar mixed. Nor have these veins originated from subsequent eruption ; for they intersect one another in all directions, and often terminate in two ends, in a small portion of rock. Moreover, this rock often displays, in a slight degree, a schistose structure, especially when acted on by the weather. There are a number of masses of original granite imbedded in this consolidated debris; and, in those places where the latter displays the schistose structure, the imbedded masses have the schistose consolidated debris; or, if you please, the pseudo-granite, surrounding it like concentric lamellæ. These facts appear to prove, that a new arrangement of particles may take place in solid bodies, giving rise to crystallization, and to different kinds of structure in rocks. There is a curious fact mentioned by Dr Clarke, in his Travels in Greece, which strongly confirms this opinion, viz. that the enormous stalactites in the Grotto of Antiparos, which have been formed by the gradual deposition of lime-water, offer concentric layers only towards their superficies, their interior structure exhibiting a complicated