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STO RI ES o f 279 6 U N IVERS E

T h e S t a rs
By

G E O R G E F C HAMBE R S .
,

O F T HE I N N E R TE M PL E , B A RR I S T E R -
A T - LA \V

A U T HO R O F
"
A H A N D BO O K OF D E S C R I PT I V E A N D P R A C T I C A L A S T R ON OM Y
,

PI C T O R I A L A S T R O N O M Y

E TC
, .

I V I T I Y [MA N Y I L L U S T R A T Z O N S

N E W YO R K

R E V I E W f
o R E V I E WS COM P AN Y
1 909
C O P YR I GH T , 1 89 5 ,
BY D . A PP LE T O N A N D CO M
PR E FACE .

WHE N invited li ttle b oole I wa s a sked so


to wri te th is
to sh ape it th a t it sh o ul d b e a co nc i se b ut re a da ble oa t s

lin e of th a t b ra nch of kn o w ledge wh i c h on e a sso c ia tes


w ith th e expre ssion th e S t arry Hea ven s li be rally in ter

p re tecl I . w as to c a te r for th o s e ra pi dly gro w ing th o n


sa nd s ofti l en a nd w o m en ofal l ta nks wh o at e m a nResting

m a n y w a ys a nd in so ni a n v pla ce s an inte re st in th e fa cts


a n d t ru th s of N a t u re and Ph ys i c al S cience T h e ta sk
th us im p o se d upo n me wa s a ve n t co n genia l on e a nd l

sea ting my fa c ts in a b l igh t a n d c h ee w s pi ri t o th e rs nmst


de term in e But I w o uld a sk it to be un ders too d th a t I

m a n y ofth e fo rm e r a vai la ble to r a w rite r oh a stron o m y to


m a ke it w orth w h il e to wa ste s pa ce in dea ling with th e
la tte r .

Th is v o lume will sh o rtly be fo llo we d b y anoth en in th e

S ola r S i s te m : or, T h e S tin Plan e ts


e , an d Co m e ts po pula rlv

w ill not be co nte nt with th e se m et e o u tline s of a no ble

Pict oria l Astro no m y \W h itta ke r 8e (2o an al ecl ) a ncl


a i .

th en my Ha nd b oo k of A tro no m y (C l r nd o n Pr ss
s
a e e .
C O P YR I GH T , 1 895 ,
BY D . A PP L E T O N A N D C O M P AN Y
.
P R E F A CE .

W H E N invit e d to write this l ittl e book I wa s a sk e d so ,

to shape it that it should b e a concis e but rea d able o u t


line of t hat branch of knowledge which o n e associate s
with th e exp ression the S tarry H eaven s lib e rally inter
p re t e d. I was to cate r for those rapidly growing thou

sands O fm e n and wom en o fall ranks who a re m anifestin g


in these closing years o f the nineteenth centu ry in so
m any ways and in so m any places an interest in the fact s
and t ru t hs o f Nature and Physical S cience T h e tas k .

thus im pos e d upon m e was a very congenial o n e and I ,

gladly unde rtook it H ow fa r I have su cceed e d in pre


.

senting m y facts in a b right and ch eery spirit others m us t


de t ermin e B ut I would ask it to be understood th a t I
.

have dealt with facts rather than fan cies The re are to o .

m any o f the form er availabl e fo r a writer o n astronomy to


make it wo rth W hile to w a st e space in dealing with th e
latte r
.

This volum e will sho rtl y b e follow e d by anothe r in th e


sam e unconventional style entitled Th e S to ry o f th e ,

S olar S ystem ; o r The S un Plan e t s and Com ets popularly


, , ,

described I trust how e v e r that many o f m y readers


.

, ,

will not be content with these m e re outlines of a noble


science b u t wi ll desire to obtain a m ore com plete grasp
,

o f t h e subj e ct in all its bearings by stu dying rst m y

Pictorial A st ronomy (W hittake r CO z u d and . ,

then m y H andbook o f A stronomy (Cla rendon Press



,

5
CO N T E N T S .

CHAPT E R PM

I . I N T R O DZT O R Y T HO U G H T S 9
11 . FI R ST I PE R I E N CE S O P A S T AR L I G HT N I G HT I T

III . T HE B L L I A N CY AlN'
sD DI ST A N CE S OP T HE

ST . S 2 1

IV . T HE
'
( O L PI N G OP T HE ST AR S INTO CO N

S T ILA I I O N S

V . T HE I ST O R Y OP T HE C O N S T E LLAT I O N S
VI . T HE I M B E R O P T HE S T AR S
D O U BI ST AR S .

VI I I . F AM I I PAR T I E S OP S T AR S
CO LO l E D ST AR S
X . S T AR S
M0 V 1} .

XI T R M I R AR Y S T AR S
.

XI I V AR B L E ST A R S
.

XI II T H E T AR s
. P OE T R Y
XI V GR O s O P S T AR S
.
I

X V CL U E R S O P S T AR S
.
'

N E BLE

XV I I . T H EM I LKP W AY
XV I I I . TH S PE CT R O S C O PE AN D S T AR S
E m I 37

AP P E N DI } L T A B LE OF T HE C O N ST E LLAT I O N S
IL LI ST OP CE LE S T I AL O BJE CT S PO R

S M AL L T R LPS C O PR S 1 53
0 O o o o o o O 0 I S7
6 P R E FA C E .

4th ed .
, which is a compre hensive t reatis e y e t
3 ,

written in popula r language and fo rm so as to subserve


the wants of gen e ral re a d e rs F rom both thes e works .

though ts and ideas hav e no do u bt found th e i r way into


the present volum e .

For th e chapte r on th e wo rk of th e S p e ct roscop e in


connection with t h e sta rs I a m ind e bt e d to my friend M r .

E W M aunde r O f th e R oyal O bs e rvato ry Greenwich


. .
, , ,

o n e o f the high e st l iving a utho rities on this branch o f

ast ronomy . G F C . . .

N O R T H F I E L D G R AN G E ,
E AS T BO U R N E ,

D ecem ber, 1 8 94
.
CO N T E N T S .

C HA P T E R PA GE
I . I N T R O DU C T O R Y T H O U G HT S 9
11 . FI R ST E XP E R I E N CE S O F A S T AR LI GHT N I GH T n

III . T HE B R I L LI AN CY AN D D I S T AN C E S OF T HE

ST A R S . 2 1

IV . T HE G R O U P I N G OF T HE S T AR S I N TO CO N
S T E LL A T I O N S

V . T HE HI ST O R Y O F T HE C O N S T E LLAT I O N S
VI . T HE N U M BE R O F T HE S T AR S
V I I D O U B LE S T A R S
. .

V I I I F AM I L Y P A R T I E S
. OF ST AR S
I X . C O LO U R E D ST AR S
X . M O V I N G ST A R S .

XI . T E M P O R AR Y S T A R S
XII . VAR I AB LE ST AR S
XI I I . T H E S T A R S I N PO E T R Y
X IV . GR O U P S O F ST A R S
XV . C LU S T E R S O F S T A R S
XV I . N E B U LzE

XV I I . T H E M I L KY W AY
XV I I I . T HE S PE CT R O S CO PE AN D T HE S T AR S AN D
N E B U LI E 1 37

A PPE N DI X I . T A B LE O F T HE C O N S T E L L AT I O N S I 50
11 . LI ST OF C E LE S T I AL O BJ E CT S FO R

S M ALL T E L E S C O PE S I 53
O O O O O O O O O 0 I S7
LI S T O F I LL U S T R A T I O N S .

IP I G . PA GE
I . The G re a t N e b u l a in A n d rro m e d a . F r t kp on z
'
ze c e

2 . T h e Po i n ts o f th e C omp a sss
3 . U rsa M a j o r a n d P o l a ri s
4 . O ri o n
5 . a H e r c u li s (d o u b l e st a r )
.
6 . H e rc u li s (I 8 65 )
7 . H e rc li s (I 8 7 1 )
u

8 . H e rc u li s (I 8 8 3)
9 . e L yrae
or O ri o i s
n

0 O ri o i s
n

T h e P le ia d es
1 3 M . H e r c u li s
I 4 .
5 M L i b rae
.

1 5 . 8 0 M S c o r p ii
.

67 M C a n c ri
.

7 7 M C e t i (n e b u l o u s st a r)
.

1 8 . T h e R i n g N e b u l a in L yra (S ir H e rs c h e l )
1 9 . T h e R i g N e b u l a in L yra (E a rl O f R oss e )
n

2 0 . T h e N e b u l a 43 I II I V irgi n i s
.

2 1 . T h e Sp ira l N e b u l a 5 1 M C a n u m V e n a tic o ru m (S ir
.

H e rs c h e l )
J
. 1 1 8
2 2 . T h e Sp ir l N e b u l a 5 I M C a u m V e n a tic o ru m (E a rl
a . n

ofR oss e) 1 1 9
2 3 . The
O w l N e b u l a in

U rs a M aj o r 0 1 2 0

The
O m e ga N e b u l a

in S cu t u m S ob i e skii 1 2 6
8
C H A PT E R I .

I N T RO D U CT O RY T H O U GHT S .

wo rd Of th e L ord w e re t h e h e a
B y th e ve n s ma de a nd a ll th e
host O f th e m b y th e b re a th Of His mou th .
"
PS A L M xx x iii . 6 .

N O great while ago a defendant who had to app e ar at


a Court held at Carlisle arrived there true to his tim e a c
cording to the local tim e at Carlisle appointed by the Court
for the sitting ; but he found that the Court had m et by
Greenwich time and in his absence had decided the case
,

a gainst him This was considered by certain gentlem en


.

learned in the law to be both a hardship and an illegal


ity and the poor man ob t ained a second chance o f being
,

hea rd S ubsequently to this incident Parliam ent passed


.

an A ct providing that whenever any express ion O f tim e


occurs in any A ct o f Parliam ent deed or othe r legal in , ,

strument the tim e referred to shall (unless it is otherwise


,

specically stated ) be held in th e cas e O f Great B ritain to


, ,

be Greenwich m ean tim e and in the case o f Ire land to be


, ,

D ubli n m ean tim e .

Q uite recently t h e following incident occu rred L iver


pool the outcom e of which by the way seem s hardly
, , ,

consistent with the st a tute just referred to A levy was .

m ade by the S heri ff s O rder on the household goods o f


some person who urged that as this was done after su n ,

s e t it was ille al The D irector O f the L iverpool O bserva


, g .

tory being called to testify to t he tim e of sunset on the day


o f the levy t he defendant s O bjection was u pheld The

.
,

conclusion appears unavoidable that in noting the tim es ,

o f sunrise and sunset local tim e and not G reenwich tim e


, , ,

9
LI S T O F I LL U S T R A T I O N S .

IP I G . PA GE
1 . The G rea t N e b u l a in An (dI Tro m e d a Fr t l p on z c

zec e

2 . T h e Po i n ts o f th e C omp a 5s5s
3 . U rsa M a j o r a n d P o l a ri s
4 . O ri o n
5 . a H e rc u li s (d ou b l e st a r)
~
6 . H e rc u li s (I 8 6 5 )
g H e rc u li s (I 8 7 1 )

7 .

8 .
f H e rc u li s (1 8 8 3)
9 . e L yrae

a O ri o n i s
'
21 0 .

0 O ri o n i s
T h e Ple iad e s
1 3 M . H e r c u li s
1 4 .
5 M L i b rae
.

.1 5 . 8 0 M S c o rp ii
.

67 M C a n c ri
.

7 7 M C e t i (n eb u l o u s st a r)
.

1 8 . T h e R i g N e b l a in L yra (S ir I H e rs c h e l )
n u .

1 9 . T h e R i n g N e b u l a i n L y ra (E a rl o f R oss e)
2 0 . T h e N e b u l a 43 I II I V irgi n i s
.

2 1 . T h e Sp i ra l N e b u l a 5 1 M Ca n u m V e n a tic o ru m (S ir
.

J H e rs c h el )
. 1 1 8
2 2 . T h e Sp i ra l N e b u l a 5 1 M C a n u m V e n a tic o ru m (E a rl
.

i
OfR oss e ) 1 1 9
2 3 . The
O wl

N ebu la in U rs a M aj o r 1 2 0

2 4 The
.

O m e ga
N e bu la in S cu tu m S ob i e skii 1 2 6
8
I O T HE ST O RY O F T HE S TA R S .

m ust be regarded This as I have s a id abov e seem s n ot


.
, ,

t o be consistent with the statute but I am not concerned ,

here to discuss th e ques t ion in that aspect I only want .

to u se the facts r e ferred to as a m eans of showi ng tha t


t here is som ething more in the study of the stars than
many persons imagi n e I n other words that in inviting
.
,

my readers t o give a littl e thought to astronomic a l m a t


ters I am asking them t o consider things w hich a re n o t
,

only n o t necessarily occul t d ii c u l t 0 r fan ciful b u t w hich


, , ,

have in o n e way o r anoth er no slight bearing on business


an d plea sures o flife .

