Friday, October 08, 2010

Tracking the Elusive Lovecraft: 3 June 1909

We have a note, courtesy of David Keller and Mr. Joshi from Lovecraft's astronomical notebook. We have contemporary confirmations, as well. Lovecraft was moon-gazing.

June 3 - 1909. Moon's Eclipse. Clouds interfered but several glimpses were obtained. Total 7.58. {apparently 7.58 means that the total eclipse was to occur at 7: 58 PM - see Greeley et. al. below} Notebook of HPL.

(Click on images below to expand to larger size)

The Recent Lunar Eclipse, June 3.— Owing to the persistent clouds, the total eclipse of the moon which took place on June 3-4 was unobservable in London, but that it was well observed in other localities is shown by the reports now published.

MM. Borrelly and Coggia made observations at Marseilles, the results of which are published in No. 23 (June 7) of the Comptes rendus.

The former noted the exceptional intensity of the penumbra at the beginning of the eclipse, and a seamy appearance of the umbra which gave the front line of the shadow a sinuous appearance. In the telescope the eclipsed moon appeared rose-coloured, but to the naked eye it was red; many of the lunar circles were visible despite the shadow.

M. Coggia observed that on the approach of the shadow's edge, at 12h. 45m. (Marseilles M.T.), Plato took on a red tint, which became redder until, at 12h. 50m., it appeared like glowing charcoal.

Mr. J. H. Elgie writes that, according to his observations, at Leeds, the eclipse was a " light " one; although at its first encroachment the shadow was dead black, when the disc was fully eclipsed many features could be perceived by the naked eye. The shadow was first seen, without a telescope, at about 11.45 PM. Mr. Elgie also directs attention to a curious glow in the northern heavens throughout the night, almost suggestive of an auroral display.

Nature, 24 June 1909, Vol. 80, No. 2069, pp. 502-503

World Almanac 1909

Tribune Almanac, Horace Greeley, et. al, 1909

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