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Astronomical and Meteorological Workers in New South Wales


Lieutenant Dawes

Captain Flinders

Admiral Phillip Parker King

Sir Thomas MacDougall Brisbane

Dr. Charles Stargard Rumker

James Dunlop

P. E. De Strzelecki

Captain J. C. Wickham

Rev. W. B. Clarke, M.A.

Rev. A. Glennie

E. C. Close

Sir William Macarthur

J. Boucher

S. H. Officer

John Wyndham

William Stanley Jevons

Establishment of Meteorological Observatories

Votes and Proceedings, N.S.W., 1848.

Appendix A.

Appendix B.

Appendix C.

Appendix D.

Appendix E.

Appendix F.

Appendix G.

Appendix H.

Appendix I.

Appendix J.

Appendix K.

Appendix L.

Appendix M.

Appendix N.

Appendix O.

Appendix P.

Appendix Q.

Appendix R.

Appendix S.

Appendix T.

Appendix U.



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Sir Thomas MacDougall Brisbane (continued)

The building[3] was not loaded with architectural ornaments, the walls being quite plain, 11 feet high, and 28 feet on each side; the roof was flat, but at each end, north and south, small domes, 11 feet 6 inches in diameter, projected above the flat roof, The east and west walls were entirely without windows, but on the north and south sides there were five windows in each, three being in a circular projection of the wall, which formed half the base of the dome, the other half, inside the building, being supported in each case by four pillars; transit openings were made through the roof on each side of the domes, and carried through the wall to one of the windows, which could he opened, if required, to allow of seeing objects on the horizon. The transit instrument was placed under the western opening, and the mural circle under the eastern one. The 46-inch long achromatic telescope under the south dome, and the repeating circle under the north dome; one dividing wall extended from the entrance, and only door, on the east side, across the building to the west side, so dividing it into two rooms, but as both transit and mural circle were on the south side of this wall, it had an opening in it from roof to floor for each instrument; there was no fireplace, nor any sign that the building was meant for habitation, indeed the instruments were so distributed as to make that almost impossible; later, i.e., in 1832, a residence was built on the west side. When the new transit circle was put up, it was placed on the eastern side of the old building.

The instruments (see Appendices B and G) mentioned in the introduction to the Parramatta Catalogue, as belonging to the Observatory, were, a 5½ feet Transit Instrument, by Troughton; a 2-foot Mural Circle, having a telescope of the same length, by the same maker; a 16-inch Repeating Circle, by Reichenbach; a 46-inch Achromatic Telescope, with equatorial motion and wire micrometer, by Banks; a Clock by Hardy, shewing sidereal time, and another by Brequet shewing mean time. All these instruments were placed on solid piers of masonry. These are all that are mentioned in the Parramatta Catalogue. But Rumker, (Memoirs, Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. III, p. 277), says:— "The pendulum apparatus was made by Fortin of Paris, and brought to the colony by Sir Thomas Brisbane. It consisted of a platinum ball, the cap for the ball (which was attached to it by excluding the air with a little grease); the knife edge suspension with the wire; the steel rod, the supporting plane; the horizontal plane, capable of being elevated and depressed, but there was no standard of length with it"; he then gives a figure of it. And in his astronomical observations (Phil. Trans. 1829, Part III., preface), he, in addition to the instruments already recorded, mentions two instruments for observing the dip and variation of the magnetic needle."

People in Bright Sparcs - Rümker, Christian Carl Ludwig; Russell, Henry Chamberlain

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Russell, H. C. 1888 'Astronomical and Meteorological Workers in New South Wales, 1778-1860,' Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science vol. 1, 1888, pp. 45-94.

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