I t is not necessary to d e v el op e th e argu m e nt to a n y


grea t le n gth b u t it is j ust wort h a passin g thou ght in c on
, ,

s id e rin g t h e q u es t io n whe t he r as t ronomy h a s any and i f ,

S O wha t uti l i t arian value to rem ember t hat t h ose t wo o b


, ,

j e c t s o f d a ily interest an d u se the a l manack an d the diary


, ,

en t i re ly dep e n d for their existence o n the labou rs o fth e


astronom er in h i s obse rvat o ry In our case as E nglish .
,

m en th es e books a re bas ed o n the labours o f ce rtain very


,

insu f ciently paid m em b e rs O f her M aj esty s Civil S e rv ice

at the R oyal O bserva t ory Greenwi ch a n d at the N a u ti


, ,

ca l A lm a n a ck of c e in Gray s Inn R oad Were the staff



.

be lon ging t o either establishment t o reso rt t o th e fashion


able expedien t o f a st rike fo r higher pay (an d th ere would
be much jus t ication fo r th e ir doing so) sooner o r late r ,

al l the a lmanacks and diaries would cease t o be published ,

and the public b u siness o f t he count ry would to a large


ext ent com e to a s tandsti ll B u t this is n ot all The
. .

sh ip pi ng O f E n glan d would com e to a standsti ll o r n e arly ,

so, and t hat not guratively but literally O ur vessels , .

wou ld h ave to go back t o the p rinciples O f navigation


practised by th e inhabi t ants o f these islands 2 0 0 0 years
a go : they would have t o becom e coasti n g vess e ls feeling ,

their way from place t o p lace a n d chie y by daylight , .

L ong voyages ov ersea would be well nigh im possible o r -


,
FI R ST EXP ER I E N C E S OF A ST ARLI G H T N I G HT . I I

only to b e execut e d in the fa ce o f the gre at es t risks and


the wildest chanc e O u r rai l way syst e m would becom e
.

ut t erly diso rganised A fe w trains could run but the in


. ,

te rva l s between them would hav e to b e considerable an d ,

they could only t ravel by daylight a n d at v e ry l o w speeds .

These general thoughts will I t rust serv e as a su f , ,

cient preliminary p roof that the re is m ore in th e S to ry of


the S tars than li e s upon th e su rfac e o f things

.

C H A PT E R I I .

F I RST EX EP RI E N CE S OF A S TA RL I GHT N I GHT .

LE Tu s suppos e a woul d b e observ er o f th e stars to -

station him self o n som e n e evening soon aft e r sunset in


an op e n and if possible elevated positi o n A varied a n d .

striking n ot to sa y pic tu re sq u e sp e c ta cle would soon u n


, ,

fold itself to his ga z e S tars invi sibl e du ring th e d a y t im e


.
,

b e cause thei r light was ove rcom e by th e sup eri or ligh t of


the su n would soon a ppea r Th e y w o uld be c o me visi b le at
, .

rst only o n e by one as it were ; th e n sev e ral would s ee m


,

to start into b e ing and nally thei r numbe r wou ld in c re ase


, ,

unti l it might be su p posed th a t m any thou sand s w e re v isi


ble though in poi nt of actu al fact no m o re than a b o ut
,

30 0 0 stars at the outsid e can e v e r b e s ee n by th e na ke d


eye at any o n e tim e o r place .

A n attentive sc ru tiny p rol onge d in o ne c a se for an


,
'

hour o r two and in an o ther case for a d a y o r two will


, ,

disclose a twofold fact rs t t hat all th e object s a s su m e d


,

to b e sta rs a re m oving in a body over the fa ce of th e sky


from hour to hour whilst two o r three bright e r on e s are
,

t o be noticed which n ot only participate in the const an t


m ovem e nt from hou r t o hour of the whole mass but h a v e ,

a n individual motion of thei r o wn in virtu e of whic h eithe r


1 2 T HE ST O RY O F T HE STAR S .

from d a y to day o r in other cases from we e k to w e ek


, ,

they will be noticed to change their relative positions with


respect to the twinkling stars around them Pausing for .

a m oment to distinguish between these two classes o f


celestial obj ects it m ay be stated that t he bodies which
,

twinkle and have (s e em ingly) no rel a l zw m ovem ent are


, ,

the xed stars properly so called whilst the others it



,

m ay be only t wo or three in number o n any given even


ing and which do not twinkle are objects o f a totally dis
, ,

tinct character and known as planets


,
.

Taking the sky a s a whole with its 2 0 0 0 o r its 30 0 0 ,

naked eye stars the observer (if in a nor t hern latitude)


-
,

will n otice if he turns his back t o the south rem emberi n g


, ,

where the su n was at m id day that after su ccessive inter -


,

vals say of a 1 o f an hour new stars are presenting them


,

,

selves O n the ri ght rising above the h orizon If he will


, .

follow som e one grou p in particular far into the ni ght he ,

will nd that it gradually rises in the heavens in the d ire c


tion from east to west A fter a certain interval i t ceases
.

to rise higher ; then descends o n his left and nally d is ,

appears below the western horizon This onward march .

is not an attribute o f all th e stars quite in the sim ple form


th u s mentioned for of som e of them it m ust be said that
,

they d o not rise above the horizon n o r sink down below


it because they are al ways above it S uch are the stars
, .

which face our O bserver who with h is b a ck to the south


,

is looking toward s the north O f the stars thus circum .

sta n c e d t here are som e which seem t o desc ribe a pathway

which scrapes as it were th e northern horizon ; whilst


, ,

others seem to describe circular paths which becom e ,

m ore and m ore contrac t ed towards a certain star in p ar


tic u l a r That star seem s alm ost m otionless throughout
.

the en t ire night and is known as the Pole S tar


, Th e .

stars w h ich are as above stated always above the hori


, ,

zon woul d always be visible during th e whole 2 4 hours


,
FI R ST EXP ER I E N C E S OF A ST ARL IG HT N IG HT . 1 3

we re it not for the s u nlight A s a matter o f fact indeed


. , ,

the larger o f them can o n any ne day be traced by m eans


o f a large telescope rou nd and round du ring the whole 2 4

hours day after day throughout the year weather permitting, .

The m ovem en t o f the heavens which has just been re


ferred t o is com m only called t he diu rnal m ovem ent A .

better conception of it perhaps m ay be had if we imagin e


(as indeed the ancients did ) that we are in the centre of a
literal S phere ; that the stars are attached to th e interio r
surface o f su ch a sphere ; an d that it is endued from with
out with a rotatory m otion once in eve ry period O f tim e
which we designate a day of 2 4 hours R ega rding the .

universe thus we m ust by o n e m ore forward st retch o f


, ,

the imagination consider the heavens to be always re volv


,

ing around an invisible axis called the axis o f th e world ,

which passes through th e place o f observation and a par


tic u l a r point near to the Pole S tar The direction of m o
.

tion will be from east to west and whilst for u s in E ng


land the visible polar point o f this imaginary axis will b e
the North Pole the other end o f the axis will be pointing
,

in the opposite direction to another point called S outh


Pole F o r th e reader to O b t ain a full and tru e realisation
.

O f these sta t em ents which in the abstract no doubt have


,

a visionary sound he m ust take a voyage to t h e S outhe rn


,

hem isphere sa y to t he Cape o f Good Hop e o r A ustralia


, .

D oing this he will com e face to face wi t h a condition of


,

thin gs which at rst si gh t m ay be a littl e puzzling H e .

will have los t b oth the North Pole and th e Pole S ta r and ,

also the constellation o f the Grea t B ear and othe r c o n ste l


l a tio n s which we associate with t h e north an d will nd ,

h imself called upon to study a very di fferent S ituation In .

a rder to discover a p olar point he will have to face th e

south instead o f the north ; he will nd no bright st a r at ,

o r anywhere near the S outh Pole ; and no Great B ea r to


,

recall th e m em o ries o f childhoo d and the nurs e ry .


1 4 T HE S T O R Y O F T H E ST A R S .

T he m arks in the p re ceding pa a g raph will have


re r

paved the way for t h e s t atem ent which must now be m ade ,

that th e study of the stars a s regards their location in t h e


heaven s is intimately mix e d u p with te rrestrial questions
'
o f geography ; in oth e r words that the obse rv er s o p po r ,

t u n ity o f surveyin g the e lds o f v iew a f forded by th e


heav e ns eve r depends upon the latitud e (not the longitude)
o f his place o f observation o n th e earth Wherever he .

m ay be provided he be not im m edia t ely at the equato r o r


,

pole he will hav e to conside r the heavens as com p rising 3


,

distinct regions each with its own particular peculiarities


, .

The rst bounded by an im aginary circle called th e c ir


,

c l e o f p e rpetual apparition ; th e s e cond bounded by


a nothe r im agina ry circle called th e circl e o f perpetual


occultation ; the third being all th e area not em b raced


"

by eith e r o fthe others A ll the stars lying between the


.

rst circl e and the visible pole will be perpetually visible


to our observer throughout th e y ear barring o f course ,

accidents of sunshine or weather A ll the stars l ying b e .

tween the second circle and the opposite (o r invisible ) pol e


will be perpetually invisible to o u r observer because none ,

of them rise above his horizon This is the condition o f .

t hin gs a s regards an observer in the Northern hemisphere .

L ooked at on the oth e r hand from a station say in A u s ,

t ra l ia the converse o f the foregoing w ill be the condi t ion


,

o f t h in gs The stars perpe t ually visible in E n gland will


.

be perpetually invisible in A ustrali a and the stars perpet ,

u a lly o u t of view in E ngland will be perpetually in view in

A ustralia * .

The reader will by this tim e quite understand that


st t e me t i n th e t e x t w il l o l y b e a bso l u t e l y a d l i t e ra lly
The a n n n

t ru e wh th e st a t ion s b e tw e e n wh i ch th e com pa rison s a r m a d e re


en e a

i i d t ic l l a t i t d s th e o
n en a u n o rth a d th
e , oth e r sou th F o r i n
ne n e .
v

st a n c it wo l d b e a bou t t ru e o f D u n e d i n N e w Z e a l a n d a n d
e, u
, ,

G e e a in S w i t z e rl a n d
n v .
F IR ST E XP ER I E N C E S OF A ST ARLI G HT N I G H T . 1
5

when we talk about the celestial sphere o r the vault o f ,

heaven o r the axis of the world o r the poles we are re


, , ,

sorting to pure abstractions which are only calculated to


convey in a c rude fashion ideas of ap p arent m ovem ents
which it is di fcult to describe in words or to indicate by ,

pictures o r to reproduce in m odel with m echanical a ppl i


,

a n ces . I t may however be said that a pair o f globes in


, ,

t e ll ige n tl y studied may b e of som e serv ice Perhaps it is .

wor t h while to n ote in passing that ideas an d expressions


on this subject which we em ploy sim ply as gures o f
speech were made u se of by the astronom ers of antiqui t y
,

in a literal and ma t erial sense M any o f t hem fully b e


.

l ie v e d in the exis t ence of a solid celes t ial vault with a m a


t e ria l axi s p rovided with pivots tu rning in xed sockets ,

the stars being fastened to the surface o f the vaul t by


n ails o r such like attachm ents
-
V it ruvius m ay be m en
.

tion e d as one of the best known writers o f antiquity who


-

has recorded a s fac t s ideas o f t his sort .

It would not be in accordance with the design o f this


little work to go ve ry deeply into m atters of the kin d
brou gh t unde r the reader s notice in the pages im m e d i

ately preceding S uffice it then to add that whilst th e


.

longit u de of an observer s position has nothin g to do wit h


t he ques t ion of wh ether he sees som e stars and not othe rs


o n any given ni ht it has a good deal to d o wi t h th e qu es
g ,

tion o fwhat stars are visible at any given m om ent of tim e


to an A m eri can a t N e w York to an E nglishman in Lo n
,

don o r to a Hindoo at Calcu t ta For instance when a


, .
,

L ondoner is going to bed at the hou r o f I I p m the . .


,

New Yorker will be S itting down to his dinner at 6 p m . .


,

whilst the Calcutta Hindoo will be preparin g fo r breakfast .

The di fference of I I hours o f absolute tim e which exists


between New York and Calcutta will result in each of
those places having a to t ally d I ffe re n t b atch of constell a
tions pres e n ted to its gaze ; becau se L ondon occupies an
1 6 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

interm ediate p osition the L ondone r will se e certain star s


,

over his head which to t he Calcutta H in doo will appea r


setting nea r th e W horizon and which to the New
. ,

Yorker will app e a r l ow down in the E h orizon ju st .


,

rising .

