One hundred years of Jesuit scientists: The Manila Observatory 1865-1965

by Quirino Sugon Jr.

I found an excellent resource paper on the history of Manila Observatory:

John N. Schumacher, “One hundred years of Jesuit scientists: The Manila Observatory 1865-1965,” Philippine Studies vol. 13, no. 2 (1965): 258-286.

From this work we can easily make a timeline for each of the research programs of the Manila Observatory: atmospheric, seismic, magnetic, ionospheric, and solar.

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Fr. Richard Cirera SJ of Manila Observatory and Ebro Observatory: solar activity and terrestrial magnetism

Here is an excerpt from the article by Fr. Miguel Selga, SJ, ” The Ebro Observatory,” Astronomical Society of the Pacific Vol. 27, No. 157, p.21-27 (1915):

The founder and present director of the Ebro Observatory is Rev. Richard Cirera, S.J.  While in charge of the magnetic department of the Manila Observatory, Manila, P. I., the advisability of obtaining simultaneous observations of solar activity and terrestrial magnetism was forcibly impressed upon his mind.  His visit to the principal observatories of France, Belgium, England, Germany, Austria and Italy, and the scientific suggestions of prominent continental astronomers–Messrs. DESLANDRES, EVERSHED, MASCART, LOEWY, MOUREAUX, VICENTINI, SCHWARZSCHILD, GRABLOWITZ and LANDERER–culminated in the establishment of an astrophysical observatory at Tortosa, where the principal object is to find out the relation between solar activity and the atmospheric and magnetic variations of our planet….

There is a similar article from Culturcat: Astronomical Observatories (19th-21th century):

The same year 1904, in Roquetes, another centre was inaugurated, the Observatori de l’Ebre, promoted by the religious company Companyia de Jesús. Ricard Cirera Salse (Os de Balaguer, 1864 – Barcelona, 1932) suggested the foundation of the centre. The Col·legi Màxim [headquarters] of the Companyia in the Aragon province was in Tortosa. During the decade of 1860, members of the Companyia linked to this Jesuit province had already created two of them: one in Havana, promoted by Benet Viñas, the other, in Manila, promoted by Frederic Faura. Both of them had links with schools and specialized in cyclone and tornado forecasts, as they are frequent both in the Caribbean and the Philippines. Cirera had been destined to the Manila observatory, where he was responsible for the magnetic section. Back in Catalonia, Cirera proposed the creation of a new facility subsidiary to the Tortosa School, with a view to preparing those members of the Companyia posted to those islands. To be informed on this initial project, Cirera visited the main European observatories. These trips led him to conclude that they needed an observatory to study the Sun-Earth relationships, focused on observation and measurement of the earth magnetic field, which he related with telluric currents and certain atmosphere aspects. Cirera was aided by Lànderer in fine-tuning this aim and, above all, decide its localization. The observatory, initially called Physical-Cosmic observatory (nowadays called geophysics), included fully-equipped meteorological as well as seismic stations. It was inaugurated in 1904, but it did not reach its highest performance until 1905.

JGR 2011: An empirical model of the quiet daily geomagnetic field variation

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 116, A10312, 21 PP., 2011
doi:10.1029/2011JA016487

An empirical model of the quiet daily geomagnetic field variation

Y. Yamazaki

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Japan

K. Yumoto

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Japan

Space Environment Research Center, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Japan

M. G. Cardinal

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Japan

B. J. Fraser

Centre for Space Physics, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia

P. Hattori

Guam Magnetic Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey, Dededo, Guam

Y. Kakinami

Institute of Space Science, National Central University, Chung-Li, Taiwan

J. Y. Liu

Institute of Space Science, National Central University, Chung-Li, Taiwan

K. J. W. Lynn

Ionospheric Systems Research, Noosaville, Queensland, Australia

R. Marshall

Ionospheric Prediction Service Radio and Space Services, Bureau of Meteorology, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

