Mechanical Philosophy, Horology and Astronomy

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W.S. Orr and Company, 1843 - Astronomy - 7 pages

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Page 365 - ... senses. Thus, the earth on which he stands, and which has served for ages as the unshaken foundation of the firmest structures, either of art or nature, is divested by the astronomer of its attribute of fixity, and conceived by him as turning swiftly on its centre, and at the same time moving onwards through space with great rapidity.
Page 525 - It will then be evident that the most unsubstantial clouds which float in the highest regions of our atmosphere, and seem at sunset to be drenched in light, and to glow throughout their whole depth as if in actual ignition, without any shadow or dark side, must be looked upon as dense and massive bodies compared with the filmy and all but spiritual texture of a comet.
Page 366 - ... greater and far more curiously furnished than the earth he inhabits, as there are also others less so ; and the stars themselves, properly so called, which to ordinary apprehension present only lucid sparks or brilliant atoms, are to him suns of various and transcendent glory — effulgent centres of life and light to myriads of unseen worlds...
Page 417 - God's most infinite works ! And these are suns ! — vast, central, living fires, Lords of dependent systems, kings of worlds That wait as satellites upon their power, And flourish in their smile. Awake, my soul, And meditate the wonder ! Countless suns Blaze round thee, leading forth their countless worlds ! — Worlds in whose bosoms living things rejoice, And drink the bliss of being from the fount Of all-pervading Love.
Page 493 - This may serve as a specimen of the dreams in which astronomers, like other speculators, occasionally and harmlessly indulge.
Page 429 - ... a red and a green, or a yellow and a blue one — must afford a planet circulating about either; and what charming contrasts and "grateful vicissitudes," — a red and a green day, for instance, alternating with a white one and with darkness, — might arise from the presence or absence of one or other, or both, above the horizon.
Page 419 - It appears once in eleven months, remains at its greatest brightness about a fortnight, being then, on some occasions, equal to a star of the second magnitude. It then decreases about three months, until it becomes completely invisible, and remains so about five months, when it again becomes visible, and continues increasing during the remaining three months of its period.
Page 509 - On it place a globe, two feet in diameter; this will represent the Sun; Mercury will be represented by a grain of mustard seed, on the circumference of a circle 164 feet in diameter for its orbit; Venus a pea, on a circle 284 feet in diameter; the Earth also a pea, on a circle of 430 feet; Mars a rather large pin's head, on a circle of 654 feet; Juno, Ceres, Vesta, and...
Page 505 - On the other hand, in the regions beneath the dark side, a solar eclipse of fifteen years in duration, under their shadow, must afford (to our ideas) an inhospitable asylum to animated beings, ill compensated by the faint light of the satellites. But we shall do wrong to judge of the fitness or unfitness of their condition from what we see around us, when, perhaps, the very combinations which convey to our minds only images of horror, may be in reality theatres of the most striking and glorious displays...
Page 505 - The rings of Saturn must present a magnificent spectacle from those regions of the planet which lie on their enlightened sides, appearing as vast arches spanning the sky from horizon to horizon, and holding an invariable situation among the stars. On the other hand, in the region beneath the dark side, a solar eclipse of fifteen years...

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