Whilst it is intended a s far as possible to exclude from


this volum e matters o f m athematics an d geometry there ,

are a few su ch m atters which m ust be s t ated to and be


com prehended by the reader if he would follow up t o any ,

good purpose the stu d y o f astronomy a s a pleasant and


,

p rotable occupation .

W e som eti m es have to speak o f a body being in a

vertical position This m eans upright and a h e a v



.

,

e n l y body is in a vertical position when it is exactly ove r

the obse rver s h ead The vertical of a place then is t h e



.
, ,

direction from which a body s e t free to fall as i t will


, ,

seem s to com e when it strikes th e ea rth at the place It .

is indicated by the direction o f a string m ade fast at o n e


extremity whilst the oth er extr e m ity su ppor t s a weight o f
,

som e kind S uch a com bination constitutes a plum b line


.
-
,

and is u sed by masons and bricklay e rs fo r the express


purpose of ensuring the u prightness o r verticali t y of their
work Furth e r it m ay be stated that the ver t ical o f a
. ,

place is constantly perpendicular to the surface o f wate r


there which is at rest .

The imaginary point in th e sky whe re th e ve rtical pro


l onged from t h e ground u pwards m eets the celestial vault
is the zenith of the plac e o f obse rvation It is o f .

course t he point exactly above the obse r er s head If v



.

o n e could conceive th e vertical prolo n ged downwards

thro gh the e rth and comin g out on t he other side and


u a * ,

The fo ll ow in g cd ot e i ll u st ra t e s th is A n A m e ri ca n i n
ane

q u ire d o f a s to th e s u it a b i l i ty O f a c e rt a in so i l fo r grow in g c a rrots ,

s a id th a t th e y gre w so w e l l in it th a t th e roots re a ch e d right th rou gh


to th e oth e r s i d e o f th e ea rth wh e re p e o p l e sto l e th e ca rrots by p u l l
,
FI R ST E X P ER I E N C E S OF A ST ARL IG H T N IG HT . I 7

ca rried forward s till it m et the celestial sphere at anothe r


poin t it would do so at a poin t which is called t he nadir
,

o f the observer on the upper side S O to S peak o f the earth , , .

A n observe r standing o u t o n an open plain o r better still ,

in a boat o n the open se a will notice that h is V iew of th e


,

land in the o n e case and o f the se a in the other is cut o ff


, ,

from the s ky by a circular boundary line he him self being ,

in the cen t re of the circle T his circle is called the .

horizon I t really is a horizontal plane passing through


.

the place o f observation a t right angles to the vertical .

The p lane of the m eridian o f a place is an imagi


na ry plane passing through what we have spoken o f as the


axis o ft h e heavens and the ve rtical of the place S uitabl e .

observation sho ws that the upperm ost an d lowerm ost


poin t s in the circles seem ingly described by all th e sta rs
are situated in t his p lane The intersection of this plane
.

of the meridian with the horizon to the north and to th e


sou t h consti t utes what we call th e m eridian line o r
,

sim ply the m eridian of the place o fobservation What .

it is an d what it m eans will perhaps best be grasped by a


consideration o f the original m eaning of th e wo rd I t .

comes from 2 L atin words through a single L atin word , ,

the words o f o rigin being m ed i a s middle and d i es day , ,

m eaning in effect the point o f th e ho rizon im m ediately b e


low the place ih the heavens wh e re the su n is when it has
ru n half its daily course from sun rise to sunset .

With the horizon and the m eridian understood th e ,

cardinal points nor t h south east an d west seem to com e


, , , ,

na t urally A n observer placed in t h e direction m entioned


.

at the beginning o f this chapter that is facing the Pole , ,

S tar will (in E ngland ) be facing the No rt h ; im m ediately


,

behind him wil l be the S outh whilst o n his right will b e

in g th e m t/zr g/ by th e ou z t ip s , i ste a d
n of pu ll i n g th e m u
p (as
u s a l l y d o n e ) by t h e t op s
u .

2
1 8 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

t he E ast and on his left the West Th ese words in E ng .

lish convey very lit t le to u s but in their L atin form s are


,

m uch m ore expressive The L atin by the way reappears


. , ,

in the French F o r instan ce th e L atin for North is


.

,

se p t m l rz o, which recalls the 7 (sep tem ) stars near th e


'

'
N orth Pole ; in French it is sep ten trzon Then th e S outh .

h a s already been mentioned and reaches u s in French as


Then the E ast is a rzew (Fr the

place where the su n rises A n d t he West is orc za m s (Fr


. .

z e the place where the sun falls


'

. se t s , .

I t is som e t im es necessary to consider the position o f a


star or the distance of o n e star from another by m akin g a
m easurem ent o r an estim ate along t h e plane o f the hori
zon or alo n g some other plan e parallel thereto This is
,
.

S poken of as a m easurem ent in azimuth o r to put it ,

i n ano t her way let u s imagine a plan e passing through


,

the zenith and t hrough any star whatever that would b e


a t the mom ent o f observation the azimuthal plane of the

star ; and th e an gle between this plane and the plane o f


t h e m eridian o r the star s distance from the m eridian th u s

m easured would be the star s azimuth at t h e particular



,

m oment when t he observa t ion was made .

A few words res p ecting ang u lar distances a n d their


m eas u rem e nt seem now needed but they m ust be very ,

general because th e st u dy o f angles is a matter which c o n


cerns geom etry in the rst instance and astronomy onl y in
a se c o n d a rv sense .

E very circle is considered to be divided into 360 de


grees every degree
, bein g subdivided into 60 m in u tes ,

and eve ry m inute into 60 seconds Form erly ever y .

second was divided into 60 thirds b u t t h is m e t hod o f ,

counting has become quite obsolete and when it is meces ,

sary as it often is to deal with fractions of a second re


, , ,

sort is had to decimals O ccasions indeed so m e t imes.


, ,

arise when it is convenient to go no fur t he r than whole


FI R ST E XP ER I E N C E S OF A ST A R L IG HT N I G H T . 1 9

minut e s and to e xpress as decimals of a minute th e sec


o n d s which we wish to record Indeed on occasions . , ,

e ven the m inutes and seconds t a k e n togethe r are se t down

as S im ple decimals o f a degree Thus 45 1 2 2 0 m ight . ,


"

be expressed as 45 or

The wh ole circle being taken at a half circle em -

braces 1 8 0 a quar t er circle o r quad rant is



whils t , ,

the ei ghth o r octant represents


, A n interm ediat e
,

subdivision a S ixth o r sextant furnishes a word which


, , ,

has an astronom ical application but it is to an instru m ent , ,

and not to th e S pace which the word suggests Th e .

words octant and sextant a s portions o f a circle are


n o t in u se notwithstanding that th e wo rds them selves
,

exist.

A pplying to th e CI rc l e thu s divided the 4 cardinal


points already m entioned we obtain the divisions which
constitute the dial o f the m ariner s com pass and an a t

t e n tive consideration of the m anner in wh i ch that is di


v id e d w ill pave the way for a du e com prehension o f th e

m anner in which angles are m easured for astronom ical


p u r p oses .

It will be seen by the diagram that if a circle is divided :


into 4 q u adrants we are furnished with th e 4 p rincipal i
points N E S and W E ach q u adrant therefore em
, .
, .
, .
, .

braces 90 o f the 360 which cons t itute the entire circle



.

D ividing each quadrant into two halves gives u s the sub


divisions kno wn as N E S E S W and N W E ach o f . .
, . .
, . .
, . .

t h ese represents the half o f or Then by su b d i


v id in g each half quadrant into half a ain we ob t ain what
-
g
are quarter quadrants thou gh no such phrase is in u s e
-
, .

The q u arter quadrants give u s the points k nown as


-

and N N W . . .

We have n o w got o u r circle divided into 1 6 portions


each o f The sailor however carries the matter 2 , ,
8 0
. T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

steps furth e r and by again subdividing into halves th e


,

inte rvals j ust m ention e d he a rrives a t the 3 2 points o f


FI G . 2 .
T h e p oin t s o f th e c o m p a ss
.

th e compass as they are called ; then by anothe r su b


,

d ivision into halves he obtains 64 subdivision o f the circle ,

though the nal appellation is not a point but a half ,



point .

S peaking generally the subdivision o f the circle fo r the


.

purpose o f steering a shi p does not need (except in special


cases o f course) any great renem ent that is to sa y an
,
,

o rder to vary a ship s course by half a point o r about 5g



,

*
,

is precise enough o n the open seas B u t the astronom er .

in m easurin g an gular distances in the case of the sun and


planets a n d still m ore in the case o f the stars has to deal
, ,

Th is re m a rk d oe s n o t pp ly to th e l a rge r st e a m e rs wh e th e r
a ,

sh ip s o f w a r o r b l o g i g to th e m rc t i l m a ri n e Th e s e wh e n
e n n e an e .

p ro id d w i th st e a m st e e ri n g ge a r a re st e e re d to S i n gl e d e gree s O f
v e -

th e c irc l e .
B R I L L IA N C Y A N D D IST A N C E S O F T HE ST AR S . 2 1

with arcs innitely smaller th an those which th e man at


the wheel is concerned with Not only a rcs as small as
.

I

but even fractions o f a second have to be taken into
,

account by the use of instruments fa r large r in size a n d


more nely grad u ated than the portable instrum en t s such ,

a s sextants and th e odolites used by s a ilo rs at s e a an d by


, ,

surveyors on land .

C H A PT E R I II .

T HE B R I LL IA N CY AN D D I STA N C E S O F T HE STA R S .

sta rs a re not all equally bright and custom h a s


T HE ,

d ivided them into ce rtain classes known as magni t udes .


The largest and b rightest a re said to be stars o f the I st


m agnitud e ; next com e stars o f th e z u d magnitude ,

and so on by a descending scale S tars o f about th e .

6th m agnitude are reputed to b e the sm allest visi b l e


to th e naked eye but by th e u se o f telescopes we c a n
,

go o n observing stars down to about the 1 5 th m agni


tud e o r even smaller It will b e readily unders t ood tha t
.

this is a v e ry loose and arbitra ry phraseology but it h a s ,

becom e so consecrated by ti m e and custo m that it wil l


ce rtainly never be set aside Whilst eve rybody is agree d
.

as to what is the bri ghtest star in the heavens nam el y ,

S irius and that about 2 0 sta rs are wo rthy to be ranked a s


,

of the I st magnitude though less brigh t than S irius shar p


, ,

differences o f opinion present them selves when we try to


mark o ff z u d magnitude stars from I s t magnitude stars ,

and still m ore when we have to dene where t he z u d


magnitude stars end and th e 3rd m agnitude stars begin .

L ower down in the scale the di fcult i es of classicatio n


becom e innitely gr e ate rthey may ind eed b e said to b e
, ,

hop e less .
2 2 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

Consid e ring th e love of precision and exactness which


c haracterises nineteenth century science it is som ewhat
-
,

singular t hat so lit t le has been done t o su bm it to m eas


u re m e n t on denite principles the brilliancy o f the v ari

o u s s t ars at any rate those visible to the naked eye


, .

S ir J ohn Herschel m ade an attem pt in this direction


about 60 years ago M any years afte rwa rds som e Ger
.

mans especially a h observer na m ed S eidel nibbled at it


, , ,

b u t Professor P ickering in A m erica and the late Professor


Pritchard of O xford working at O xford and in E gyp t are
, ,

the only two observers who have accom plished any results
worthy o f the subj ect o n a well organised basis Picker -
.

in g s labours at Harvard College O bservato ry B oston


, ,

U . have been published in the form o f a catalogue o f


42 60 stars whose m agnitudes have been determined i h
,

s tru m e n ta ll y on denite and intelligible op t ical principles .

Pritchard s catalogue com prises fewer s t ars than Picker


in g s but like i t s A m erican rival is based upon p h il o so ph i


cal prin ipl e s an instrum ent calle d th e Wedge Photometer


,

havin g been em ployed B ot h catalogues labour under the


.

d isadvan t age that having been m ade in the Northern hemi


,

sphere they do not include the whole area of the heavens .

Taking the stars as we nd them a very S light am ount ,

o f attention will S how that not only are they O f di f ferent


d e grees o f brilliancy but that they are o f di fferent colours
, .

M ore prolon ged and rened study will disclose the further
facts that som e o f them vary both in b rI l l ia n c y and in
c olour These m atters are o f such ext rem e inte rest that
.

i t will be best to devote a special chapter to them The .

b ri ghter stars are distin guished from o n e another in vari


o u s ways and m any o f them received in bygone tim es
,

q uaint and curious names A t a very rem ote peri od they


.

w ere grouped into constellations m ost of which surviv e ,

t o the p re se n t tim e and are recognised to be o f u se to a


c e rtain ex t ent .
2 4 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST A R S .

