Wednesday 23 June 2021

Australian Cooke


York Herald Thursday 22nd March 1877

Important Astronomical Observations by means of a York telescope

Strange news has been recently received from an Australian observatory (Adelaide). It might be described as revolutionising our ideas respecting the largest of the planets, were it not that the careful study of much older observations had already led the more advanced students of astronomy to adopt the theory which has now been demonstrated by direct observation.

Adelaide Observatory late 19th century

During the last eight or none years the belief has been gaining ground that the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn are in a state of intense heat and enwrapped in atmospheres of enormous depth and density. In fact it may be said that according to the new theory we never see the actual body of either Jupiter or Saturn, but only the outermost surfaces of the cloud layers; the real surfaces lying, not a few miles, or a few hundred miles but several thousand miles below the cloud surface measured by astronomers.

It has been shown that all the phenomena presented by the two gas giants planets correspond with this theory, whereas not one in ten can be explained by the older theory.

Fortunately in the case of Jupiter, we have evidence we have evidence from the Adelaide Observatory where a fine (8 inch) telescope by T Cooke & Sons of York has been erected, and where a singular purity of air greatly assists astronomical observation, two practised observers (Mr Todd and Mr Ringwood) on two different occasions, both observing on each occasion saw the nearest of Jupiter’s satellites through the outer layer of the planet’s cloud laden atmosphere, which must, therefore, of necessity, be at least 2,000 miles in depth.


In his book ‘Flowers in the Sky’ Richard Proctor makes references to this observation by Mr Todd and Mr Ringwood.

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