IAU Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams

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Harvard College Observatory Bulletins

The Harvard College Observatory Bulletins (HCOBs) served during 1898-1926 to announce information about astronomical phenomena requiring prompt dissemination -- particularly the discovery and follow-up of novae and comets -- specifically for astronomers in the western hemisphere. Handwritten onto standard forms for fourteen years (through HCOB 500) and then printed by an apparent form of mimeograph -- to be mailed to subscribers -- they were actually titled Astronomical Telegram of the HCO on the top of each issued page from 1898 until mid-April 1902, when the name "Telegram" was changed to the more appropriate "Bulletin" (to avoid confusion with the actual telegrams that were also sent); the name "Astronomical Bulletin" was used from then through HCOB 500, after which the word "Astronomical" was dropped from the title. Starting in October 1912 with HCOB 501, the Bulletins were typeset and then printed.

From 1898 to 1914 (when Copenhagen Observatory began printing postcard circulars to inform subscribers of astronomical discoveries), the HCOBs appear to have been the only notable mailed publication to be issued specifically for the announcement of newly discovered or outbursting astronomical objects of interest. Because the Copenhagen postcard circulars issued between 1914 and 1920 appear to be very rare, and because of the importance of the HCOBs for historical and reference perspectives, we provide indices below to scanned issues of the HCOBs from 1898 until 1920 (when the IAUCs started up). In 1926, the Harvard College Observatory Announcement Cards (HACs) replaced the HCOBs for rapid postal mailing in the western hemisphere of such astronomical news. From 1926 until 1952, the HCOBs continued to be published by the HCO with greatly expanded information on various observational material.


Various HCOBs

Various HCOBs are available here, with additional issues posted here as time permits. Note that the HCO Bulletins seem to have been mostly (but not completely) scanned in by ADS and put on their website, but ADS has not (as of early 2009) provided a convenient index to access them (as there is for the HCO Circulars), and many of the ADS scans are so inferior as to make the HCOBs illegible; links to ADS scans of HCOBs until 1920 (when the IAUCs started) are provided below.

HCOBs 80 and 87 contain information on the bright nova GK Per, which was discovered on 1901 Feb. 21 and peaked near visual mag 0. The bright southern comet C/1901 G1 (old-style designations 1901a = 1901 I) appears on HCOBs 81-85. HCOBs 658-664 contain information on the bright nova V603 Aql, which was discovered on 1918 June 8/9 and peaked near visual mag −1. HCOBs 355, 357-362, 364, 365, 367, 369, 370, 372, 378, 379, 394, 398-400, 402, 403, 405-413, and 429 contain information on Halley's comet.


Index of links to additional HCOBs ...

... that have been scanned by ADS (asterisks indicate missing or incomplete Bulletins via ADS; some of these are available above):

HCOB 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, *, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 [1898 Nov. 29].


HCOB 38 [1899 Mar. 4], 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59 [1899 Dec. 6].


HCOB 60 [1900 Feb. 1], HCOB 61 [1900 Feb. 4], 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78 [1900 Dec. 29].


HCOB 79 [1901 Jan. 1], 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93 [1901 Dec. 6].


HCOB 94 [1902 Feb. 3], 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117 [1902 Dec. 15].


HCOB 118 [1903 Jan. 20], 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132 [1903 May 27], 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145 [1903 Oct. 6].


HCOB 146 [1904 Jan. 26], 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, *, *, 158 [1904 Sept. 13], 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168 [1904 Dec. 31].


HCOB 169 [1905 Jan. 1], 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, *, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, *, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194 [1905 July 3], 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216 [1905 Dec. 23].


HCOB 217 [1906 Jan. 27], 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271 [1906 Dec. 11].


HCOB 272 [1907 Jan. 2], 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298, 299, 300 [1907 June 17], 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319 [1907 Dec. 6].


HCOB 320 [1908 Jan. 3], 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 339, 340, *, 342, 343 [1908 Oct. 31].


HCOB 344 [1909 Jan. 5], 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 350, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 360, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 377, 378 [1909 Dec. 31].


HCOB 379 [1910 Jan. 8], 380, 381, 382, 383, 384, 385, 386, 387, 388, 389, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 400, *, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 410, 411, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 423, 424, 425, 426, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432, *, 434, 435, 436, 437, 438, 439 [1910 Dec. 31].