D. McNamara

Manila Observatory, Quezon, Philippines

T. Nagatsuma

Applied Electromagnetic Research Center, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan

V. M. Nikiforov

V. I. Il’ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, Russia

R. E. Otadoy

Department of Physics, University of San Carlos, Cebu City, Philippines

M. Ruhimat

National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, Bandung, Indonesia

B. M. Shevtsov

Institute of Cosmophysical Research and Radio Wave Propagation, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Paratunka, Russia

K. Shiokawa

Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan

S. Abe

Space Environment Research Center, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Japan

T. Uozumi

Space Environment Research Center, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Japan

A. Yoshikawa

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Japan

Space Environment Research Center, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Japan

An empirical model of the quiet daily geomagnetic field variation has been constructed based on geomagnetic data obtained from 21 stations along the 210 Magnetic Meridian of the Circum-pan Pacific Magnetometer Network (CPMN) from 1996 to 2007. Using the least squares fitting method for geomagnetically quiet days (Kp ≤ 2+), the quiet daily geomagnetic field variation at each station was described as a function of solar activity SA, day of year DOY, lunar age LA, and local time LT. After interpolation in latitude, the model can describe solar-activity dependence and seasonal dependence of solar quiet daily variations (S) and lunar quiet daily variations (L). We performed a spherical harmonic analysis (SHA) on these S and L variations to examine average characteristics of the equivalent external current systems. We found three particularly noteworthy results. First, the total current intensity of the S current system is largely controlled by solar activity while its focus position is not significantly affected by solar activity. Second, we found that seasonal variations of the S current intensity exhibit north-south asymmetry; the current intensity of the northern vortex shows a prominent annual variation while the southern vortex shows a clear semi-annual variation as well as annual variation. Thirdly, we found that the total intensity of the L current system changes depending on solar activity and season; seasonal variations of the L current intensity show an enhancement during the December solstice, independent of the level of solar activity.

Manila Observatory and the Carnegie ocean magnetic survey in 1911-1912: Fr. Jose Algue SJ and Fr. Miguel Saderra-Maso SJ

by Quirino Sugon Jr.

Below is an excerpt of a reprint [Reprinted from Ocean Magnetic Observations, 1905-1916, and Reports on Special Researches. By L. A. Bauer, with W. J. Peters, J. A. Fleming, J. P. Ault, and W. F. G. Swann. Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication 175, vol. 3 (1917). Pages 165-170]

From Batavia the Carnegie sailed on November 21, 1911, bound for Manila by a circuitous route, arranged so as to cover the eastern part of the Indian Ocean. The course followed was south-southwest in the Indian Ocean to south latitude [30.8 degrees] and east longitude [89.4 degrees]; thence it extended to [37.5 degrees] south, in east longitude [95.5 degrees]. From this point a general northeasterly course was followed into the China Sea and the North Pacific. The Carnegie reached Manila, Philippine Islands, on February 2, 1912, having been out 73[1/2] days from Batavia, and having covered a distance of 8,291 miles; the conditions for observations were good.

At the new Manila Magnetic Observatory, situated at Antipolo, intercomparisons of magnetic instruments were made with the standards of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey and with those of the Antipolo Magnetic Observatory. These comparisons were much facilitated through the cordial cooperation of Director Algue of the Manila Observatory and his chief assistant at the Antipolo Observatory, M. Saderra Maso, and the Director of Coast Surveys at Manila, P. A. Welker, at the time. Upon the completion of the land work and of minor repairs in dry dock, the Carnegieleft Manila on March 24, 1912, pursuing a northeasterly course off the Luchu Islands, and thence practically due east to north latitude [30 degrees] and east longitude [166 degrees]. Thence the course was, in general, southward to Suva, Fiji Islands, where the vessel, after having been considerably delayed by head winds, arrived June 7, 75 days out from Manila. The total distance covered from Manila to Suva was 8,158 miles. The track of the Galilee was crossed several times, and thus valuable secular-variation data were obtained. Effective assistance was rendered the Carnegie at Suva by various officials.

