Reference numberNLB/12/299
Alternative reference numberNLB/12 p150-158
TitleCopy letter from Michael Foster, to the Secretary, The Admiralty
Date21 January 1896
DescriptionFoster explains that under the superintendence of the Joint Committee of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society, expeditions will be sent to Japan and Norway to observe the total solar eclipse of 8-9 August 1896. The site selected in Japan is to be around Kusoro, to which the observers, likely to number around four, will head from Yokohama with their assistants and apparatus. On previous occasions assistance with transport has been granted by the Admiralty, and Foster is directed to express the hope that they will again render such assistance and instruct that one of their vessels should convey the observers between Yokohama and the observation station.

He states that the Astronomer Royal, one of the intended observers, cannot arrive at Yokohama before 27 July due to official duties, but if the other observers delayed their arrival until this date there would insufficient time to make the necessary preparations. They propose that two observers, likely to be Professor Turner and Captain Hills arrive by the previous boat on 6 July, and that the Admiralty's vessel be there by that time to proceed to to the observing station with the majority of the apparatus, weighing between one and two tons. Foster suggests that it then returns to Yokohama or Hakodate to collect the Astronomer Royal and Captain William de Wiveleslie Abney as soon as they arrive. He further notes that the Astronomer Royals needs to be returned to Yokohama by 18 August at the latest.

Foster is also directed to ask that the vessel selected give assistance to setting up the instruments and otherwise helping with preparations and observations of the eclipse. If they are willing to assist in this manner, no trained assistants need be taken out. The expenses will be defrayed from the Grant voted by Parliament in aid of Scientific Research. If, as proposed, the group is accompanied by the Astronomer Royal's son and Abney's wife, these costs will be privately met.

The President and Council of the Royal Society feel reluctant to ask for assistance for their expedition to Norway, with an observing station near Vadso, due to the time of year, but ask whether it might be possible to provide a small vessel to carry observers, perhaps five or six, to and from the station and render assistance during preparation and observation.
Access statusOpen
Fellows associated with this archive
NA8220Foster; Sir; Michael (1836 - 1907); physiologist1836 - 1907
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