National Geographic : 1900 Jan
THE CENSUS OF 1900 tical interest in solar physics; transportation companies should find an opportunity, quite equal to an exposition, a yacht race, or a grand parade, of enticing many to make such an excursion. The fact that the track, instead of falling on the inaccessible places of the earth, is so near to suitable hotel accommodations will make the event one of unusual popularity in the United States. The U. S. Weather Bureau has been conducting a cloud survey of the region near the track during the seasons of 1897, 1898, and 1899, with the object of determining the localities which have the least tendency to cloudiness at that time of the year. The result is that near the Atlantic Coast and extending back into North Carolina the prevailing cloudiness at the morning hour of the eclipse, 8 a. m. to 9 a. m., is about 40 per cent. In the states of Georgia and Alabama the percentage falls to less than 20 per cent. Near the Gulf of Mexico, in Mississippi and Louisiana, it rises again to more than 30 per cent. Hence it follows that the chances for fair weather are about twice as good in Georgia and Alabama-that is, on the highland of the southern end of the Appalachian system-as near the coast in either direction. Unfortunately the duration of the totality on the central line increases from 1 minute 13 seconds near New Orleans, La., to 1 minute 42 seconds near Norfolk, Va., so that astronomers would naturally select stations as near the Atlantic Coast as possible, in order to secure the longest look at the corona. Since the probability of cloudiness is a maximum at the very part of the track where the duration of the eclipse is greatest, there must be some balancing of chances in selecting the sites of the observing stations. F. H. BIGELOW. THE CENSUS OF 1900oo By DR F. H. WINES, Assistant Director of the Census The census impresses the imagination of the American people as something vast and mysterious simply because of the magnitude of the numbers with which it deals and the extent of territory which it covers. The elements that go to make up a census are very few and very simple. The whole subject divides itself into two parts, collection of data and handling of data collected.