Referee report by J. F. W. Herschel on 'Astronomical Experiment on the Peak of Teneriffe, Carried out under the Sanction of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty' by C. Piazzi Smyth

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                                The intense glare of the atmosphere arising from the 
dust-haze (a very remarkable feature, probably peculiar 
to the Peak & Islands adjacent to the West Coast of Africa,
destroys all hope of doing much on those points at that 
Station. Omit <s>(It does not appear however that Mr. Smyth made any 
attempts to observe the Sun’s image reflected in treacle or 
other viscous & dark coloured liquid, which would probably 
alleviate much of the distress occasioned by the heat & glare 
and constrained position attending solar observations. As 
regards the red protuberances however this would afford no 
aid, a totally different system of proceeding being requisite 
for their successful observation. -<\s>
4th. The question as to the supposed annular form of the 
Zodiacal light (in contradistinction to the usually received 
idea of its lenticular figure) is definitively negatived & a
limit interior to the Earth’s orbit assigned by very definite 
observations. Though I am not aware of any one plausible 
argument in favour of the annular form, yet it is satisfactory 
to have observations made under circumstances so eminently 
favourable in support of the more obvious explanation of 
this appearance. -
5th The Polarization of the light of the Sun, Moon, & Planets is 
negatived - as it clearly ought to be by every law of optics, 
whether the constitution of their visible surfaces be that of 
solids, liquids, clouds or flame - anything in short but blue 
sky (or what in a planet may be analogous) which we know 
sends to the eye at an angle of 90[degrees] from the Sun a feeble percentage 
of the incident light having that character, but which would 
be utterly lost in the totality of the light recieved from the body 
of the Planet, (though it might be sensible in that of a Comet’s 
tail at 90[degrees] of Elongation) On the polarization of the Sky -
- light itself (a phenomenon which however stands in need 
of 
                            
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Manuscript details

Author
Charles Piazzi Smyth
Reference
RR/3/251
Series
RR
Date
1856
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Referee report by J. F. W. Herschel on 'Astronomical Experiment on the Peak of Teneriffe, Carried out under the Sanction of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty' by C. Piazzi Smyth, 1856. From The Royal Society, RR/3/251

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