T his chapter may be conveniently brought to a clos e


with a list in the order o f brightness o f the stars which
are com m only ra n ked as of the I st magn itude :
I C a n i s M a j ori s ( S i ri u s)
. a .

2 A rgus ( Ca n op u )
. a I n v i si b l e in E n gl a n d a n d N o rth e rn
s .

U n i t ed S t a t e s .

3 Ce
. n
a t a u ri I n i s i b l e i n E
. n
g l a n d a
v n d U n ite d St a tes e x ,

c e p t e xt re m e so u th e rn p o i t s n .

4 . a B o otis (A rc tu ru s) .

5 B O r o n s ( R igel )
. i i .

. i
6 a A u r gae (Cap ell a ) .

7 . a L y rae ( V ega ) .

8 .C a i s Mi n o ri s (P rocy on )
a n .

9 .O ri o i s
a n

I O . E ri d a i (A e lze m a r)
a n I n v i si b le i n E n gl a n d a n d .

U n ite d S t a te s e x c ept so u th e rn p a rt o f Gu l f S t a te s
, .

I I T a u ri
. a

1 2 B Ce t a u ri
. I v i i b le i n E n gl a n d a n d U it e d St a t e s
n . n s n ,

e x c e p t e xt re m e so u t h e rn p o i n t s .

1 3 C ru c i I n i si b le in E n gl a d a n d U n ite d S t a te s
. a s . v n .

1 4 S c o rp ii (A t es)
. a n a r .

[5 A qu il ae (A l ta ir)
. a .

1 6 V i rgi n i s (Sp i )
. a ca .

1 7 P i sc i s Au st ra li s
. a

I 8 B C ru c i s
. I n v i si b l e in E n gl a n d a n d U n i t e d St a te s e x
.
,

c e p t e x t re m e so u t h e rn p o i t s n .

1 9 B G e m i o ru m (P ll u x
. n
) o .

2 0 L e o n i s (R gu l u s )
. a e .

2 1 Cy gn i (D b)
. a en e .

With respect to the rst I 3 o f th e above stars it m ay


be said that there is not m u ch differe n ce of opinio n as to
t h eir relative rank (though som e authorities do make Vega
a n d Capella cha n ge pl a ces but to the remai ing 7
) a s n ,

there is n ot the sam e accord som e ranking A ltair and ,

S pica before A n t a res a n d R egulu s before Fom alhaut , ,

P ollux and B Crucis, T hese stars are pretty evenly dis


.
B R I L L I AN CY A N D D I ST A N C E S O F T HE ST A R S . 2
5

tributed between the N orthern and Southern hemispheres ,

for 1 6 are N orthern and I I Southern .

T h e following
ing aaree the aapproximate dates o n which
such o f the foregoing
e go i stars as are visible in E n glan d and
the U nited States com e to tthe
te s co h m eridian at m id n ight :

P ro c y o n J a n u a ry 1 4
Po l lu x J a n u a ry 1 5
R e gu l u s Feb ru a ry 2 1
Sp i c a A p ril 1 1
A rc t u ru s A p ril 2 4
A n ta re s M ay 2 7
Ve ga Ju n e 2 9
A lt a i r Ju l y 1 8

N entirely foreign to the question o f th e brilliancy o f


ot

the stars is the question of their distance A t the rst .

blush o f the thi n g a n u n i n form ed reader m ight naturally


say that to m easure the dista n ce o f a star from the earth
is impossible B u t so far as the principle of this task is
.

concerned the problem is an easy o n e I t is in the p ra c .

tical worki n g o u t o f the principle that the di f culty lies ;


and this again rather arises fro m the extrem e delicacy o f
the m easurem e n ts and necessary safeguards than from
an
y other cause T.h e process m erely involves the taking

o f certain angular m easurem ents a n d applyi n g to the m

certain fam iliar theorems o f trigo n om etry I t di ffers .

scarcely at all from analogous operatio n s which are car


ried o u t every day o n the earth by those engaged in l a nd
surveyi n g What is involved will p erhaps be u n derstood
.

by co n sideri n g what happe n s when a person enters a larg e


park at o n e end intending to cross to the far side wher e
,

there are a nu mber of trees in an avenue passi n g en rou te ,

2 or 3 trees in the open T h e trees in the far o ff avenu e


.
-

seem to be at no great dista n ce apart a n d the trunk o f ,

one o f them is nearly hidden by the trunk of on e in th e


2 6 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE S T AR S .

middle o f the park ; but soon a fte r the pe d estrian h a s


started ( perhaps when he h a s go t over 50 y a rd s ) h e n otic es
that the 2 last na m ed tree s which a minute o r two a go
-
.

seem ed a lmost in c ontact are evidently s o m e d i st a n ce


.

apart and af t er walking for perhap s a n other minute (sa y


,

a n other 50 y a rds ) he sees caus e to in fe r th a t a spa c e o f


perhaps 1 2 0 yards sep a rate s the trees which before h e got ,

in m otion appeared a lm o st to t ou c h T hi s tra n sform a


, .

tio n is the e ffect of paralla x and the a pp a rent d iS pla c e

m ent o fthe trees is due to the real displacement o f th e


'

o b server owing t o h is h a v in g used his le gs


, Bu t sup pos .

in g t he 2 trees sin gled o u t a s above instead o f bein g


r
, .

w i thin the sam e park cl ose at hand had been 2 miles o ff ,

an adva n ce o f 50 yard s w o uld have caused so triin g a


dis placement that thou gh a t elescope provided with a m i
,

c ro m e te r would have detected it the naked e y e mi ht n o t


g .

have done so Why t his ? B ecause in th e fi rst case th e


.

dis t a n ce traversed ( 50 yards ) was a large fracti o n o f th e


distance (say 40 0 yard s ) at which th e trees were situat e d
from the starting point (as 50 40 0 -
i B u t in th e
second suppos e d case the distance t rav e rsed ( 50 yards )
was but a s m all frac tion o f the whole distance (say 40 0 0
yard s) separatin g the pede st rian from the trees T h e
proport i on is n o w to be e xpressed thus As 50 40 0 0
.

l 80 .

us apply these si m iles to the stars A n o b server


Le t .

o n j a n uary i s t is u sin g his telesc o p e when th e earth is at

a cert a i n k n o wn poi n t in its annual orbi t round th e sun .

He de t e rmi n es t h e position o fa certa in star He waits 6 .

m onths and the n o n July i st a gain d etermines t h e pla c e


. . .

o f h is s elected s ta r ; he n ds it o ccu pies the s am e pla ce .

He is o n j uly rs t rem oved by twice t h e r a dius o f t h e


'
eart h s o rbit o r i 8 6 millions o f miles fro m the pl a ce b e
. .

oc c u pied o n j anuary t st i i notwiths tanding this en or


. .

m o u s d i s placem en t o fhim self the s t ar seem s to have u h ,


B R I L L I A N C Y AN D D I S T AN CE S O F T HE ST A R S . 2 7

d e rgo n e displacem ent o u r observer argues that the


no ,

star m ust be so far o ff that 1 8 6 millions o f m iles is a frac


tio n a l part o f i t s distance too small to be appreciable just
, ,

as the 50 yards m e n tioned above is o n ly a sm all fractional


part of 40 0 0 yards .

T h e p ri n ciple o f all this has been applied to se v eral


hu n dred stars but o n ly a bout 2 doze n h a ve yield ed posi
,

tive results T hese results so far as they go seem to t ell


. , .

us th a t the n earest star of those experim e n ted upo n i s


a Centau ri a n d that the 4 n ext nearest are 6 1 Cyg n i 2 1 1 8 5
, ,

L ala n de U rs ae Maj oris Sirius and p Cassiopei ae


, . .

Such s t a n d a rds as miles o r eve n millio n s of miles are


, ,

quite u n m a n a geable in deali n g with distan ces such as


t hose which sep a rate the nearest stars from the eart h so ,

it is custom ary to em ploy as the u n it o f s t ell a r dista n ces


the dista n ce traversed by light in o n e ye a r N o w light .

travels at the rate o f about miles in one seco n d o r ,

about tim es the ea rth s dista n ce from the s u n in


o n e ye a r . A pplyi n g these gure s to the circu msta n ces o f


a Ce n tau ri we n d t hat as the parallax o f that star is o n ly
,

about g o f a seco n d o fa re a ray of light from i t would n o t


,

reach the eart h in less than 41 yea rs T his dist a n ce ex


.

pressed in miles am ou n ts to a nd Cen a

t au ri is so far as is k n ow n ( e n ea rest sta r " T h e reader


, ,

will hardly require a n y further expla n at io n o f t he sta t e


m ent m ade above that a m ile is a hopelessly i n e ffecti ve
a n d i n adequate unit in which to express stellar dist a n ces .

I t o n ly rem ains to add that it is doubtful whether a n y o f


the stellar paral laxes hitherto arri ved at are accu rate to
withi n of a seco n d o f a re N o w 3 3 o f a seco n d is
.
1

the an gle subtended by 1 ; o f an i n ch at a dista n ce o f I O


1

m iles " O bservatio n s o f stel lar p arallax therefore n eed , ,

very fi rst cl a ss i n stru m e n ts a n d m en and it is o n thi s a c


-
,

count that the results u p to the prese n t tim e are neith er


very n um erous n o r particularly co n siste n t .
2 6 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

m iddle o f the park ; but soon after the pedestrian h a s


started (perhaps when he has got over 50 yards ) he notices
th a t the 2 last n am ed trees which a mi n ute or two a go
-
,

seem ed almost in cont a ct are e v ide n tly som e distanc e


,

apart a n d after walki n g for perhaps anoth er mi n ute (say


,

a n other 5 0 y a rds) h e sees cau se to i n fer that a space of


perhaps 1 2 0 va rd s separates the trees which before he got ,

in m otio n appeared alm ost to touch T his tra n sform a


,
.

tion is the e ffect of parallax an d the appare n t displace ,


m e n t of the trees is du e to the real displacem ent of th e


'
observer owi n g to h is h a vin g u sed his leg s B u t suppos
, .

ing the 2 trees singled o u t as above i n stead o f bein g ,

W i thin the sam e park close at hand had been 2 miles o f f ,

a n advance of 5 0 yards would have caused s o triing a

displacem ent that though a telescope pr o vided with a mi


,

c ro m e te r would have detected it the naked eye might n o t ,

have done so Why this ? B ecause in the rst case th e


.

distance traversed ( 50 yards) was a large fractio n of th e


dista n ce (sa y 40 0 yards) at which the trees were situated
from the starti n g point (as 50 40 0

-
I B u t in th e
second su pposed case the distance traversed (50 yards)
wa s but a sm all fraction of the whole distance (say 40 0 0
yards) sep a rati n g the pedestria n from the trees T he .

roportion is now to be expressed thus As 0 4ooo


p 5
I 80 .

Letus apply these similes to the stars A n observe r .

o n J a n u a ry I s t is using his telescope when the earth is at

a cert a i n k n own poi n t in its a n n ual orbit round the su n .

H e determi n es th e position o f a certai n star He waits 6 .

m o n ths a n d then o n July I st agai n determines the place


, , ,

of his selected star ; he nds it occupies the sam e place .

H e is o n J uly I st rem oved by twice the radius of the


earth s orbit o r 1 8 6 m illions o f m iles from the place h e

, ,

occu pied on January I st I f notwithstanding this enor


.
,

m ous displacem e n t o f him self the star seem s to have u n ,


B R I L LI A N CY A N D D I ST A N C E S O F T HE ST A R S . 2 7

d e rgo n e no displacem ent o u r observer argues that th e


,

star m ust be so far o ff that 1 8 6 m illions of m iles is a frac


tio n a l part of its distance too small to be appreciable just
, ,

as th e 50 yards m entio n ed above is only a sm all fractional


p a rt o f40 0 0 yards .

T h e p rinciple of all this has been applied to several


hu n dred stars but only about 2 dozen have yielded posi
,

tive results T hese results so far as they go seem to tell


.
, .

u s that the n earest star o f those experim ented upon i s


a Ce n tauri a n d that the 4 next nearest are 6 1 Cygni 2 1 I 8 5
, ,

L alande U rs a Majoris Sirius and p Cassiopei a


, , . .

Such sta n dards as miles o r even millio n s of miles are


, ,

quite u n m a n a geable in deali n g with dista n ces such as


t hose which separate the nearest stars from the earth s o ,

it is custom a ry to em ploy as the unit of stell a r distan ces


the distance traversed by light in o n e year N o w light .

travel s at the rate o fabout miles in one seco n d or ,

abou t tim es the earth s dista n ce from the su n in

o n e year A pplying these gures to th e circum sta n ces of


a Centauri we n d that a s the parallax o f that star is only


,

about 2 of a seco n d of arc a ray of light from it would not


'

re a ch the ea rth in less than years T his dista n ce ex .

pressed in miles am ou n ts to 5 0 ooo oo o ooo and Cen , , , a

tauri is so far as is k n own ta e n ea rest sta r " T h e read er


, ,

will hardly require a n y further expla n ation of the state


m ent m ade above that a m ile is a hopelessly i n effective
a n d inadequate unit in which to express stellar dista n ces .

