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[Text: Edgar Allan Poe (?), "The Cincinnati Telescope" and "Lunar Atmosphere" (A), from The Evening Mirror (New York), January 10, 1845, p. 2, col. 2.]


[page 2, column 2:]

THE CINCINNATI TELESCOPE. -- The great telescope, intended for the Observatory at Cincinnati, has arrived, we perceive, at New Orleans. It will be undoubtedly an acquisition of great importance; but we fear its merits and achievements will be sadly overshadowed by the monster instrument now nearly completed by the Earl of Rosse. With this telescope, objects, not smaller than one of our common dwelling-houses, will be perceived in the moon with much distinctness, and we may expect with confidence a thorough and accurate topography of that satellite -- at least of that half of it which is constantly turned to the earth. The difficulties of lens construction are now fairly overcome; and should any happy, unforeseen idea of some man of genius, lead to a remedy of the one obstacle, now seemingly insurmountable, -- the diffusion of light in the ratio of the space-penetrating power, -- there will indeed soon be something of that thrilling awe with which man might be supposed to regard an angel, in the close, direct, and thorough scrutiny which he may bestow upon the lunar mysteries at his leisure -- prying even into their minutest details.

[[The articles "The Anti-Rent District" and "Mr. Dromgole's Texas Bill" are not attributed to Poe.]]

LUNAR ATMOSPHERE. -- A correspondent of the Tribune is very pungent upon another correspondent who speaks of lunar volcanoes while denying any atmosphere; and the pungency is well applied; but there should have been nothing said about settling the contested point of an atmosphere. No astronomer contests an atmosphere -- for volcanoes are as certainly known to exist in the moon, as to exist in the earth. It is the appreciable density of the atmosphere which is now contested -- that is to say, it is only doubted whether such an atmosphere as ours exists. Some say it does.


[Both of these items were attributed to Poe by T. O. Mabbott. For the "Cincinnati Telescope" comment, Mabbott's notes at the University of Iowa say "subject matter and interests justify Poe [attribution]." Mabbott also feels that a letter (dated January 20, 1845) published in the Evening Mirror (for February 8, 1845) as from a "Cincinnati Correspondent" may be by Poe's friend Frederick William Thomas, although the initials used as a signature are slightly different. For the "Lunar Atmosphere" item, Mabbott says, "surely Poe's, cf Hand Pfall notes."]

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[S:0 - EM, 1845]