Thursday 30 June 2022

A Cumbrian Cooke

 I came across a reference to the Rev Robert Curteis Hubbersty (1815-1905)  of Cartmel in what was North Lancashire but now Cumbria who in 1865 purchased a 4.5 inch telescope from Thomas Cooke & Sons.

I have not come across any references to any observational work that he may have done  with the telescope.

Wednesday 29 June 2022

Scottish 5 inch rather than 6 inch Cooke Telescope


Linlithgowshire Gazette Friday 11th June 1909


We have now -arrived at what, about fifty years ago, was considered the cast end of the town. Links House and grounds were situated where now stands the Electricity Works and the house and shop property of Mr Joseph Duguid, joiner.

Links House dates back over 200 years. It was the first Post Office Bo’ness. The roof of the building was constructed of large unsewn trees, tapering away the top. Above the ceiling were large rooms well-floored, and in the cast gable there was a very small window looking down the Forth. In bygone days lights were set in this window as signals to boats carrying illicit trade, and the smuggled goods—-chiefly spirits—were stored tins upper secret chamber.

The house came into the possession of the late Mr Hughes, manufacturing chemist, about the year 1851. Within the grounds he erected an observatory, equipped with six-inch Cooke equatorial telescope, costing about- £l000. Here Mr Hughes spent not only his leisure hours, but many a whole night long, observing the heavens. Optics, astronomy, and mathematics had a great fascination for him, and he kept regularly in employment for about 30 years a thoroughly qualified astronomer, who was known as Mr Clark, the “Clark of the weather.

This Mr Clark was somewhat eccentric and peculiar in his way. He had been a student at Rugby of the eminent astronomer. Dr Pearson whose transit instrument, that gentleman’s demise, had been purchased by Hughes. This instrument was a very costly and delicate one. and the heat of the body affected it very considerably.

Meridian mark was set far away Culross, on the opposite side the Forth, long distance being desirable to reduce any error in adjustment. Mr Hughes prepared large volumes of MS, in connection with, this science, which daily occupied his attention for many years. These writings, however, were never published.

The telescope referred to was actually a 5 inch Cooke telescope not a 6 inch, it was an instrument of this size that was purchased from Thomas Cooke & Sons in 1865.

Monday 27 June 2022

Saturn seen from Sydney with a Cooke


Ernest Wunderlich at the Wyone Observatory, Port Hacking which is about 14 miles south of Sydney observed the occultation of Saturn by the moon on March 14th 1917. The telescope used was a 4.5 inch Thomas Cooke & Sons telescope.

The sky was at the commencement of occultation was, owing to slight haze, rather more luminous than usual, and this caused the loss of the “inner edge of ring” and “first limb” of the ball at ingress. At egress the definition was all that could be desired, but the first edge of ring was decidedly outside the Moon’s illuminated edge before it was noticed, and thus was “lost”.

Sunday 26 June 2022

A Cooke rather than Cooke & Sons Telescope in Australia


James Nangle at Marrickville in New South Wales using a 6.25 inch telescope which I have recently discovered was a Thomas Cooke rather that a Thomas Cooke and Sons telescope observed Mars in 1909.

He described the darkish areas to have a greenish tinge, with the Mars Cimmerium and Syrtis Major looking like the tops of trees in an Australian valley when seen from the top of a mountain. The northern snows were also well seen. There appeared none of the canals that had been drawn by Schiaparelli or Lowell.

On almost all occasions when a great increase in definition was required a screen of mosquito net was placed immediately in front of the object glass. Such a screen is evidently a good idea, since it slightly reduces the glare without interfering with the separating power, that vital point in all detailed planetary observations.

Saturday 25 June 2022

P Eridanus observed in Australia with a Cooke


The star p Eridani (not rho) is one of the most interesting double stars in the southern hemisphere. It is a double stars that had been observed since 1826.