I t only remains to add that it is doubtful whether any of


the stellar parallaxes hitherto arrived at are accura te to
within 3 7, o f a second o f a re N o w 3 5 of a seco n d is
1
.
1

the angle subtended by 1 6 of an i n ch at a dista n ce o f 1 0


1

miles " O bservatio n s o f stell a r p a rallax therefore need , ,

very rst class i n stru me n ts a n d m en and it is o n this a c


-
,

count that the results u p to the present tim e are neither


very num erous n o r particularly consiste n t .
2 8 T HE ST O R Y OF T HE ST AR S .

C H A PT E R IV .

T HE GR O U P I N G O F T H E S T AR S I N TO CO N ST E L
L AT I O N S .

T HE visible stars are comm only treated as arranged in


groups which are called constellatio n s

T h e circu m .

stances under which this groupi n g was brou ght about in

volve so m a n y i n teresting histori cal points th a t the history


o f the co n stellations m ay well form a separate ch a pter .

L e t m e then limit the present chapter to a fe w ge n eral hints


and remarks on the nding o f the constellations .

A reader who wishes to be able to do this with facility


must enter upon the study o f the stars m ethodically and ,

in accorda n ce with a de n ite plan and m ust be prepared


,

to persevere with his work at regular a n d not very long


intervals o f tim e through an entire period of 1 2 m onths .

I n making this suggestion I lay a good d eal of stress o n


the work being done system atically and without any c o n ,

s id e ra b l e gaps o f tim e in the doing o f it T h e import a n c e .

o f this will be u n derstood when it is bor n e in m ind th a t a

given star com es to the m eridia n every night 4 minutes


soo n er than it did o n the precedi n g night T his has the .

e ffect in the cou rse o f a fortnight o f displaci n g a star by


1 5 of arc the t i m e of observation remai n i n g the sam e

,
In .

other words if a n observer wishes to see a give n star o n


,

the m eridia n a fort n i ght after his rst observa tion of it ,

he m ust take post at his telescope (supposing he is usi n g


o n e which o n ly works u p a n d down i n the m eridian ) o n e

hour earlier in the eve n in g th a n the hour at which the rst


observ a tio n was m a de I t would soon be seen in practice
.

why there was not o n ly no adva n tage in thu s a lteri n g


o n e s tim es but a positive disadva n tage T h e ordi n ary

.

object of a professed stude n t would be n o t to have a c o n ,

s tant change in the hours o f his occupation but to h ave ,


3 0 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

to a certainty he will be able to learn the nam es of all th e


,

places within sight which he wishes to identify to th e ,

nu m ber it m ay be of several doze n .

T his m ode o f procedure may be com m ended to th e


would b e student of the Starry H eavens Such a n one
-
.

shou l d obtain practice for his work by m aki n g sure at


starti n g o f the nam es of two or three promi n e n t stars .

H e should then feel his way in between them by xing in


his mi n d o n e after another minor triangles o f stars com
, , ,

paring every o n e with th his m ap as he goes along taki n g ,

particular care not to pr proceed with the ide n tication of a


seco n d tria n gle u n til1 he has quite satised him self that he
has accura tely identied i e d the stars form ing the rst .

I t has already been ee m entioned that the practice has


lo n g prevailed o f desig S i g n ati n g the m ore co n spicuous stars

in every co n s tellatio n by the letters o f the Greek alphabet .

A n adequate knowledge of the sm all letters o f this alpha


bet is therefore a n i n dispensable a ccom plishm e n t for every
stude n t o f the starry heavens T hese letters are .

0: A l ph a . s

B Be t a .
m
7 Ga m m a . o

8 D e l ta . a

6 E p si l o n

q
.

Z e ta .

n E ta .

6 T h e ta . s

l I o a t .
e
K Ka p p a .
x
A La mb d a .
e
0
,
. Mu . s

will n o w e n deavour to apply the foregoing ideas to th e


I
study o f the stars starti n g with t he Gre a t B ear a s bei n g
,

the m ost conspicuou s of those cons t ellatio n s which never


GR O U PI N G O F ST A R S I N T O C O N S T E L L AT I O N S .
31

s e t i n th e l a titude of L o n don T h e t a il a n d hi n d quarters -


.

co n sist o f 7 brillian t stars Four o f these ( B y 8 ) have . a , ,



,


lo n g bee n like n ed to a w a i n or waggo n the other 3 ( g 7) , e, , 7

bei n g fa n cifully c a lled the horses ; the 7 take n together


m a ki n g Ch a rles s \N a i n or the Plough to m entio n

som e old E n glish desig n ations * T h e hi n d wheels or th e .

2 st a rs (B ) f a rthest from the horses a re c a lled th e


, a

P ointers bec a use they point towards the P ole Star (


a
,

U rs a Mi n oris ) at the tip o f th e L i t tle B ear s t a il A li n e



.

c a rried from the P oi n t ers beyo n d the P ole Star leads to


Cepheus a n d Cassiopei a co n stellatio n s abutti n g o n the
Milky Way where it comes ne a rest to the P ole Cassio .

FI G .
3
U rsa M a j o r a n d
. Po l ar s i .

com prises severa l prom i n e n t st a rs which i


p e ia .

resembli n g the letter W or the letter M a cco rd i ,

T h e p op ul r n a m i th U n i t d S t a t s i
a e n e e e s th e i

e n st r t t h ir I w
'

o f th e se v ar a t i ib l
s e no v s e a e o e r r " M i n s m it
o f a b o ut t h l t i tu d o f P h il d h i b t t h
e a e a el p a u e
s n evei
r

se t a t a y p l a c
n n o rt h f Ch t Q C o a r o n
"

e . .
3 2 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

tim e o f year at which they are viewed T h e 2 n orthern .

m ost wheels o f the w a ggon (8 U rs a Majoris) poi n t to , a ,

the bright star Capella in A uriga which is also circum ,

polar in B ritish l a titudes but not in the U n ited States, .

T h e stars o f the Great B ear m ay be adva n tageously em


ployed by the student as an approximat e scale o f a n gular
distances i n m aki n g estim ates o f the dist a n ces betwee n
star a d star
n T
hus T h e P ointer ( ) nearest to the
z . a

P ole is 2 8 % from it from B to y is 8 from g to 7 is 7


o
7

from 6 to is 5% from a to B is
e from y to 8 and from
c to g is in both cases

Descendi n g diagonal l y alo n g the Milky Way from C a s ~

s io p e ia towards Capell a ( A u rig a ) we com e to a P e rse i a ,

and a little farther from the P ole we nd A lgol (B Pe rse i) ,

a celebrated variable star in M edus a s head I f we carry


.

o u r eyes across the Milky Way in the opposite directio n

we arrive at De n eb th e brightest star ( ) o f Cyg n us (th e


, a

S wa n ) ; and beyond Cyg n us a little o u t of the Mil ky ,

Way is Vega the brightest star ( ) in Lyra (th e Lyre)


, , a .

Draco (the Dragon ) co n sists o f a lo n g wi n di n g chai n o f


stars running partly round U rsa Mi n or (the L ittle B ear) .

I n the space b ou n ded by Cassiopeia Cygnus and D ra c o f , , ,


'
l ie s th e co n stellation Cepheus .

N ear A lgenib (y P egasi ) a n d pointi n g directly towards


it are 2 conspicuous stars of A n drom eda ( B) whilst a a , .

3 rd (y ) lies a little beyond them A ndrom eda will always .

be readily known by reason o f the con n ection of the bright


star ( ) in her he a d with th e large trapezium o f P egasu s
a

( B y ) the 4 stars forming the well k n own Squ a re o f


a , , ,
-

P e gasus

.

A n im aginary line pro j ected th rough the Great B ear


a n d Capella passes to the Pleiades the celebra ted grou p

in T aurus (the B ull ) of which we shall have m ore to s a y


,

hereafter (in Chap XI V p ost) a n d then turn i n g at a right


. .
,

angle reaches A ldebaran ( T auri a l za s the B ull s eye



a ,
'
-
G R O U PI N G O F STA R S I N T o CO N ST E L L A T I O N S .
33

and the shoulders (a y) o f O rio n O rio n is to the nake d


,
'
.

eye by far the m ost magnice n t of all the co n stellations ,

whilst it is peculiarly rich in telescopic obj ects O rion .

may always b e ide n tied by the 3 bri gh t stars in its


B elt which occupies the middle o f a large q uadrangle
"

of still bri ghter stars A ldebaran is a reddish star t he


. ,

most promi n e n t of the Hyades a cluster resembling th e ,


letter V and not far from the P leiades Aldebara n t h e


.
, .
,

P leiades a n d A lgol (B P e rs e i) make the upper while Men


, ,

ka b ( Ceti ) in the Whale s j aw with A ries m ake th e


a , , ,

lower points o f a large W T h e head o fA ries (the R a m ) .

is indic a ted by two pri n cipal stars ( B) the latter of a , ,

which h a s a small atte n dant .

A n imagi n a ry line drawn from the P ole Star a n d c a r


ried mid way betwee n the G reat B ear a n d C a pella (a
A u rig a ) passes to Castor a n d P ollux ( B Gemi n orum ) a , ,

two well k n own stars in the h eads o f Gemi n i the T wins ;


-

whilst forwards to the S o f Gemi n i it will m eet P rocyon .

(a Canis Minoris ) the brightest star of the L esser Dog .

From thence by be n ding the line across the Milky Way


a n d carr ing it as far agai n it will reach Siri us ( Ca nis
y a

Majoris ) in the Greater D og s m outh a n d will then pas s

to a som ewh a t conspicuous star which in E n gla n d is quite ,

in the southern horizon Columb a 3 3 S o f th e m iddl e


, a , .

star in O rio n s belt


.

A lgol (B P e rse i) a n d Castor poi n t to R egulus (a L eonis ,

a l i a s Cor L eo n is the L ion s heart


, which is situated at

o n e end of an arc with De n ebola (B L eo n is the tuft o f


'
) ,

the Lion s tail at the other end S o f R egulus a n d pre . .

ceding it e com i n g to the m eridia n before it by about


, .
,

hour is Cor Hydra ( ) the space between them bein g


, a ,

occupied by the m odern and insignicant c o nstellation of


the Sextant .

T h e P ole Star and the mid dle horse of th e waggon (0


direct u s to Spica the brightest star ( ) o fVirgo c o n sid
, a ,

3
34 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST AR S .

e ra b l y distant whilst forwards towards the horizon we


, , ,

sh a ll reach Centaurus T h e P ole Star and the rst horse .

(7
r U rs a Maj oris ) conduct u s nearly u po n A rcturus in
B o otes ( ) by which ne star with Spica ( Virgi n is ) a n d
a , , a

R egulus (a L eo n is ) a sple n did tria n gle is form ed


, Fol .

lowi n g at a dist ance t o the southward is A n tares ( a

Scorpii ) the R ival o f Mars which with A rcturus a n d


,

,

S pica co n stitute a n other large tri a n gle havi n g within it ,

the two bright stars and B L ibra , a .

Coro n a B oreal i s the N orther n Crow n is n early in a


, ,

line between Vega ( Lyra ) a n d A rcturus ( B o otis) and


a a

the heads o f H ercules and O phiuchu s lie betwee n Lyra


a n d Scorpio I n the Milky Way below the p a rt nearest
.
,

to Lyra a n d on a line drawn from A rcturu s through the


head of H ercules is the bright star A lt a ir in the E agle
,

A q uil a ) which m akes wi t h Vega and De n eb ( Cygni) a


, a

co n spicuou s tria n gle Closely followi n g A quila is a re


.

m arkable grou p o f stars form ing the constellation Del


p h in u s the Dolphi n
, .

T h e last a n d brightest ( ) of the 3 pri n cipal stars in a

A ndrom eda m akes wi t h 3 stars o f P egasus ( B y ) th e a , ,


'

large Squ a re o r trapezium already m e n tio n ed o fwhic h ,

the side form ed by B a n d poi n ts to Fomalh a ut ( P iscis a a

A ustralis ) situated in the m outh o f the Southern Fish


. ,

betwee n the t a ils of Cetus a n d C a pric or n us .

T h e li n e of the ecliptic may without di fculty be tr a ced


by the observer whe n his eye becom es fam iliar with the
stars n o w a bout to be e n um erated N o t far from t h e .

P lei a des are the Hyades wit h A ldebara n ( T auri ) a li t tle a ,

S o f the ecliptic T o the N W o f A ldeb a ran at so m e


. . . .

dista n ce is t h e chief star of A ries ( ) : w ile to the N E a n . .

o f th a t star a re Castor a n d P ollux ( a n d B Gemi n orum ) u .

