Reply To: Comet II 1862?

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David C Rayment

The comet mentioned in your image of Lockyer’s notes was, at the time, known as “Rosa’s Comet”, having been discovered by Father Rosa at Rome on July 25, 1862. An image of the comet’s path in the night sky was produced in the Illustrated London News of August 16, 1862. On August 30 it was predicted to be between Iota Herculis and Alpha Corona; on September 2 between Alpha Herculis and Alpha Serpentis. Your image of Lockyer’s notes reports it to be on a line between Alpha Draconis and Gamma Ursae Minoris on August 22.
From St James Chronicle of Aug 7, 1862 (and other publications): “M. Temple of Marseilles, has sent the following letter to the journals concerning Father Rosa’s comet: – “The comet discovered at Rome on the 23 ult. by Father Rosa, is a new one, and not identical with that I observed here on the 2d ult. I perceived yesterday that his comet was still in the constellation of Camelopardalus ……”. “The comet of July 2, which M. Julius Schmidt, Director of the Observatory at Athens, discovered at the same time as I did, is now in the constellation of Virgo”. (23ult, elsewhere 25th).

From: Descriptive Astronomy, George Frederick Chambers, 1867:
“280. Discovered by Schmidt and Temple on July 2; on July 4 it had a tail half a degree long, and was then visible to the naked eye: between July 3rd and 4th it traversed 24 degrees of a great circle”.
281 Discovered by H.P. Tuttle and Simmons, July 18; by Pacinotti, July 22; and by Rosa, July 25. Conspicuously visible to the naked eye for 2 to 3 weeks in August – September; with a tail, on August 27, as much as twenty five degrees long, according to Schmidt. An elliptic orbit; period assigned, 123 years”.
Tousaint appears to have discovered it on the same day as Pacinotti.