Fr. Hennessey, SJ on the ionospheric and magnetic stations of Manila Observatory in 1969

by Quirino Sugon Jr.

I am researching on the history of Manila Observatory’s ionosphere and magnetic research.  I found an article by Fr. Hennessey in Solar Physics, vol. 9, 496-501 (1969).  Some excerpts:

  • (a) Beginning January 1964 the ionosphere station was transferred from Baguio to a location about 2 miles north of the Central Observatory.  This is close enough for rapid data acquisition and remote enough to preven undue radio interference.  The ionosonde currently in use is a modified ESSA C-3 type with a C-4 receiver and transmitter.  Routinely ionograms are obtained continuously every 15 min with additional sweeps near the hour.  Reduction of data follows the procedures of Environmental Science Administration at Boulder, Colo. which sponsors this ionospheric work.
  • (b) Three sudden phase anomaly (SPA) circuits are regularly monitored.  These have proved to have a good corelation with larger flare activity.  The Rugby, Great Britain station transmits at 16 kHz; the station at Maine at 17.8 kHz has its transmission path very nearly across the North Pole; and the Seattle station sends at 18.6 kHz.  A solar flare causing a lowering of the ionosphere produces a phase shift in the received signal. These particular circuits taken together give a fair coverage of the entire globe.  Sudden enhancements of signal strength (SES) are recorded by the same SPA instruments.  Equipment for these observations has been supplied by ESSA at Boulder.
  • (c) Several radio circuits monitor effects of solar activity.  A riometer (on loan from AFCRL) continously receiving cosmic noise at 30 MHz shows the ionospheric absorption.  Sudden Cosmic Noise Absorption (SCNA) is also recorded with 18 MHz radiation.  At a lower frequency of 27 kHz Sudden Enhancements of Atmospherics (SEA) indicate solar effects.  Several short wave fadeout (SWF) circuits are in use for frequencies between 5 and 10 MHz.
  • (d) Changes in the earth’s magnetic field are recorded at three locations and serve as solar activity indicators.  AT the central station a Schonstedt HSM-1 Heliflux Station Magnetometer shows the variation in the Horizontal component of the field.  Both at Baguio (16.41 deg North Latitude and 120.63 deg East Longitude with a magnetic dip of 18 deg North) and at Dava0 (7.09 deg North Latitude and 125.57 deg East Longitude with a magnetic dip of 2 deg South) three components of the field are registered by means of Askania Magnetic Variometers.  QHM instruments at the same place provide absolute values for the H-field.  Since Davao is slightly south of the magnetic dip equator while both Manila and Bguio are well to the north of the equator, the variations are very indicative.  The Davao station has the further advantage of being under the equatorial electrojet.

Manila Observatory’s magnetic data listing for Baguio and Davao stations: 1960-1996

Source: Manila Observatory Archives

MAGNETIC

REPORTS AND OBSERVATIONS
E/F No.: XXXIX MAG S1

MAG S1 001 Manila Observatory [Baguio H-component hourly mean values 1983-1996]
MAG S1 002 Manila Observatory [Davao H-component hourly mean values 1983-1995]
MAG S1 003 Manila Observatory [Range of daily variation Baguio 1960-1992]
MAG S1 004 Manila Observatory [Range of daily variation Davao 1967-1977]

Manila Observatory’s ionospheric data listing: 1972, 1974-1990

Source: Manila Observatory Archives

IONOSPHERIC DATA

REPORTS AND OBSERVATIONS
E/F No.: XXVI ION S1

ION S1 001 US Aeronomy and Space Data Center, Ionospheric Data: January to December 1972  1972.  
ION S1 002 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1974]  1974.  
ION S1 003 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-May; October 1975]  1975.  
ION S1 004 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1976]  1976.  
ION S1 005 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1977]  1977.  
ION S1 006 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1978]  1978.  
ION S1 007 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1979]  1979.  
ION S1 008 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1980]  1980.  
ION S1 009 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1981]  1981.  
ION S1 010 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1982]  1982.  
ION S1 011 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1983]  1983.  
ION S1 012 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1984]  1984.  
ION S1 013 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1985]  1985.  
ION S1 014 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1986]  1986.  
ION S1 015 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1987]  1987.  
ION S1 016 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1988]  1988.  
ION S1 017 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1989]  1989.  
ION S1 018 Manila Observatory, [Manila Observatory Ionospheric data: January-December 1990]  1990.  