Two astronomers making observations up until 1908, Mr Nangle in Australia using a 6.5 inch telescope and Mr Hirst using a 4.5 inch telescope both made by Thomas Cooke & Sons of York, agree that the distance between the two components of p Eridani are getting closer.

Today we know that the system contains 2 K class main sequence stars orbiting each other every 475 years.

Friday 24 June 2022

Two Cookes observe alpha Centauri from Australia


Alpha Centauri one of the leading double stars in the southern hemisphere was observed from Australia  by G D Hirst using his 4.25 inch Cooke telescope and James Nangle using his 6.25 inch Cooke telescope in  June and July 1906.

Thursday 23 June 2022

Transit of Titan seen with a Cooke


On November 5th / 6th 1907 Mr A B Cobham and Mr G D Hirst in  Sydney, Australia using a 4.5 inch Thomas Cooke & Son telescope saw a dark spot on Saturn. This was afterwards ascertained to be Titan.

They also both commented that they caught glimpse of the edge of the ring at flashes, the impression indicating the extreme fineness and delicacy of the rings when seen edgewise.

Wednesday 22 June 2022

Partial solar eclipse using the 9 inch Newbegin Cooke


The partial solar eclipse of May 28th 1900 was observed using the G J Newbegin 9 inch Cooke telescope with a power of 75 by Mrs Newbegin and Rev T E R Phillips using the projection method. The image produced was 4.2 inches in diameter.

Tuesday 21 June 2022

W M Baxter, sunspots and a Cooke


W M Baxter used a 5 inch Cooke equatorial in Edinburgh to observe a series of occultations of stars during the partial eclipse of the Moon on the night of 16th-17th December 1899. He observed 10 stars before fog and cloud prevented further observations

Thursday 16 June 2022

Sunspots seen by a vicar using a Cooke


In 1896 the Rev J H Jenkinson of St Mary’s vicarage Reading, Berks described a series of sunspot drawings he had made between February and August of that year. 

He used a 4.5 inch Thomas Cooke of York telescope.

Wednesday 15 June 2022

Jupiter seen from Australia with a Cooke


BAA Journal May 1896

I am glad to be able to report that observing conditions generally have been very good with us since the beginning of last month, and that at least one other member besides myself has taken advantage of the good seeing to make drawings of Jupiter. I am unfortunately divorced from my observatory for some months, but have with me in the country an excellent 5-in. Cooke altazimuth as well as accurate time.

I have never hitherto prosecuted a careful and continuous study of the giant planet's surface, and confess to great surprise at the vast and rapid changes that become apparent. This especially struck me first in the case of the N. equatorial belt, the northern and equatorial components of which exhibited alternately dark masses and condensations, divided by white spots after intervals of only five Jovian rotations. On March 13 and 14 there were typical instances of this.

On March 26, 20h 40m, G.M.T., a faint wisp across the equator, was conspicuous, and next night, March 28, 2h 20m G.M.T., was invisible, while the equatorial region near the c.m. showed considerable change. Definition excellent, 4 to 5 on both occasions, power 200. The N. temperate area, however, has puzzled me most, for the three belts often seen have varied much both in visibility and latitude, while with exquisite definition on April 1, at 0h 20m G.M.T., the following portion seemed overlaid with vapour of a sage green tint, and the belts (2) were only faintly visible in their preceding parts,

The Red Spot has been well seen on several occasions of almond shape, the f. end slightly more pointed than the p. Its tint seemed uniform, and a very delicate brick red, like a faint stain. It is overlaid on the S. side by the S. temperate belt, which is closely double through nearly its whole extent, and f. from the centre of the Red Spot is much darkened and sinuous. The great spot's preceding end was estimated on c.m. at 1h 15m G.M.T., April 1, and the following end on c.m. at 21h 52m 36s G.M.T. of same date. In the transit of Satellite I. on February 22, observed at Waverley, near Sydney, with my equatorial, the shadow must have been occulted by the satellite, which is perhaps worthy of note.


