An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe, Founded upon the Laws of Nature

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 6, 2014 - Science - 142 pages
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Although his yeoman father is said to have burnt his books to discourage excessive studiousness, Thomas Wright (1711-86) nevertheless acquired considerable knowledge in the fields of mathematics, navigation and astronomy. Later benefitting from the patronage of wealthy families, he also surveyed estates, designed gardens, and tutored aristocrats. He is best known, however, for his contribution to astronomy: this illustrated work of 1750 was his most famous publication. Written in the form of nine letters, the book quotes both poets and scientists in the opening discussion as Wright sets out to fuse, rather than separate, science and religion. Combining his observations of the Milky Way with his theological belief in a universe of perfect order, he notes, among other things, that our galaxy appears to be disc-shaped. While largely ignored by contemporary astronomers, Wright's ideas can be seen as a forerunner to more sophisticated conceptions of our galaxy's configuration.
 

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Contents

LETTER THE SECOND
9
LETTER THE THIRD
13
Of the Natureqf the heavenly Bodies continued with the Opinions of
27
Of the Order DiZance and Multz■licity of the Stars the Via Lactea
37
LETTER THE SIXTH
48
LETTER THE SEVENTH
58
LETTER THE EIGHTH
67
Reflections hy way of General Scolia of Conſegaences relating to the Int
77
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