Friday 25 March 2022

Comet Morehouse observed from Australia with a Cooke


James Nangle observed comet Morehouse on March 19th 1909 form his observatory at Marrickville New South Wales. He had a 6.25 inch Cooke telescope.

Nangle described the comet as having a long tail that was distinctly seen. He said that the telescope was not that well equipped for studying comets as the lowest power on the 6.25 inch Cooke was 150 magnification. With this power the comet was a very unsatisfactory object, the head only being slightly visible, and that an indistinctly defined mass showing a bright condensation at the centre.

James Nangle 1868-1941 would go on to become Government Astronomer for New South Wales in 1926. One point of interest about the 6.25 inch telescope is that Nangle refers to the lens of his telescope being made by the elder Cooke. This suggests that this is a pre 1857 telescope made before the firm became Cooke & Sons. It also suggests that the telescope was made for someone in the UK and then made its way to Australia.

In 1910 Nangle worked out that to reduce the glare of an object he was looking at it was useful to place a piece of mosquito netting in front of the lens. Simple but effective!!

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