John Farrar's minutes

(in John Winthrop and A. Oliver, Two Lectures on Comets, 1811)

September 18, observed a kind of dark ground, round the head, for the space of four or five times its diameter, and then a luminous appearance, somewhat resembling a halo, on the side opposite to the tail, very apparent, even through an achromatic refractor. It struck me as a peculiarity, and I called several persons to look at the comet, and to describe to me its appearance. They made the same observation; and one compared the form of this light to that of a current of water, flowing round a stick, or other obstacle. A slight sketch was copied upon paper; but, upon looking into Hevelius, I found that some of the representations, which he had drawn from mere verbal descriptions, agreed so far with what I had remarked in this comet, that I ceased to regard it as altogether new.

How to cite this article:  John Farrar, minutes, found in John Winthrop and A. Oliver, Two Lectures on Comets (Boston: Wells & Wait, 1811), available at

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