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day and night shall not cease." The modern discoveries of astronomy prove conclusively that the seasons are to be permanent; that the Creator, amid all these transitions, has ordained the means of carrying out His promise through all time.
Eefraction.—The atmosphere extends above the earth about 500 miles. Near the surface it is dense, while in the upper regions it is exceedingly rare. The rays of light from the heavenly bodies
passing through these different layers are turned downward toward a perpendicular more and more as the density increases. According to a wellknown law of optics, if the ray of light from a star were bent in fifty directions before entering the eye, the star would nevertheless appear to be in the line of the one nearest the eye. The effect of this is, that the apparent place of a heavenly body is higher than the true place. This is illustrated in Fig. 36. The sun at S, were it not for the atmosphere, would send a direct ray to L. Instead, the ray at A is refracted downward, and would then enter the eye at N; passing, however, through a layer of a different density, at B it is again bent, and meets the eye of the observer at C. He sees the sun, not in the direction of the curved line CBAS, but that of the straight line CBS.
The amount of refraction varies with the temperature, moisture, and other conditions of the atmosphere. It is zero for a body in the zenith, and increases gradually toward the horizon (as the thickness of the intervening atmosphere increases), where it is about 33'.
seem to be above it. For example, on April 20, 1837, the moon was eclipsed before the sun had set. The mean diameter of both the sun and moon being rather less than 33', it follows that when we see the lower edge of either of these luminaries apparently just touching the horizon, in reality the whole disk is completely below it, and would be altogether hidden were it not for the effect of refraction. The day is consequently materially lengthened.
The sun and moon often appear flattened when near the horizon. This is easily accounted for on the principle just stated. The rays from the lower edge pass through a denser layer of the atmosphere, and are therefore refracted about 4' more than those from the upper edge : the effect of this is to make the vertical diameter appear about 4' less than the horizontal, and so distort the figure of the disk into an oval shape.
The sun and moon often appear larger when near the horizon than when high in the sky. This is not caused by refraction, but is a mere error of judgment. At the horizon we compare them with various terrestrial objects which lie between them and us, while aloft we have no association to guide us, and we are led to underrate their size. On looking at them through a tube, the illusion disappears. The moon should naturally appear largest when at a great altitude, as it is then at a less distance from us.
The dim and hazy appearance of the heavenly bodies when near the horizon is caused not only by the rays of light having to pass through a larger space in the atmosphere, but also by their traversing the lower and denser part. The intensity of the solar light is so greatly diminished by passing through the lower strata, that we are enabled to look upon the sun at that time without being dazzled by his brilliant beams.
Twilight.—The glow of light after sunset and before sunrise, which we term twilight, is caused by the refraction and reflection of the sun's rays by the atmosphere. For a time after the sun has truly set, the refracted rays continue to reach the earth; but when these have ceased, he still continues to illuminate the clouds and upper strata of the air, just as he may be seen shining on the, summits of lofty mountains long after he has disappeared from the view of the inhabitants of the plains below. The air and clouds thus illuminated reflect back part of the light to the earth. As the sun sinks lower, less light reaches us until reflection ceases and night ensues. The same thing occurs before sunrise, only in reverse order. The duration of twilight is usually reckoned to last until the sun's depression below the horizon amounts to 18°; this, however, varies with the latitude, seasons, and condition of the atmosphere. Strictly speaking, in the latitude of Greenwich there is no true night for a month before and after the summer solstice, but constant twilight from sunset to sunrise. The sun is then near the Tropic of Cancer, and does not descend so much as 18° below the horizon during the entire night. The twilight is shortest at the equator and longest toward the poles, where the night of six months is shortened by an evening twilight of about fifty days and a morning one of equal length.
Diffused light.—The diffused light of day is produced in the same manner as that of twilight. The •atmosphere reflects and scatters the sunlight in every direction. Were it not for this, no object would be visible to us out of direct sunshine; every shadow of a passing cloud would be pitchy darkness; the stars would be visible all day; no window would admit light except as the sun shone directly through it, and a man would require a lantern to go around his house at noon. This is illustrated very clearly in the rarifled atmosphere of elevated regions, as on Mont Blanc, where it is said the glare of the direct sunlight is almost insupportable; the darkness of the shadows is deeper and denser; all nice shading and coloring disappear; the sky has a blackish hue, and the stars are seen at midday. The blue light reflected to our eyes from the atmosphere above us, or more probably from the vapor in the air, produces the optical delusion we call the sky. Were it not for this, every time we cast our eyes upward we should feel like one gazing over a dizzy precipice; while now the crystal dome of blue