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Since the date of the 1935 Paris meeting two total eclipses have been successfully observed. Throughout the long path crossing Siberia and Japan the weather on June 19, 1936 on the whole about lived up to predictions. On account of widely scattered clouds neighbouring expeditions had quite different luck with the weather. In contrast, the June 8, 1937 eclipse was seen throughout the whole track under universally clear skies, which is all the more surprising for the reason that eclipse expeditions to the tropics usually fare badly with the weather. Stewart and Stokley in a ship at sea were able to observe the eclipse with a measured duration of 7 min. 6 sec., the longest period of totality in 1200 years.
At the first meeting of the newly formed Commission on Spectrophotometry, at Paris in 1935, a thorough discussion, aided by several reports, took place on the principles of this branch of astrophysics. So it will be sufficient now to treat only such special points of theory and practice as have won interest by researches of the last few years.
The president calls attention to the large and increasing membership of Commission 12 and the policy of concentrating in it all matters relating to the sun. The result makes it comparable in breadth of field and in membership to the former Union for Co-operation in Solar Research. The main point in favour of this policy is the increased interest in the meetings of the Commission and the larger number of individuals reached compared with the meetings of small committees. One recalls the general sessions of the Solar Union in which each one present felt himself a part of the Union and in real touch with the work of different sections and after the discussions went away with fuller knowledge of what it was all about. This was a valuable result not attained to the same degree from the general sessions of the present Union, but in a measure it does follow from the meetings of the Solar Physics Committee. On the other hand the question may be raised whether or not the merging of independent commissions into subdivisions of a large commission lessens their interest to an extent not balanced by the advantages. If the present policy holds, it seems to the president that a re-organisation of Commission 12 is advisable by which more responsibility is laid upon the directors of centres. The basis of membership in the Commission may well be considered and recommendations formulated for transmission to the Executive Committee.
The majority of the members of the Commission have been good enough to send in full reports regarding subjects of interest to this Commission. Extracts from them relating to questions which may be the subject of useful discussion at the forthcoming meeting in Paris are given below; references to research undertaken during the last three years, particulars of which are readily available in recent astronomical publications, are omitted.
(i) 1936, June 19. The Eclipse Committees of Japan and the U.S.S.R. have been making preliminary meteorological studies of the weather conditions along the belt of totality in their respective countries. The Japanese Committee report (Bulldin, Kwasan Observatory, 283, 1934) that, while at the extreme east and west of their totality zone the weather prospects are unfavourable, for the central part, along the north-east coast of the island of Hokkaido, from Esasi to Monpetu and in a region round Syari the weather conditions are as good as in the best seasons of Tokyo and Kyoto in an ordinary year. A pamphlet giving all information is being prepared and will shortly be circulated in astronomical circles, but it may be mentioned that Monpetu and Syari are accessible by rail from the port of Otaru. There is electric current, 100 V, A.c., labour is readily available and accommodation will be possible for small parties.
The present report is the first for which this newly-formed Commission has been responsible. In view of this fact, and in view of the still exploratory nature of many investigations in spectrophotometry, as well as the need for the highest measure of individuality in the attack of the not simple problems involved, it would be premature to propose, simple though it might be to do so, any far reaching plans for co-operative schemes of investigation. These undoubtedly will play a part in the later work of the Commission, but what appears to be needed now is a closer definition of the aims of spectrophotometry, and at least a reference to the many branches of the subject where investigation is needed. The present report attempts to deal with these topics in three successive sections, concerned in turn with the unique property of spectrophotometric measures, the fields of application of spectrophotometry, and recent developments in a still incomplete and difficult technique.
Selon les instructions reçues de la part du Secrétaire Général de l’UAI, l’esprit général du présent “Draft Report” de la Commission 17 “La Lune” ne doit plus représenter, comme par le passé, un résumé des travaux effectués dans la discipline au cours des trois dernières années. Son rôle sera de donner un aperçu général sur les aspects et les tendances des recherches sur la Lune, la contribution présente et future de la Commission 17 du l’UAI dans son développement, ainsi que les coopérations dont elle est l’objet ou devrait l’être dans l’avenir.
The problem of escape of atmospheres from the Moon and planets has roots deep in ancient history. Many of the great philosophers of the past regarded the Earth's atmosphere as a medium extending to infinity, with a stationary Earth imbedded at the center. Indeed, it was this concept that led Ptolemy, among many others, to conclude that the Earth could not be moving, for otherwise it would be subject to a gale-force wind caused by its own motion. This idea fostered many of the early stories of interplanetary visitations. Lucian, for example, writing in the second century A.D., has his Icarome nippus fly to the Moon and beyond by means of wings attached to his body.
That the characteristic, quasi-symmetrical structure of planetary nebulae may result from the presence of imbedded magnetic fields has undoubtedly occurred to many astronomers. Gurzadian (1962), for example, employed the widely used equation
where p is the pressure of the ionized gas and H the magnetic-field intensity. This equation specifies that the sum of the gas and magnetic pressures should be constant for a given value of the radius.
The occasional appearance of a red giant or long-period variable in planetary nebulae poses a problem for theoretical astrophysics. Such a cool nuclear star would not ordinarily provide a source of ultraviolet radiation necessary for the excitation of the spectrum of a gaseous nebula.
One possible solution of this problem postulates the existence of intense magnetic fields in the star. Second, the star itself has a structure resembling that of a miniature, highly compressed planetary, with a high-temperature nuclear star at the centre and a distended atmospheric shell enveloping chiefly the stellar equator.
The magnetic field induces a sort of pumping action that creates the tire-shaped envelope from matter ejected near the poles. As this shell grows denser, it radiates like a stellar photosphere at low temperature. Eventually the shell becomes unstable and disperses outward to form and maintain the nebula. A quasi-periodic situation occurs, which explains the variation of light. Ultraviolet light absorbed during the minima, when the shell has vanished, adequately accounts for the nebular excitation. A wide variety of such symbiotic stars occurs, including repeating novae as well as the long-period variables.
Theoretical techniques are developed to study compressible, steady-state, magnetically aligned gas flows in sunspot regions. The flows are adiabatic and occur in a known streamline configuration. The non-linear parabolic partial differential equation describing the flow reduces to an ordinary linear differential equation. The solutions are briefly discussed.
The radio-frequency emission observed in solar bursts cannot reasonably be interpreted as thermal radiation. Its origin is to be sought for rather in terms of co-operative behaviour of systems of charged particles. In any case, we cannot avoid having to examine the physical consequences that arise from such co-operative behaviour.