Comet Swift 1892
A comet was discovered by Swift on October the 10th 1880, and was followed avidly for over a month by observers in the United States. It reached a maximum brightness on November the 16th and by December the 10th its position was a R.A. 4 hours 40 minutes, Dec. + 44 degrees 47 minutes.
Twelve years later, on March the seventh, a comet was discovered by L. Swift at the Warner Observatory in Rochester, New York. The news was cabled, on the ninth of March, to John Tebbutt in Australia, who two days later located the comet. From March 11th to May 2 Tebbutt made a series of filar micrometer measurements as he watched the comet pass across the sky.
It was also during this period that staff at Sydney Observatory took the opportunity to photograph the comet. The images were most likely to have been taken by James Short, under H.C. Russell's instruction, using the newly acquired astrograph or 'Star Camera'. For more information on Sydney Observatory's Star camera see the associated Powerhouse Museum narratitve 'Sydney Observatory Star Camera & the Mapping the Stars Project'.
Geoff Barker, Curatorial, October 2008
Hall, A. and Brooks W. R., 'Swift's Comet', Science, Vol. 1, No. 23, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2900301, December 4, 1880
Tebbutt, John, 'Results of Observations of Wolf's Comet (II), 1891, Swift's Comet (I), 1892, and Winnecke's Periodical Comet, 1892, at Windsor, New South Wales', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales for 1892, volume XXVI, Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., London, 1892
W. C. W., 'Swift's Comet', Science, Vol. 1, No. 21, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2900114, Nov. 20, 1880