The Story of the Heavens

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Cassell, limited, 1885 - Astronomy - 551 pages

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Page 80 - This truth within thy mind rehearse, That in a boundless universe Is boundless better, boundless worse. "Think you this mould of hopes and fears Could find no statelier than his peers In yonder hundred million spheres?" It spake, moreover, in my mind. "Tho' thou wert scatter'd to the wind, Yet is there plenty of the kind.
Page 237 - Saturn, perhaps, devoured his children ? Or were the appearances indeed illusion or fraud, with which the glasses have so long deceived me as well as many others to whom I have shown them ? Now, perhaps, is the time come to revive the well-nigh withered hopes of those who, guided by more profound contemplations, have discovered the fallacy of the new observations, and demonstrated the utter impossibility of the existence of those things which the telescope appears to show. I do not know what to say...
Page 412 - I congratulate you and myself that we have lived to see the great and hitherto impassable barrier to our excursions into the sidereal universe — that barrier against which we have chafed so long and so vainly (aestuantes angusto limite mundi) — almost simultaneously overleaped at three different points. It is the greatest and most glorious triumph which practical astronomy has ever witnessed.
Page 302 - Wherefore if according to what we have already said it should return again about the year 1758, candid posterity will not refuse to acknowledge that this was first discovered by an Englishman.
Page 287 - It has done more. It has given us the probable prospect of the discovery of another. We see it as Columbus saw America from the shores of Spain. Its movements have been felt, trembling along the far-reaching line of our analysis, with a certainty hardly inferior to that of ocular demonstration.
Page 338 - There, for the next two or three hours, we witnessed a spectacle which can never fade from my memory. The shooting stars gradually increased in number until sometimes several were seen at once.
Page 495 - ... the sun ; so that, if we neglect the loss of heat by transmission through the glass, the temperature at the focus should be the same as that of a point placed at such a distance from the sun that the solar disc would seem just as large as the lens itself, viewed from its own focus.
Page 80 - Men can dwell on the earth, and oak-trees can thrive therein, because the constitutions of the man and of the oak are specially adapted to the particular circumstances of the earth. Could we obtain a closer view of some of the celestial bodies, we should probably find that they, too, teem with life, but with life specially adapted to the environment— life in forms strange and weird; life far stranger to us than Columbus found it to be in the New World when he first landed there. Life, it may be,...
Page 151 - ... lest any single observer should be deprived by the intervention of clouds of a sight which I know not whether any man living in this or the next age will ever see again, and on which depends the certain and adequate solution of a problem the most noble, and at any other time not to be attained to.
Page 237 - What is to be said concerning so strange a metamorphosis ? Are the two lesser stars consumed after the manner of the solar spots ? Have they vanished or suddenly fled ? Has Saturn, perhaps, devoured his own children?

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