The Great Comet of 1881

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View of the great comet of 1881 as it travels through the night sky past an observatory
The great comet of 1881.
Observed on the night of June 25-26 at 1h. 30m. A.M.
(Plate 11.)

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The New York Public Library

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View of C/1881 K1 (also known as 1881 III), the great comet of 1881, as it travels through the night sky past an observatory. The author gives the following account of his observation[1]:

On July 2d, 1881, at 9 o’clock, the nucleus of comet 1881, III., which is represented on plate XI., appeared sharply defined, bright and considerably flattened crosswise; but half an hour later it had considerably enlarged and had become so diffused that it could hardly be distinguished from the coma, with which it gradually blended. It is perhaps worth mention that, at the time this last observation was made, an aurora borealis was visible. This comet 1881, III., underwent other very important changes of its nucleus, coma and tail. On June 25th, the nucleus, which was bright and clearly defined, was ornamented with four bright diverging conical wing’s of light, as shown on plate XI.

  1. ^ The Trouvelot astronomical drawings manual. Trouvelot, Étienne Léopold. New York: Charles Scribner’s sons, 1882, p. 104.
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