Manila Observatory and the international Jesuit geomagnetic research: Secchi, Perry, Juan, and Cirera

Agustin Udias, “Jesuits, Role in Geomagnetism” in Encyclopedia of Magnetism and Paleomagnetism edited by David Gubbins and Emilio Herrero-Bervera (Springer 2007), pp. 460-462.  (Pdf copy published by Springer. Type the title and it ranks first in the Google Search results).

The Jesuit order was suppressed in 1773 and restored in 1814. From this time work on geomagnetism was taken up again at the new Jesuit observatories (Udías, 2000, 2003). A total of 72 observatories were founded throughout the world. Magnetic stations were installed in 15 of them: five in Europe, one in North America, four in Central and South America, and five in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Some of those magnetic stations in Europe were among the first to be in operation. Observatories in Central and South America, Asia, and Africa provided for some time the only magnetic observations in those regions. Details of these observatories can be found in Udías (2003). At present, most of them have been either closed or transferred to other administration.

The first of these observatories was established in 1824 at the Collegio Romano (Rome). There, in 1858, Angelo Secchi (1818– 1878) began magnetic observations, using a set of magnetometers, a declinometer, and an inclinometer. He studied the characteristics of the periodic variations of the different components of the magnetic field and tried to relate magnetic variations with solar activity, considering the Sun to be a giant magnet at a great distance. Relations between geomagnetism and solar activity were to become a favorite subject among Jesuits.

In the same year, 1858, magnetic observations begun at Stonyhurst College Observatory (Great Britain). Stephen J. Perry (1833–1889, Figure J1) began his work on geomagnetism, carrying out three magnetic surveys: two in France in 1868 and 1869 and the third in Belgium in 1871 (Cortie, 1890). In each of these surveys, at each station, careful measurements were made of the horizontal component of the magnetic field, magnetic declination, and inclination or dip (Perry, 1870). In Belgium, Perry found large magnetic anomalies related to coal mines. In order to study the relation  between solar and terrestrial magnetic activity, which was still a controversial subject, Perry at Stonyhurst began a series of observations of sunspots, faculae, and prominences in 1881. For this purpose he installed direct-vision spectroscopes and photographic-grating spectrometers and made large drawings of the solar disk (27 cm diameter). Perry collaborated with Edward Sabine (q.v.) in this work. Perry participated in several scientific expeditions. The most important was to Kerguelen Island in 1874 to observe the transit of Venus; there he carried out a very comprehensive program of magnetic observations. His project of collecting and comparing all his magnetic and solar observations was never completed due to his untimely death during a scientific expedition to the Lesser Antilles to observe a solar eclipse. In 1874 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for his work in terrestrial magnetism. Perry’s successor Walter Sidgreaves (1837–1919) completed the work and showed the correlation between magnetic storms and the maxima of sunspots (Sidgreaves, 1899–1901). The continuous magnetic observations from 1858 to 1974 at Stonyhurst may be one of the longest series at the same site.

The Manila Observatory (Philippines) was founded by Spanish Jesuits in 1865. Martín Juan (1850–1888) was trained in geomagnetism by Perry in Stonyhurst. Juan brought new magnetic instruments to Manila where he took charge of the magnetic section in 1887. In 1888, he carried out a magnetic field survey on various islands of the archipelago. His death did not allow him to finish the work; this was done in 1893 by Ricardo Cirera (1864–1932), who extended the survey to the coasts of China and Japan (Cirera, 1893).