Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 59.djvu/32

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22
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

The early sealers, who in the first quarter of the last century invaded the lonely southern seas, rarely mention the aurora. From the observations of the sealers and the early explorers it would seem as if we should have a fair idea of the austral auroras, but all antarctic voyagers have devoted most of their time to skirting the edge of the pack-ice, where the sky is almost constantly veiled by a haze of either fog or snow. The fact that the pioneers in the far south have seen so little of the aurora has led to the impression that the phenomenon there is feeble, but such an impression should not be favored until we have a more thorough series of observations.

Ross and Wilkes saw a few vivid displays of draped auroras, tinged with prismatic colors, but from the 'Belgica,' which was the first vessel to spend a winter in the antarctic, we saw few colors, seldom draped, and only rarely fleeting rays which spread over a large part of the sky. Below is a table of the observations recorded by Henryk Arctowski, the meteorologist of the Belgian expedition:

TABLE OF AURORAS OBSERVED ON BOARD THE 'BELGICA' DURING THE WINTER OF 1898.
March. April. May. June. July. August. September.
1 L.
2 Ad.S.R.V.P.
3 L. A. V.
4
5 A.
6 Ad. R.
7
8 L. L.
9 L. S.A.R. Ad.
10 A.S. Ad. A. L. R.S.A. Ad.
11 A. L. L.
12 A. L.
13 L. S.A.F. L.A.S.O.
14 A.P.W.C. A.S.O.V.R.P. L.
15 A.S.Ad.R. L. L.
16 L. L.
17 L.
18 L.
19 Am. V.P. Ad. S.
20 A.R.V. A. S. L.
21 L. L. L.S.A.
22 L.A. L. A.S.R. A.S.
23 L. L.S. A.
24 L. L. S. Ad. L.
25 A. S. S.A.R.
26 S.L.R.V.O. A.
27 A.
28 L. L.
29 A. S. Ad.
30
31 A.
EXPLANATION OF SIGNS EMPLOYED.
A.=Homogeneous arc. C.=Crown. O.=Obscure rays. S.=Dark segment.
Ad.= Double arc. F.=Flames. P.=.Streamers. V.=Wavy ribbons.
Am.=Multiple arc. L.=Luminous glow. R.=Rays. W.=Curtain.