R egulus ( L eo n is ) is o n the li n e o f t h e ecl i p t ic ; a n


a

Spica ( Virgi n is) is but a very l


a t V S o f it v e .

start bei n g thus made with t h e o d ia c a l c o n .


.
GR O U PI N G o r ST A R S I N T O CO N ST E L LAT I O N S .
35 ,

ste l l a tio n s will


be easily distin guished in their order fro m
W to E a s follows z A ries lies im m ediately betwee n
. .

A ndrom eda on the N and Cetu s on the . the thre e


asterism s reaching n early from the ho ri zon to the ze ni th
T auru s will be recognised by th e P leiades A ldebaran ( ) , a

and the Hyades ; Gemini the highest o f the sign s as see n ,

in the N orthern h em isphere by C a stor and P ollu x ( and ,


a

B) ; Ca n cer by th e.histori c group P ra se p e in th e midst ,

o f a waste rather void o f stars L e o by th e stars R e gulu s


and De n ebola (B) ; Virgo by Spica ( ) to the S f
(a ) o , a .

Com a B ere n ices ; Libra in m id dista n ce between Virg o -

and the next constellation Scorpio ; Scorpio by the red ,

star A ntares ( ) and its 3 other very conspicuou s stars (B


a ,

8 m) Sagittariu s as bei n g the lowest


,
e m ost south .
,

erly) o f a ll the signs ; Cap ricornu s S o f t he Dolphi n ; .

A quarius under the neck o f P eg a sus ; an d the P isces b e


tween P egasu s A ndrom eda and Cetus T h e follo wing
, , .

fam iliar li n es though they do n o t rise to a high sta n d a rd


,

of poetry are nevertheless very co nvenient as an aid to


,

the m emo ry :
The R a m , th e B u l l th e h
. e a e n ly T w in s
v

An d ne xt th e Cra b th e
, L io sh i n e s
n , .

T h e 1 7 2 3 7 92 , an d th e S c a l es
T h e S c o rp i on A rc /Le ) ; a n d S ea goa t,
.
-

T h e M a n t h a t h o l d s th e wa te r pa t, -

'
i
A n d F i s /z w t h gl i t t ri n g ta il s .

account j ust com pleted of what m a y be called a


T he .

perso n ally co n du cted tour of th e heave n s is a t the best ,

a hasty a n d supercial perform a nce a n d I hope that t h e ,

bu l k of my re a ders w h o have accom pa n ied m e thus fa r


will a spire to som ethi n g higher a n d m ore exact even ,

though there m ay b e i n vol v ed som e details th e m astery ,

o f w hich will require a certain am ou n t o f e f


fort and a p pli
cation .
34 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

e ra b l y distant whilst forwards towards the horizo n we


, , ,

shall reach Centaurus T h e P ole Star and the rst horse .

( } U rs a Maj oris ) co n duct u s n e a rly upon A rcturus in


7

B oo tes ( ) by which ne star with Spica ( Virgi n is ) a n d


a , , a

R egulus ( L eo n is) a sple n did tria n gle is formed


a , F ol .

lowi n g at a dist an ce t o the southward is A n tares ( a

Scorpii ) the R ival of Mars which with A rcturus and


,

,

Spica co n stitute another large triangle havi n g within it ,

the two brig h t stars an d B L ibra , a .

Coro n a B oreal i s the N orthern Crown is nearly in a


, ,

li n e between Vega ( Lyra ) a n d A rcturus ( B o Otis) a n d


a a

the heads o f H ercules a n d O phiuchus lie betwee n Lyra


a n d Scorpio I n the Milky Way below the part nearest
.
,

to Lyra a n d o n a line drawn from A rcturus through the


head o f H ercules is the bright star A ltair in the E agle
,

A quil a ) which m akes with Vega and De n eb ( Cygni ) a


, a

co n spicuous tria n gle Closely following A quila is a re .

m arkable grou p o f stars form ing the constellation Del


h in u s the Dolphin
p , .
A

T h e last a n d brightest ( ) o f the 3 pri n cip a l stars in a

A n drom eda m akes with 3 stars o f P egasus ( B y ) th e a , ,

large Square or trapezium already m e n tio n ed o fwhich ,

the side form ed by B a n d poi n ts to F o m a lh a u t ( P iscis a a

A ustralis ) situated in the m o u th o f the Southern Fish


. ,

betwee n the tails o f Cetus a n d Capricornus .

T h e li n e of the ecliptic may without di fculty be traced


by the observ er when h is eye becomes fa m iliar with the
st a rs n o w about to be e n u m erated N o t far from th e .

P lei a des are the Hyades wit h A ldebaran ( T auri ) a li t tle a ,

S of the ecliptic T o the N W o f A ldeb a ran at som e


. . . .

dista n ce is the chief star of A ries ( ) : w ile to the N E a n . .

o f th a t star are Castor a n d P ollux n d B Gemi n orum )


( a a .

R e gul us ( L eo n is) is o n the li n e o f t h e ecl i p t ic ; a n


a
'
Spica ( Virgi n is) is but a very l t
a

8 o f it i t r r
e .

start bei n g thus made with the o d ia c a l c o n [


3 6 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

A full list o f the several constellations arranged in th e


o rder in which they com e to the meridian that is to say ,

i n the order o f their R ight A scensions will be fou n d in ,

t h e A ppendix ; but it is necessary to explain here what


t h e term R ight A scension m eans and also what an ,

o th e r a n d allied term Declination m eans P erhaps this .

will be easiest done by m eans o f a terrestrial a n alogy .

E ve rybody I suppose knows that Kharto u m t h e


, , ,

scene o f a grievous tragedy is in A frica B u t how m a n y


, .

o f my readers could open a n atlas turn to the m a p o f ,

A frica a n d go straight with h is n ge r tip to the city o f


,
-

K hartoum ? B u t if he k n ew beforehand that K hartoum


w a s situated in latitude 1 5 3 5 N a n d lo n gitude 3 2 30

.

E o f Gree n wich the n di n g o f it would be an easy m at


. ,

t e r prom ptly accomplished by the aid o f a n etwork of


,

l i n es runni n g u p a n d down a n d a cross the face o f the


map . N o w what latitude a n d lo n gitude are for terrestrial
geography d ecli n ation and right asce n sio n are for celestial
,

g eography (so to speak ) o n ly j ust


, a little di ferent
f .

I t is not di fcult to m ake clear what declination is but ,

a n explanation o f right ascension will not be take n in so

readily . We have already s een that the whole visible sky


i s to be regarded as in som e sense a sphere wi t h u s o n , ,

t h e earth appare n tly as its ce n tre


, and th a t the aforesaid
sphere turn s o n an imagi n ary axis directed to 2 poles .

Mid way between the 2 poles lies the equator and a s it is ,

a sem i circle ( or
-
from pole to pole th e polar distance
o f the celestial e q uator (which is th e earth s equator pro

longed to the heave n s) W i ll be F o r som e purposes


i t is occ a sio n ally the p ra ctice o f astronom ers to count
a n gul a r dista n ces from the N pole towards the equator
.
,

but th e regul a r and ordi n ary pr a ctice is to count from the


e q uator to th e poles N or S, as the case may be H e n ce
. .
, .

we obtai n the expressions n orth decli n atio n and south


d eclin a tio n a s applied to the places o f th e stars and

, ,
GR O U P I N G O F STAR S 1 N T O CO N S T E L L A T I O N S
,
.
37

these expressi o ns are in a cert a in sense the c o unterpart


, ,

of the expression s nor t h latitude a n d south latitud e

u sed with reference to pl aces o n the ear t h .

T h e term righ t ascen sion is not to be brought hom e


to the m ind quite so easily I n the case o f terrestrial .

lo n gitudes there is no di fculty in ndi n g a denite and


im movable term inus to start from Ma n y E urop ean n a .

tio n s are u sing the m eridian o f Greenwich fo r this pur


pose though Frenchm en count fro m P aris Germ ans fro m
, ,

B erlin and so on ,
B u t in the case o f the stars a xe d
.

zero is not so easy to nd and still less easy to keep H ow .

ever astronom ers have long been agreed to m ak e what is


,
'
called the First point of A ries a l za s the Vernal

,

E quinox their starting point fo r right ascensions T hi s



-
.
,

is the point where the su n in the course o f its annual ,

j ourney through the signs of the zodiac crosses the equa ,

tor going from south to north in the m onth of March o n


, ,

the 2 0 th day o f that m onth T h e phrase vernal equi



.

nox m eans the m om ent o f equal d a y and equal night in


the spring * I t is also at this m om ent that the clocks
.

used by astronom ers in their observ atories read o h o m . .

os . O wing to the operation o f disturbi n g causes the na ,

ture a n d description o f which do not belong to this chap


ter or indeed to this volume this point is incessantly
, ,

shifti n g in the heave n s B y virtu e of a change calle d


.

the precession o f the equi n oxes the actual place of th e ,


equi n ox goes backwards about 50 every year a n d this is



,

wh a t I m eant by sayi n g above that the zero fo r celestial


lo n gitudes is n ot only n ot easy to nd but when foun d
cannot readily be kept I t m ust su fce then fo r m y.
, ,

present purpose to remark that if we wish to x the righ t


asce n sion of a star we must imagine a m eridia n to pas s
through it ; then imagine a meridian to pass through th e

La t. v er , sp rin g ; wgu u s , e q ua l ; n ox , n igh t.


3 8 T HE ST O RY O F T HE STA R S .

v ernal equinox a n d note the a n gle which the form er


m eridian m akes with the latter m easured in degrees o f
a rc alo n g the equator from W to E T hat angle will be . .

t h e star s R A I t may be expressed either in degrees



. . ,

m inutes and seconds o f arc


,
o r i n h ours m i n utes , ,

and seco n ds of tim e (h m T h e latter m ethod is n o w


. .

universally em ployed the form er having bee n discarded


,
.

T h e relatio n of arc to tim e in connection with the


m easurem ent o f a n gles o f right ascension will be readily
rem embered by n oting that a m inute or seco n d of t i m e

represents a space o f 1 5 t im es the correspondi n g d e n o m i


n a tio n in a re while the hour is I tim es degree that
, 5 o n e ,

is T h e minute a n d second o f tim e are de n oted by


the initial letter o f th eir n ames whilst the m i n ute and ,

s eco n d of a re are denoted by special symbols T hus we .

arrive at the followi n g little tabl e which t he reader should


ge t clearly xed on his m ind
h
m
1 1 5 1 4
m ' '
1 2 1 5 1 4
" "
1 3
1 5 1 0 . 0 66s

P erhaps this is as good a place as any at which to


w a r n the reader agai n st a trap w hich he is very apt to fall
i n to. T he sig n s o f the zodiac are n o t the sam e as the

co n stellations o f the zodiac (m ore ofte n sp o ken o f as

t h e zodiacal constellatio n s ) T wenty centu ries or so ago


.

t h e astronom ers of antiquity with the 1 2 zodiacal c on s te l ,

l a tio n s within their knowledge got i n t o the natural and ,

n o t i n co n ve n ie n t habit of talking o f th e s u n in its appare n t

a nnual journey through the heavens along the ecliptic as

passin g success i vely into an d out of the several S igns of


t h e zodiac . E a ch of these signs was regarded as o c c u
pied by a constellation from which it took its particul a r
na me Com m e n cing at the ver n al e q uinox the rst 30
.

t hrough which the su n passed o r th e region o f stars in ,


T HE H I S T O R Y O F T HE C O N S T E L L A T I O N S .
39

which the su n was located during the m o n th follow i n g ,

was called the S ign A ries T h e seco n d 30 was called .


th e S ig n T aurus and s o o n through the 1 2 sig n s which


, ,

are identical in nam e and follow in the sam e order as the


existi n g 1 2 zodiacal co n stellations A lthough there are .

still 1 2 signs and 1 2 constellatio n s S ign and constell a tion ,

no longer correspo n d T hough the su n when it crosses


.

the equator in the m onth o f March enters th e szgn A ries ,

it does n ot reach the c on stell a ti on A ries till nearly a m onth


later T his discrepancy is due to the yearly accu mulations
.

of 50 each which have been goi n g o n duri n g the 2 0 cen


tu rie s m enti o ned an d which are connected with the phe


n o m e n on of the precession o f the equinoxes already briey

alluded to .

T hese preliminary explanations will su f ce to enabl e


the reader now to settle down seri o usly to a stu dy of the
constellation s T his task must be carried ou t o n starlight
.

nights with the aid o f a good star atlas and a bull s eye
- -

lantern assisted or not as m ay be convenient by an


, , ,

opera glass I n the A ppendix will be found a T able o f


-
.

the constellati o ns omitting a few insignicant m od e rn


,

ones n ot generally r e cognised by astr o n o m ers .

