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Toronto Astronomical Society
Meeting Minutes - 1868 February 2


Regular Meeting Feb 2nd 1869
at the residence of Mr. Winder.

Present:- Mr. Winder, President, Messrs Turnbull, Elvins, Ridgway, Potter, Brant & Clare.
Visitors:- Mrs. Brodie, Mrs Winder, Mrs. Clare, Miss Winder, Messrs Kennedy, Brodie, Scott & Long.

The minutes of previous meeting were read and on motion, adopted.

Mr. Elvins proposed Mr. W. Long as a member of The Toronto Astronomical Club - Referee, Mr. Geo. Brunt.

Mr. Elvins called the attention of the members to the subjects which had been occupying the attention of astronomers since last meeting making reference to Brorsen's and Encke's Comets - the changes taking place in the nebula surrounding Eta in Argus - the late transit of Mercury - and the coming transit of Venus. He also attended to the principal objects of interest visible in the heavens, and suitable for observation, at the time.

Mr. Turnbull, in reference to his Reflecting Telescope in course of construction, informed the meeting that the speculum had undergone some change in curvature, having passed from the parabolic to the hyperbolic curve, that it would be necessary to bring it back to the parabola, that he was giving his attention to it, and was hopeful of the result.

Mr. Winder, having been appointed to read the paper of the evening, vacated the chair, which on motion was taken by Mr. Turnbull.

Mr. Winder then read an original paper on the Spectroscope - its construction and application to celestial chemistry. He commenced by alluding to the deep interest which attached to his subject owing to its being yet in its infancy. He referred to the properties of light, distinguishing between its heating, its illuminatory and its chemical powers - the explanation which the spectrum affords of many problems which without its aid would be very difficult of solution, as, for example, the fact that a blue dress taken while in a photographic picture; the cause of the tremulous motion of heated air by reference was made to the causes producing the Lines of Fraunhöfer, illustrated by diagrams; and an explanation given of the lines which do not coincide with the lines of metals volatilized in the flame of a lamp of the new lines that appear when the sun is near the horizon, and also those which appear near mid-day. The Spectroscope (which is of Mr. Winder's own construction, & varies in some respect form those described by writers on the subject) was explained both as to its structure and its application to various useful purposes. Mr. Winder concluded by calling attention to the large amount of Spectroscope work in store fro the earnest votaries of this department of scientific research.

A number of questions relating to the subject were asked by the members and visitors present, which were answered by Mr. Winder.

Moved by Mr. Brunt, seconded by Mr. Elvins that a vote of thanks be tendered to Mr. Winder for his instructive & interesting lecture.

Moved by Mr. Turnbull, seconded by Mr. Brunt that next meeting be held at Mr. Potter's on the 2nd March.

The club then adjourned.