Messier, Charles; Phil. Trans. LXVI, 543 (1776)

XXXV. A Belt on the Disc of Saturn described in an extract of a letter from Mr. Messier, F.R.S. to Mr. Magellan, F.R.S. Dated Paris, May 29, 1776.

Read June 6, 1776.

I have observed, since the 14th of May, a belt of a fainter light on the body of Saturn, opposite to the part of the ring behind the planet. It is pretty broad, and almost as distinct as those of Jupiter. It was with a very good achromatic of three foot and a half, made by Mr. DOLLAND, that I discovered this appearance. I wish you would communicate it to the astronomers, because those who are furnished with better instruments may, perhaps, see some inequalities in this belt of Saturn, and so the time of the planet's revolution on its axis may be better ascertained than it is at present. Mess. JOHN and JAMES CASSINI seem to have been the only astronomers who discovered this phenomenon about the end of last century.

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