The Sun: Ruler, Fire, Light, and Life of the Planetary System

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Longmans, Green and Company, 1871 - Eclipses - 480 pages

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Page 405 - I have seen the wild stone-avalanches of the Alps, which smoke and thunder down the declivities with a vehemence almost sufficient to stun the observer. I have also seen snow-flakes descending so softly as not to hurt the fragile spangles of which they were composed ; yet to produce from aqueous vapour a quantity, which a child could carry, of that tender material, demands an exertion of energy competent to gather up the shattered blocks of the largest stone-avalanche I have ever seen, and pitch...
Page 183 - Hence he concludes that the sun has a very extensive atmosphere, which consists of elastic fluids that are more or less lucid and transparent ; and of which the lucid ones furnish us with light. This atmosphere, he...
Page 117 - I obtained a tolerably bright solar spectrum, and brought a flame coloured by sodium vapour in front of the slit. I then saw the dark lines D change into bright ones.
Page 393 - The sun's rays are the ultimate source of almost every motion which takes place on the surface of the earth. By its heat are produced all winds, and those disturbances in the electric equilibrium of the atmosphere which give rise to the phenomena of lightning, and probably also to those of terrestrial magnetism and the aurora.
Page 413 - ... melt in air, — the flux of power is eternally the same. It rolls in music through the ages, and all terrestrial energy, — the manifestations of life as well as the display of phenomena, are but the modulations of its rhythm.
Page 193 - Herschel,'wouldcome,on this view of the subject, to be assimilated to those regions on the Earth's surface in which, for the moment, hurricanes and tornadoes prevail — the upper stratum being temporarily carried downwards, displacing by its impetus the two strata of luminous matter beneath...
Page 412 - And still, notwithstanding this enormous drain in the lapse of human history, we are unable to detect a diminution of his store. Measured by our largest terrestrial standards, such a reservoir of power is infinite ; but it is our privilege to rise above these standards, and to regard the sun himself as a speck in infinite extension — a mere drop in the universal sea. We analyse the space in which he is immersed, and which is the vehicle of his power.
Page 411 - Still, presented rightly to the mind, the discoveries and generalisations of modern science constitute a poem more sublime than has ever yet been addressed to the imagination. The natural philosopher of to-day may dwell amid conceptions which beggar those of Milton.
Page 412 - To Nature nothing can be added ; from Nature nothing can be taken away ; the sum of her energies is constant, and the utmost man can do in the pursuit of physical truth, or in the...
Page 204 - It was impossible, on first witnessing an appearance so similar to a sudden conflagration, not to expect a considerable result in the way of alteration of the details of the group in which it occurred; and I was certainly surprised, on referring to the sketch which I had carefully and satisfactorily (and I may add fortunately) finished before the occurrence, at finding myself unable to recognize any change whatever as having taken place.

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