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A POPULAR SERIES
J. DorxiAx Steele, Ph.d., K.G.S..
A uthor of the Fourteen Weeks Series in Natural Science, etc., etc.
New Popular Chemistry. New Descriptive Astronomy.
New Popular Physics. New Hygienic Physiology.
New Popular Zo£>ltJgy. Popular Geology.
The Publishers can supply (to Teachers onlyl a Key containing Answers to the Questions and Problems in Steele's entire Series.
BARNES1 HISTORICAL SERIES,
ON THE PLAN Ol'
STEELE'S FOURTEEN-WEEK.S IN THE SCIENCES.
A Brief History of the United States.
A Brief History of Ancient Peoples.
A Brief History of Mediaeval and Modern Peoples.
A Brief History of Greece.
A Brief History of Rome.
A Popular History of the United States.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
T~~\URING the past few years great advances -*-^ have been effected in astronomical science. Physics has come to the help of Mathematics, and, not content with the old question, where the heavenly bodies are, has sought to find out what they are. Valuable discoveries have been made concerning Meteors, Shooting Stars, the Constitution of the Sun, the Motion of the Heavenly Bodies, &c. The investigations connected with Spectrum Analysis have been especially suggestive. On every hand the facts of the New Astronomy have been accumulating. Until recently, however, they were scattered through many expensive books, and were consequently beyond the reach of the most of our schools. It has been the aim to collect in this little volume the most interesting features of the larger works.
Believing that Natural Science is full of fascination, the author has sought to weave the story of those far-distant worlds into a form that may attract the attention and kindle the enthusiasm of the pupil.
This work is not written for the information of scientific men, but for the inspiration of youth.
Therefore the pages are not burdened with a multitude of figures which no memory could retain.
Mathematical tables and data, Questions for Review, a very valuable Guide to the Constellations, and an Apparatus for Illustrating Precession, are given in the Appendix, where they may be useful for reference.
Those persons having a small telescope will find valuable assistance in the " List of interesting Objects for a common Telescope." The Index contains the pronunciation of many difficult names.
Particular attention is called to the method of classifying the measurements of Space, and the practical treatment of the subjects of Parallax, Harvest Moon, Eclipses, the Seasons, Phases of the Moon, Time, Nebular Hypothesis, Spectrum Analysis, and Precession.
To teachers hitherto compelled to use a cumbersome set of charts, it is hoped that the star maps here offered will present a welcome substitute. The geometrical figures, showing the actual appearance of the constellations, will relieve the mind confused with the idea of numberless rivers, serpents, and classical heroes. Only the brightest stars are given, since in practice it is found that pupils remember the general outlines alone, while the details are soon forgotten.
Many of the cuts are copied from the French edition of Guillemin's "Heavens." Acknowledgment for much valuable material is hereby made to this excellent work, and also to "Chambers's Astronomy," " Newcomb's Astronomy," and Young's "The Sun."
Finally, the author commits this little work to the hands of the young, to whose instruction he has consecrated the energies of his life, in the earnest hope that, loving Nature in all her varied phases, they may come to understand somewhat of the wisdom, power, beneficence, and grandeur displayed in the Divine harmony of the Universe.
"One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off Divine event
Chambers's Astronomy.—Young's The Sun.—Ball's Elements of Astronomy.— Newcomb's Popular Astronomy.—Lockyer's Spectrum Analysis.—Proctor's Other Worlds than Ours, Saturn, The Moon, Poetry of Astronomy, &c—Delaunay's Cours D'Astronomic—Haughton's Manual of Astronomy.—Newcomb and Holden's Astronomy.—Lockyer's Elements of Astronomy.—Norton's Spherical and Physical Astronomy. — Herschel's Outlines of Astronomy.—Robinson's Astronomy.—Mitchell's Popular Astronomy. — Arago's Popular Astronomy.— Airy's Lectures on Astronomy.—Hind's Solar System, and Introduction to Astronomy.—Lockyer's Elementary Lessons in Astronomy.—Proctor's Star Atlas.—Heis's Star Atlas.—Peck's Popular Astronomy.—Gillet and Rolfe's Astronomy.—Sharpless and Phillips's Astronomy.—Peabody's Elements of Astronomy.—Schellen's Spectrum Analysis.— Winchell's World-Life (excellent reading in connection with the Nebular Hypothesis).—Flammarion's Wonders of the Heavens.—Guillemin's The Heavens, revised by Proctor.—Loomis's Elements of Astronomy.—Proctor's Easy Star Lessons.—Olmstead's Letters on Astronomy.—Routledge's History of Science.—Buckley's History of Natural Science.—Williamson's Problems on the Globes.—The Popular Science Monthly (1872-1884).—Rambosson's Histoire Des Astres.