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No. 116: Mar-Apr 1998

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Dry Fogs And Bright Nights

June 1783. Much of Europe.

"...the atmosphere was suddenly invaded, in Europe, by a sort of dry fog of peculiar character. It did not moisten objects, did not affect the hygrometer, and persisted when the wind rose, and rain fell. The sun looked pale through it. This fog lasted a month. One curious point is, that it was phosphorescent, and gave a light like moonlight at night."

August 18, 1821. Western Europe.

"...a similar fog was observed throughout Western Europe; it lasted twelve days. It deprived the sun of so much brightness, that one could look at this star at any hour; it gave the disc a glossy blue tint. Twilight assumed an extraordinary brightness, so that the day was greatly prolonged, and one could even read at midnight."

(Houzeau, M.; "On Certain Enigmas of Astronomy," English Mechanic, 29:32, 1879.)

From Science Frontiers #116, MAR-APR 1998. 1998-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987