C H APT E R V .

T HE HI S T O R Y O F T HE C O N S T E L L AT I O N S .

TO the grouping of th e stars into constellations may


well be applied the legal phrase that the cu stom is so a n
cient that the m em ory of man runneth not to the contrary .

I h a v e fo u n d n o E n gl ish o n e a s go od a s K e ith J o h n st o n s e d it e d
,

b y H in d a n d t h is b e c a u se t h e st a rs sh o w a s wh it e o n a d e e p b lu e

b a c k gro u n d K lein s p u b l ish ed b y S P C K is a l so ch ea p a n d


.

,
. . . .
,

v ery goo d .
40 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

T he germ s of it are evidently to be found in H oly Serip i


t ure . T h e three followi n g pass a ges whi ch I cite from the ,

R evised Versio n whatever else m ay be said of the m


, ,

c le a rly im ply that the allusio n s are to som e well


established
u sage

Wh i c h m a k e th th e B e a r, O r o n , i a nd th e P l e i a d es , and th e
ch a m b e rs o f th e so u th (J o b ix .
"
.

C a st th o u b i d th e c l u st e r o f th e P l ei a d e s
n n ,

o r l o o se th e b a d s o f O ri on ?
n C a n st t h o u l e a d
fo rt h th e M a zz a r t h i n t h e i r se a so ? O r
o n

c a n st th o u gu i d e th e B e a r wi t h h e r t ra i n ?

(J ob xx x v iii 3 1 .

Seek H im th a t m a k e t h th e Plei a d e s a n d O ri o n .

(Am o s v .

T he constellatio n s n o w in use are about 8 0 o r 90 in


n u m ber cou n ti n g a few m inor ones devised during the last
,

c e n tu ry chiey for the Southern hem isphere but by no


, ,

m eans counti n g all that have been proposed I t h a s been .

w ell remarked Half a century ago n o astronom er


s eemed comfortable in his position till he had orname n ted

s om e little cluster o f stars of his own picking with a nam e

o f his own m aking O f th e constellations now recog



.

n ise d n o fewer tha n 48 and those includi n g with scarcely


, ,

a n y exception the largest and best k n own are recorded ,

by Ptolem y a n d therefore have an unchallenged antiquity


.

o f 2 0 0 0 years yet the dat e o f the actual i n vention o f even


,

o n e o f them is quite u n k n own Se n eca attributed the .

s ubdivision o f th e h eave n s i n to constellations to the Greeks

1 40 0 years before Christ but there is no pr o of of this and


, ,

i f it is permissible to draw i n ferences without havi n g ma n y


facts to go upon (a com m o n practice nowadays) I should ,

be rather incli n ed to gi ve som e o f the credit o f inventi n g


The A ut h o ri z ed Ve rsion h a s h e re The S even S t a rs .

T HE HI S T O R Y O F T H E C O N S T E L L AT I O N S .
41

the constellations to the C h a l d a a n s o r E gyptian s o r to ,

both of them in shares the E gyptians havi n g developed


,

that which they derived from the C h a l d a a n s as the Chal ,

d a a n s m a y have developed som ething they derived from


peoples which preceded them Som e writers i n deed
.
, ,

have thought that a m uch greater a n tiquity should be a s


signed to the co n stellatio n s a n d there are n o t wanti n g
,

traces of proof to support this idea N eglecting for the .

m ome n t t he anc i e n t co n stellations a s a whole it certai n ly ,

seem s clear that a S pecial degree of a n tiquity attaches to


the signs of the zodiac and no wo n der seeing that they
, ,

remind u s am o n gst other thi n gs of the apparent annual


, ,

path o f the su n am o n gst the stars .

I t seem s m n
ore tha probable almost certain that
the word Mazzaroth quoted above from Job xxxviii 3 2 .
,

and left untranslated in the text by the authors of the R e


vised Versio n mea n s what they have suggested in th e
,

m argin namely the circle of the zodiac A n d it is quite


, , .

consistent with this to nd as a moder n writer has poi n ted


,

o u t that
, T hese signs w e re k n own am o n g all n atio n s
and in all ages Fro m the alm ost antedil u vi a n chro n ol
.

ogies of China I ndia and E gypt to th e traditions of the


, , ,

recently discovered islands of the South Sea traces of ,

them are discovered m ost clearly am o n g the m ost ancien t


a n d earliest civilised nations I n t h e remains o f A ssyria
.

they are recognised in those of E gypt they are perfectly


preserved in those of E truria and Mexico they are trace
able T his wide diffusio n indicates a co m m on origin
.
,

both o fthe race of man a n d of the symbols o f astronom y .

T h e love of symbols has bee n considered as n a tural t o


man the creation amid which he is placed is symbolic a l .

O fthis u n iversal te n de n cy the i n ventors of a st ro n o n y see m


to have availed themselves rendering it subservie n t to
,
'
man s spiritual educ a tion by familiarising to his mind th e
lofty truths of Divi n e revelatio n .

42 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .


T heearlies t p ositive evidence o f the prim eval exist
e n ce o f the S ig n s is in the Chinese A n n a ls where it is s a id ,

t hat the E m peror Ya o 2 3 5 7 y ears before the Christia n ,

era divided the 1 2 sig n s o f the zodiac by the 2 8 m a n sio n s


,

of the moon ; b u t it is not said that he invented them .

T h e Chinese national emblem o f the drago n appears to be


t h e dragon of the sphere which w a s at that tim e the pol a r ,

'
con stellatio n the brightest st a r in the dragon s head hav
,

ing b een the P ole Star in the a n tediluvian ages T h e .

E g y pti a ns o n whose early m o n u m ents the si gn s are


,

fou n d acknowledged that they derived their astronom y


,

fro m th e C h a ld a a n s T h e C h a l d a a n s attributed their


.

scie n ce t o C a n n e s supposed to be N oah T h e A rabs


, .

a n d B rahmins am o n g whom astro n omy was e a rly culti


,

v a te d ,seem to have derived it from A braham through ,

I shm ael and the children of K eturah


, T h e Greeks sup .

posed their im perfect knowled ge o f th e s u bj ect cam e


through th e E gypti a ns a n d C h a l d a a n s T h e R omans are .

thought to have received through the E trurians th e n am es


o f the S i gns still in u se am o n g E uropean n atio n s The .

E truria n s are considered to have derived them with their ,

other arts and sciences from A ssyria T h e early Greek , .

poet Hes i od is said to have m ade u se of A ssyrian records .

H e m ention s som e o f the constellations by the n am es


they now bear Cleostratus [c i rc a 50 0 B C ] was a o
. . .

q u a in t e d with the sig n s and w rote o n A ries and S a git ,

tari n s A later Greek poet A ratus described the c o n ste l


.
, ,

l a tio n s such as we n o w have them and by equivalent ,

n a m es H e gave n either history n o r conj ecture as to


.

their date their m ea n i n g or their origin T hey were to


, , .

him as to us of im mem orial antiquity


, , .

T h e thoughts unfolded in the foregoing extract are of


great interest but it is obviou s that a thorough investiga
,

tion of this subj ect would lead us far beyond the limits of
this little volume .
44 T HE S T O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

"
a pproach the equator from the m iddle latitudes of eith er
hemisphere owi n g to the wider expanse ope n ed u p to an
,

o bserver stationed at the equator A n observer locate d in .

a place the latitude o f which is 0 will se e in the course

o f the year a l l the naked eye stars in the heave n s -


.

A rgelander s totals arranged in m agnitudes are as fo l


l o ws
S ta rs .

I st m a g it u d e 2 0 n

2 nd 65
grd 1 90
4th 42 5
sth 1 1 00

oth 32 00

7 th
8 th
oth

T his
m atter has been m ade the subject of estimate b y
v a rious observers includi n g especially th e late P rofessor
,

Grant o f Glasgow and Karl V on Littro w of Vienn a .

T heir gures though fairly accorda n t as regards naked


,

eye stars in the a ggregat e differ a good deal magnitud e , ,

by magnitude owi n g to t here being n o recog n ised dene d


,

standards of m agn itude .

A s to this however it m ay be remarked as a thi n g by


, ,

th e way that Seidel a Germ a n observer who has give n


, ,

m uch atte n tion to the m atter has suggested the followin g ,

as sta n dard st a rs for the rst 4 m agnitudes


a A qu i l a a V i rgi n i s a O ri o n i s
I st , , .

2 md a U rsa M a j o ri s ' y C a ssi o p ei a Al gol (a t


. ,

3 rd 7 L y ra 8 H e rc ul i s 0 A qu i l a
, , .

p H e rc ul i s A D ra c o n i s (to o b ri gh t)
4th
, ,

I p B o d tis 9 H e rc u l i s (to o fa i n t )
.
, .

m ay be well to point out that the statistics just given


It ,

though n ecessarily somewhat approximate are n o t to be ,


T HE NU MBE R O F T HE ST A R S .
45

regarded as imaginary though o f course to count a nu m


,

ber of points of light like stars is not in itself a n easy task .

I t m ay be worth while therefore to carry the foregoi n g


, ,

statem e n ts a little farther A very pai n s t aki n g a st ro n o


.

m er also a German H eis of M ii n ste r a frmed that it was


, , ,

not possible to count m ore than about 50 0 0 stars visible in


the sky available in Central E urope E n dowed with a S harp.

sig h t and adopti n g v a rious a rtic e s (such a s S hutti n g out


,

a ll articial light a n d m arking o ff by me a n s o f a great


black tube each regio n of the sky u n der ex a m i n atio n ) he ,

fou n d himself able at M ii n ste r to se e 542 1 sta rs I nas .

m uch as he could from that o n e place in the course o f a


year exami n e in succession T th s of the heavens he con
s
,

cluded that supposi n g t h e portion of the Southern hemi


sphere which he could not se e resem bled in a se n se the
rest o f the sky which he could s e e the su m t o t a l of the ,

stars visible to the naked eye would mou n t up to abou t


68 0 0 .B u t it deser ves n otice that n o possible n um ber o f
st a rs which could be cou n ted would represe n t the stars
which an eye could discer n T h e eye c a n take notice o f
.

more tha n it c a n cou n t bec a use when a n y given star im


,

pri n ts itself upon the ce n tre o f the retina others whose ,

images fall u po n th e cor n e rs of the eye s o to speak seem , ,

to va n ish T his is a poi n t as to which appeara n ces are


.

a t to be very deceptive I t m a y be well here to rem ark


p .

that it is im portan t t o disti n guish clearly in the m i n d b e


twee n the results of a S i n gle gaze at the sky the eye bei n g
'
,

for the while xed a n d a look all round I n the form er


, .

case it may be taken that no m ore tha n a space o f 1 3 o r

1 4 can be taken in si m ult a n eously whilst by m ovi n g the



,

eye m ethodically i n successive directions the whole ex


pa n se o f the heavens may be brought under review .

Secchi noted the followi n g experim e n t as o n e that he


often tried with i n teresti n g results A fter taki n g a gl a nce
.

at som e particular part o f the heavens he would transfer


46 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

his eye to the nder o f the great telescope at the R o m an


College at R om e and would se e in this subordinate tele
,

scope whose eld was no larger than y as many stars as


, ,

were to be see n in the 1 3 o r 1 4 grasped by the naked

eye P assing then to h is great telescope arm ed with an


. ,

e y e piec e showi n g only an arc o f


- or o n e fourth the -

area o f the eld of his nder he would still see as ma n y ,

stars as in the nder ; proceeding yet furt her to dimi n ish


the eld by i n creasing the power the number o f the stars ,

would scarcely dimi n ish because though th e area was


, ,

curtailed yet the i n creased m agnifyi n g power revealed


,

m inute stars which had previously escaped notice T hus .

it cam e about that in certain loc a lities it was possible to


se e in a eld n o m ore than 1 5 in diam eter as m a n y stars

1

as were visible to the naked eye in a eld 1 3 in diam eter


.

T his tr a i n of thought w ill readily e n able the ge n eral re a der


to realise the fact that the larger o u r telescopes becom e
the m ore stars we c an discer n in other words that as we ,

can n ot sa y fo r a certai n ty how large our telescope s m ight


becom e so a ccordi n gly we can n ot sa y w h e n stars hitherto
,

unsee n will cease to be invisible by becomi n g V i sible So .

that we may indeed say with G a lileo that the stars are tu
n u m era ol e .

heavens are n o t e ery where equally rich ; in m any


T he v

places eve n with the l a rgest i n stru me n ts o n e c a n n d in a


eld of f scarcely 5 o r 6 st a rs : it would n o t therefore , ,

do to judge o f the n um ber o f the st a rs by these e xc e p


t io n a l re gio n s A n effort wa s m a de by the two Her
.

sc h e l s Sir Willi a m in the N orthern hemisphere a n d Sir


, ,

Joh n in the Southern hemisphere to a s c ertai n the possible ,

n um ber o f the st a rs I t is e a sy to u n derst a n d th a t this is


.

o n e o f the m ost gig a n tic t a sks which a n a stro n om er could

u n dertake because it could n ever be com p leted in the


,

lifetime o f o n e m an Sir W Herschel adopted a n i n direct


. .

m ethod to arrive at his results Making u se of h is z o ft .