Sunday 12 June 2022

M33 photographed by Isaac Roberts using a 5 inch Cooke


BAA Journal Vol 6 No 9 June 1896

NEBULAS.—In KN., p. 158, there is a photograph by Dr. Isaac Roberts of the region of the spiral nebula Messier 33 Trianguli. The centre of the plate is about R.A. 1h 2 8M , Dec. N. 30° 7', and the area of the sky covered is 8.1° from N. to S. and 6.1° from preceding to following, the nebula being in the centre.

The photograph was taken with the Cooke 5-in. lens on November 14, 1895, with exposure of the plate during 2 h 15m .

Saturday 11 June 2022

Partial Lunar Eclipse of 1892 seen with a Cooke


The Partial Lunar Eclipse of May 11-12, 1892. By G. J. NEWBEGIN, F.R.A.S.

The night of May 11-12 turned out so exceptionally clear and fine that (though in 16 ° of Declination) the moon soon became a steady object in the telescope. With regard to the eclipse I decided to take a series of photographs at about half-hour intervals, and to endeavour to secure a permanent record of its several stages. The exposures were made at 9.20, 9.50, 10.30, 11, 11.30 p.m., 12 o'clock midnight, and 12.30 a.m. The periods of exposure were varied, to allow for the decreasing illumination of the moon, viz. :— 20s 20s 30s 40s 30s 20s 20s respectively.

The plates were the Ilford ordinary, developed by hydroquinone. The instrument by which they were taken is a 9-inch Cooke equatorial, aperture reduced to 2-inch for the whole series. The intervals between the exposures were occupied in developing the plates.

Thorpe, Norwich, Nov. 11, 1892.

Friday 10 June 2022

New Observatory in Catania housing a Cooke

 This new observatory in Catania in Sicily which was completed in 1890 is principally for astrophysics, celestial photography, meteorology and seismology.

 There is a 6-inch Cooke telescope fitted with photographic apparatus; Huggins's apparatus for photographing the solar corona; Mascart's apparatus for photographing atmospherical electricity, &c.

Thursday 9 June 2022

A New Clinometer from Thomas Cooke & Sons, York


York Herald Saturday 25th November 1865

A New Clinometer

We (Bombay Builder) have had the pleasure of seeing a most compact and useful clinometer and manufactured by Messrs T Cooke & Sons London and York. We understand the government intends to issue them to the public works department; and we have every reason to believe that the instrument will be generally made use of by the railway and other professional men for trial work.

A gentleman who has used the instrument says, “It is impossible to over rate the advantage of this instrument, A trial path, which would have required weeks to set out by chain and level as it would have been necessary to cut down the jungle and make platforms for the instrument to stand on, was marked out in a few days and with quite as much accuracy.

The only mistakes that can arise are from the accidental slipping of one of the cross pieces , or from moving one of the radial arms of the instrument. It is only requisite to take a glance at the face of the instrument while the hand rests upon the cr0ss piece, to ensure its accuracy. The ease and quickness with which the instrument was used made the marking out of the trail path a pleasure to the observer, who would feel like Pegasus deprived of his wings if he had to do another under similar circumstances with level and chain instead of clinometer.

Monday 6 June 2022

A Cooke for sale in India


Civil and Military Gazette (Lahore) Saturday 3rd January 1891

For sale Owner leaving India

An equatorial telescope of 6 inches aperture by T Cooke & Sons, York driven by clockwork, with stellar and solar eyepieces.

Also the revolving roof or dome (16 feet diameter) of sheet zinc on teak framing, covering the telescope.

H B Hederstedt, late Chief Engineer of the Oude and Rohilkund Railway, Lucknow

The Sun, Argentina and a Cooke


For the year 1908, a fine set of drawings had been sent by Mr Barnett of Rosario, Argentina made with his 4 inch Cooke & Sons telescope of the Sun. 

A close examination of the Stoneyhurst drawings shows an almost exact agreement in the sun spot groups delineated.