From: Bob Kobres <>
Organization: University of Georgia Libraries
Date sent: Thu, 6 Mar 1997 20:21:37 EST
Copies to:
Priority: normal

After two jugs of North Georgia Moonshine I know who
built em--it was the Indians that used to live right
up the road from me. See:

Seriously, this is an interesting observation as the conditions
which prompted the natives to congregate in their Stonehenge-like
sanctuary are recorded colloquially:
But the most remarkable phenomenon of that, or perhaps of
any other year since the crufixion of the Son of God was the
Dark Day on November 24th [1785]. It has never been explained, and
the splendid illumination of the 20th century casts no light upon
the cause of the darkness. Though the sun was visible all day
long, and appeared to be much larger than usual, it omitted no
light except such as may be seen while passing through a dense
fog at night. The whole of animated nature on the Western
Hemisphere was astonished on that day, and all who had ever
heard of the final judgment listened in anxious expectation of
hearing the long-drawn blasts of Gabriel's trumpet to wake the
sleeping dead.

But only that which took place at Yamacutah concerns us now,
and the tenth of that can not be told here. Even such strong and
heroic men as Clark, Bankston and Harris were anxious,
talked in whispers, and sat by their cabin all day. Various
animals passed by in utter confusion, and several opossums
and raccoons crouched near them, and though they sat with
rifles across their knees, not a gun was fired the whole long

During the day many Indians came, and seating themselves
around the mystic circle, gazed steadfastly towards the central
figure. This they continued all day, and perhaps all night; for
when next morning they saw the sun rise bright and golden as
ever, they arose as one man, went inside the circle, and
solemnly walking along the path to a step as regular as the
beating of a healthy heart, they disappeared beyond the
eastern altar as already indicated.

This was the last time this curious performance ever took place
at the Tumbling Shoals, or anywhere else so far as I ever heard.
What did it mean? Was there any more in it than a mere heathen
ceremony ?
This observation was taken from the writings of G.J.N. Wilson (The
Early History of Jackson County Georgia, 1914, pp. 188-193,
W.E. White editor)

Related to the dusty sky aspect of the above, I am curious if any
members of this group have found reports of fireballs or bolides
sporting concentric rings. Especially sought are observations
shortly after Aug. 3, 1963. See:

Have a nice day.

Bob Kobres

email= <>
phone= 706-542-0583


Date sent: Thu, 06 Mar 1997 12:12:15 -0500 (EST)
Subject: A COMET CRASH IN 1690?
Priority: NORMAL

After reading the following article in SKY & TELESCOPE,
one starts wondering just how often Jupiter is
significantly punctuated on average in any given century
or millennium? And what are the implications for other
planets of the solar system? BJP.


from: SKY & TELESCOPE (April 1997)

Ever since Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 made its mark on the
Jovian stratosphere in 1994, historians of astronomy have
been combing dusty archives around the world for
observational evidence of earlier impact events. One
tantalizing candidate was seen in 1785 by Johann
Schroeter (S&T July 1996, 98), and several others have
been identified from records dating to the mid-1600s.

But overlooked until now was a remarkable drawing by Gian
Domenico Cassini [repoduced in the April issue of S&T].
(...) it details the evolution of a dark spot first noted
by the famed planetary observer on December 5, 1690, and
tracked by him for more than two weeks thereafter. In an
era when Jovian spots were considered little more than a
means for timing the planet's rotation, Cassini
painstakingly sketched the feature's changing character as
it evolved from a round spot to an elongated smear in the
planet's broad Equatorial Zone.

The drawing was recently unearthed in the library of
Paris Observatory by Isshe Tabe, an amateur astronomer
from Yamato, Japan, who has been studying historical
records of Jovian atmospheric phenomena. The drawing was
accompanied by the draft of an apparently unpublished
text titled "Nouvelles descouvertes dans le globe de
Jupiter". A few scholars had seen descriptions of
Cassini's "new discovery" before - but not his
illustration. "Tabe is to be commended for obtaining the
original of this lovely drawing", says Thomas Hockey, an
astronomer at the University of Northern Iowa.

Having spearheaded the search of historical literature on
Jupiter, Hockey says Cassini's drawing m i g h t be
evidence of a single impact 307 years ago. But to be
considered ironclad, another observation is needed: one
showing or describing the spot's appearance near Jupiter'
limb. Unlike oridinary Jovian cloud disturbances, he
explains, the atmospheric scars from Comet Shoemaker-Levy
9 were so high in the planet's stratosphere that they
could be followed all the way to the edge of the disc.
Reta F Beebe (New Mexico State University), a Jovian
atmospheric specialist, agrees that visibility at the
limb would provide the crucial "smoking gun" evidence for
an impact.

After learning of Tabe's discoverey, Junichi Watanabe of
the National Astronomical Observatory in Tokyo used
Voyager-derived wind data to stimulate how a spot in the
Equatorial Belt should evolve each time. The match to
Cassini's drawing is quite good, strengthening the
circumstantial case for the impact of a small comet.

Tabe, Watanabe, and Michiwo Jimbo, who translated the
French text, describe their intriguing results in the
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan for
February 27th.


CCCMENU CCC for 1997