HCOB 440 [1911 Jan. 9], 441 [1911 Feb. 27], 442, 443, 444, 445, 446, 447, 448, *, 450 [1911 July 22], *, *, 453 [1911 July 25], 454, 455, *, *, *, 459, 460, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465, 466, 467, 468, *, 470 [1911 Oct. 5], 471, 472, 473, *, 475 [1911 Oct. 24], 476, 477, 478, 479, 480, 481, 482, 483 [1911 Dec. 13].


HCOB 484 [1912 Jan. 30], 485, 486, 487, 488, 489, 490, 491, 492, 493, 494, 495 [1912 Sept. 12], *, 497 [1912 Sept. 19], 498, 499 [1912 Sept. 28], 500 [1912 Sept. 30], 501 [1912 Oct. 1], 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 507, 508, 509, 510, 511 [1912 Nov. 9].


HCOB 512 [1913 May 5], 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519, 520, 521, 522, 523, 524, 525 [1913 Sept. 8], 526, 527, 528 [1913 Sept. 11], 529, 530 [1913 Sept. 19], 531, 532 [1913 Sept. 29], 533, 534, 535, 536, 537, 538, 539, 540, 541, 542, 543 [1913 Dec. 24].


HCOB 544 [1914 Mar. 10], 545 [1914 Mar. 30], 546, 547, 548, 549, 550, 551, 552, 553 [1914 May 26], 554, 555 [1914 July 2], 556, 557, 558, 559, 560, 561, 562, 563, 564, 565 [1914 Sept. 29], 566, 567 [1914 Oct. 3], 568, 569, 570, 571, 572 [1914 Dec. 10].


HCOB 573 [1915 Feb. 10], 574, 575, 576, 577, 578, 579, 580, 581, 582, 583, 584, 585, 586, 587, 588, 589, 590 [1915 Sept. 23], 591, 592, 593, 594, 595, 596, 597 [1915 Dec. 29].


HCOB 598 [1916 Feb. 9], 599, 600, 601, 602, 603 [1916 Mar. 9], 604, 605 [1916 Mar. 13], 606 [1916 May 1], 607, 608 [1916 May 8], 609 [1916 May 12], 610, 611 [1916 May 21], *, 613, 614, 615 [1916 Sept. 25], 616, 617, 618 [1916 Nov. 23], 619 [1916 Dec. 11], 620, 621, 622 [1916 Dec. 26].


HCOB 623 [1917 Jan. 4], 624, 625, 626 [1917 Feb. 5], 627, 628 [1917 Mar. 23], 629, 630, 631, 632, 633, 634, 635, 636, 637, 638, 639, 640 [1917 May 29], 641, 642 [1917 Aug. 9], 643, 644, 645 [1917 Sept. 24], 646 [1917 Oct. 16].


HCOB 647 [1918 Jan. 2], 648, 649 [1918 Feb. 7], 650, 651 [1918 Feb. 15], 652 [1918 Feb. 18], 653, 654, 655 [1918 Mar. 11], 656, 657, 658, 659, 660, 661, 662, 663, 664, 665, 666, 667 [1918 Aug. 9], 668, 669, 670 [1918 Oct. 10], 671 [1918 Nov. 9], 672, 673, 674 [1918 Dec. 2], 675, 676, 677 [1918 Dec. 19].


HCOB 678 [1919 Jan. 10], 679 [1919 Feb. 10], 680, 681, 682, 683, 684, 685, 686 [1919 Aug. 11], 687, 688, 689, 690*, 691 [1919 Sept. 8], 692, 693, 694 [1919 Sept. 23], 695*, 696 [1919 Oct. 22], 697, 698, 699, 700*, 701 [1919 Nov. 17], 702, 703, 704 [1919 Dec. 9].


HCOB 705 [1920 Jan. 6], 706 [1920 Jan. 12], 707, 708, 709, 710 [1920 Feb. 3], 711, 712 [1920 Feb. 9], 713, 714*, *, 716 [1920 Apr. 9], 717*, 718 [1920 May 11], 719, 720, 721, 722 [1920 June 10], 723, 724, 725, 726, 727, 728, 729, 730, 731, 732, 733 [1920 Nov. 13], 734,



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