Item 118 - Letter from George Airy

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Add. MS a/200/118

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Letter from George Airy

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  • 13 Apr. 1857 (Creation)

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3 pp.

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Further to Le Verrier's principle, that France ought to be in the first rank in observations as well as every thing else, GA thinks his 'bold talk is admirable' - but he does not agree: 'The Greenwich Observatory has grown up like the British Constitution under pressure of circumstances, and has thus adapted itself to the genius of the people, and is likely to receive permanent support under circumstances in which a French observatory would not receive much support. I can abandon such showy things as discovering comets and planets, and can therefore do the dull meridian work surprisingly well, and this is known to and approved by the astronomical public of England but it would not do in France'. However the mathematical and astronomical parts of Le Verrier's Annales are admirable and should be adopted 'as the authorised exposition of modern astronomy (Lunar Theory excepted)'

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