Diagram of the comet of 1858, discovered by Donati, 2 June
In the 19th century there were a number of spectacular or anticipated comets visible to the naked eye that generated significant popular as well as specialist interest. This popular interest and the commercial opportunities it provided are illustrated by this diagram, which responded to the discovery of a new comet by Giovani Battista Donati on 2 June 1858. It made its nearest approach to Earth on 10 October 1858, just five days after this print was published. This diagram was "Delineated from Observations and Calculations made by J R Hind, Esqre & R Farley, Esqre". John Russell Hind (1823-1895), was a former assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and at this date the Superintendent of the Nautical Almanac Office. Richard Farley was an Assistant and Chief Assistant at the NAO between 1831 and 1869. The central dial can be moved round to calculate the position of the comet against the background of the principal constellations. Text on the card gives instructions to the user.
Waller & Deacon
Original size: 330 mm x 305 mm
- Image reference: PT4028
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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