-
.
T HE N U MBE R O F T HE ST A R S .
47

reector he directed it successively towards certain parts


,

of the he a vens chose n in irregular o rder o f which he


, ,

noted the right a scensio n and decli n atio n T hese regio n s .

were s o distributed over t he h eave n s as in a w a y to result


in the S ky bei n g dotted over with a n etwork o f surveyi n g
statio n s equi dista n t from each other T h e eld o f h is
-
.

telescope wa s just a n d the mag n ifyi n g power 1 2 0 He .

cou n ted in each eld the number o f stars visible in it ; in


par t icular places where the num ber wa s so great as to
re n der cou n ti n g im possible h e m ade a n estim ate Ha v .

in g gath ered together a certai n n um ber of these cou n ts ,

o r estim ates in a particul a r part o f the S ky b e sum m ed


, ,

u p the total n umber of stars see n a n d divided this total ,

by the n u mber o f the groups T h e resulti n g gure w a s


.

take n to represent the m ea n average density o f the stars


in the n eighbourhood o f the pl a ce exam ined T his m eth .

o d the o n ly o n e possible in pr a ctice has som e defects ;


, ,

still em ployed on the large scale carried o u t by Sir Wil


,

liam Herschel it gave results so far conclusive that n o


,

m ore m odern effort has yet superseded it O f course it .

will ofte n hap pe n that a certain locality will be very rich


in stars whilst in a n other like area not far o ff there will
, , ,

be a great scarcity o f stars ; still taki n g rich a n d poor ,

n eighbourhoods together a fairly trustworthy average re


,

sult will be obt a i n ed I t h a s already be e n stated th a t to


.

take a ce n sus o f th e whole heavens would be a work so


v a st that n o o n e m a n could e ver hope to a ccom plish it ;
there is however now in p rogress a n i n tern ational photo
, ,

gra phic survey o fthe heave n s which when it is com plete


, , ,

will go far to ll up the void in our k n owledge which at


prese n t exists ; but before speaki n g of this it will be bet
te r to n ish with the work of the H erschels in this depart

m e n t of astronomy T o obt a i n an idea of it it will su fce


.
,

to rem ember that Sir W Herschel deal t with 340 0 groups


. .

T hese were not all com pletely i n dependent of o n e a n other ,


48 T HE S T O RY O F T HE S TA RS .

a nd they must be reduced to the sm aller n umber o f 68 3 in


order to obta i n t he n umber o f the quite independent
groups H erschel is co n sidered to have exami n ed o n ly
.

gg
i
t h part o f the s ky it would h a ve t a ke n him 8 3 years

to h a ve gone over the e n tire heave ns allowi n g that h e ,

could have do n e I O O elds every night a n d could have ,

found 1 0 0 favourable nights in every year I n som e re .

gio n s the stars were so num erous that Sir William counted
5 8 8 in o n e eld of view a n d
, the
, telescop e remaining s ta

t io n a ry eld after eld quite as rich passed alo n g as in a


,

pa n oram a fo r several mi n utes A t o n e place b e estimated


.

that h e had seen stars passi n g before him in a


qu a rter o f a n hou r ; a n d that o n a n other occasion
stars passed in 4 1 m i n utes ; o n the other ha n d in other ,

parts o f the h eave n s elds prese n ted them selves with o n ly


two o r three stars in them T h e results which Sir W
. .

H erschel arrived at were published in 1 7 8 5 N early 50 .

years later his so n who we n t o u t to the Cape of Good


,

Hope for the express purpose o f carryi n g o n observatio n s


in the Southern hemisphere took u p agai n t h is very self
,

s a me questio n of the num beri n g o f the st a rs His results .


,
'
equally as i n teresting as h is fa t her s di ffered from them in ,

this particular that the Southern hemisphere is less uni


,

formly decked wit h st a rs than the N orther n hem isphere ,

a n d bare places are m ore comm o n .

B y a com putation based o n the results o f gaugi n g


both hem ispheres Sir John Herschel fou n d that the total
,

n umber of stars visible in an I 8 i n ch reector can n ot be


-

le ss tha n 5} millio n s but Struve i n terpreting Sir W H er


, , .

sc h e l s observ a tio n s in the light o f his o w n estimated t hat


m ore tha n 2 0 millio n s of stars were within the grasp o f a


reector of the n am ed dim e n sio n s .

T h e m ost cursory exami n ation of th e heavens will


make it clear that the stars are very unequally distributed
that in som e parts they are very m uch m ore closely ar
T HE N U M B ER O F T HE S TA R S .
49

ra n ged than in others a n d that this is true whether we


,

consider their a bsolute n u mber or their i n di vidu a l bright


n ess. Variou s a ttem pts h a ve bee n m ade to fra m e sp ee n
l a t io n s as to the c a uses a n d m ea n i n g o f these f a cts but it ,

is obvious th a t a l l such specul a tio n s m ust be m ore o r les s


useless a n d u n protable I m ay h a ve som eth i n g m ore t o
.

s a y o n this sub j ect whe n we com e to de a l with that w o n

d e rfu l m a ss of st a rs which we call the Galaxy or Milky ,

Way but a n i n vestigatio n a s to the h ow o r the why


,

there a re m ore stars to be seen in som e places tha n in


others would in t he prese n t state of o u r knowledge lead
, ,

to n o very de n ite or s a tisfactory results .

A few words about the I n ter n a tional P hotogra phic


Survey o f the He a ve n s which is n ow in progress T hi s .

took its origin from a Co n ference o f A stro n om ers re pre ,

se n ti ng 1 6 differe n t n atio n alities which m et at the Pa ri s


,

O bserv a to ry in A pril 1 8 8 7 o n the i n vitatio n o f the A cad


, ,

emy of Scie n ces o f Fra n ce T h e basis o n which t h e


.

u n dertaki n g wa s started was in su bsta n ce de n ed as fol


lows T hat the progress m ad e in a stro n om ic a l pho
to gra ph y demands that the a stro n om ers o f the prese n t
day should u n ite in obt a i n ing a perm a n e n t record o f th e
heave n s by m ea n s o f photography (2 ) T hat the work
.

should be c a rried out at selected stations a n d with in s tru ,

me n ts which should be ide n tic a l in siz e a n d other esse n


ti a l features (3) T h a t the pri n cipal obj ect to be a imed
.

at is to secure a ch a rt of th e heave n s for the present


epoch a n d therewith d a ta fo r determ i n i n g with the great
,

est possible accu racy the positio n s a n d bright n ess of all


stars down to a given m ag n itude the ultimate idea bein g
,

t hat the information thus obtai n ed should be so preserved

as to be available in future ye a rs for d etermi n i n g whether


cha n ges o f positio n o r bright n ess have occurred in re
spect of a n y give n stars T hese preliminary principle s
.

having been accepted by the Conference which com prise d ,


5 0 T HE ST O RY O F T HE STA R S .

2 0 represe n tatives for France 8 fo r E n gland and the ,

B ritish Colo n ies 6 for Germ any 3 each for R ussia H ol , , ,

land a n d the U n ited States 2 each fo r A u stria Swede n


, , , ,

a n d De n mark a n d I each for B elgium I t a ly Spai n P ortu


, , , ,

gal Switzerl a nd B razil a n d A rge n ti n a a com mittee was


, , , ,

appoi n ted to co n sider and report upo n the form a n d size


o f the i n strume n ts to be used and the ra n ge o f m ag n itudes

to be em braced A fter a large amou n t of a n xiou s i n quiry


.

and debate it was eventually decided that the i n stru me n ts


,

em ploy ed should be excl usively refractors of I I inches


aperture and rather more tha n I 1 feet focal le n gt h givi n g
, ,

a eld o f 2 square the photogra phic plates bei n g 6%



,

i n ches square a n d S howi n g a n e ffective square (resea u ) of


,

5% i n ches with li n es i,
n c h apart .

T h e n ecessary i n strum e n ts have bee n provided chiey ,

at the cost o f the Govern m e n ts o f th e respective cou n tries ,

a n d the survey is n o w well in ha n d at th e following 1 9 o h

se rv a to rie s H elsi n gfors P otsdam O xford Gree n wich , , , ,

P aris Vien n a B ordeaux T oulouse C a tane A lgiers San


, , , , , ,

Fernando Chapultepec T acubaya R io de J a n eiro Sa n ti


, , , ,

ago Sydney Cape o f Good H ope L a Plat a a n d Mel


, , , ,

bour n e T hese observatories ra n ge in latitu de from 60


.

to 3 8 m a y be co n sidered a s co n ve n ie n tly

N . a nd

placed for embraci n g the whole S ky I t is sc a rcely n e c e s .

sary to add that the work u n dertaken is o n e of e n orm ou s


m ag n itude a n d though not actually di fcult requi res in
, , ,

a high degree the services of observers well e n dowed with


the virtues o f patience and c a refulness T h e work will . ,

o f course occupy several years , .


5 2 T HE ST O RY O F T HE S TA R S .

T he pro ximity o f o n e star to a n other m ight in any


g iven case o n ly be an e ffect o f perspective and n o t an

actual fact F o r i n stan ce a man sta n di n g o n the t op of a


. ,

stra ight ro a d which led up a hill might se e 2 m en a p


p roa c h in
g him seemingly , wal king S houlder to S houlder ,

as if they were 2 frie n ds engrossed in conversation ,

whereas in reality they might be isolated individuals w a lk


ing up the hill each on h is o wn account perhaps 50 yards
, ,

a part . O n the other ha n d if the m a n at the top saw the


,

o ther 2 m en cross from o n e sid e o f the road t o the other

sim ulta n eously a n d that as o n e turned his head askew


, ,

appare n tly to look at som e dista n t obj ect the other did ,

the sam e thing h e might j ustly i n fer that the two were
,

really friends a n d were really walking S ide by side .

T h e foregoi n g illustratio n s will defi n e with perfect a o


c ur a cy the di f fere n ce betwee n what is called a n optical

d ouble star (that is 2 stars which seem to be li n ked to


-
,

gether because o fthe effect o fperspective ) and a binary

doubl e star ; that is 2 stars which n o t o n l y seem to be


-
,

li n ked together but truly are so T h ese last n amed are .


-

o ften S poke n o fa s physic a l doubles o r 2 st a rs physically

co n n ected T o determi n e in a n y give n c a se whether a


.

pair of stars belo n g to the o n e class o r the other is a mat


ter i n volvi n g both delica t e observ a t io n s a n d laborious c a l
c u l a t io n s . More tha n a ce n tu ry a n d a quarter a go Michell
suspected that t here m ight be a physical co n n ectio n su b
s isti n g betwee n cert a i n st a rs by co n sideri n g the probable

c ha n ce o f produci n g a purely accide n t a l combi n ation if a


b a tch of st a rs were so to speak promiscuously thrown
, ,

h a ph a zard into s pace H e fou n d th a t the chan ces o f


.

b ri n gi n g together stars such as the P leiades o f their ,

b ri ght n ess and at their dista n ce w a s to I of 1 50 0


. ,

st a rs visible T h e im prob a bility bec a m e mu ch gre a ter if


.

the i n q ui ry was based u po n the case o f stars o f the z u d


a nd
3 rd m a g n itudes a n d wi t hi n a few seconds o f arc o f
D O U B L E STA R S .
53

on e an o ther Ye t in point of fact we have several exam


.

ples of this kind such as a Centauri an d a Gemi n orum


, .

B u t probability does not suf ce to establish the trut h


of a fact O n e draws a much m ore co n clusive argumen t
.

from a co n sidera tio n o f the actual proper m otio n s o f th e


stars where such can b e detected I f the stars were acci .

dentally brought together as they are ge n era lly o f differ


,

e n t magnitudes their proper m otio n s both real a n d a p


, ,

parent would also di ffer ; co n sequently with the lapse o f


,

time they ought to separate from o n e a n other Ye t it .

happens that many of these stars though exhibiting con ,

sid e ra b l e actual m otion preserve ve ry mu ch the sam e d is


,

ta n ce from o n e another duri n g an extrem ely long interval


o f time . Such are the t wo stars com posi n g Centau ri a . a

Geminorum ) Virgi nis U rs a Maj oris and a great nu m


,
1 , ,

ber o fothers pairs o f unequal size


, Ce n tauri the t wo. a ,

constituent stars o f which were separable with di fculty


in a telescope 1 0 0 years ago h a s such a considerabl e ,

proper motion that the two stars ought n ow to have b e


come separated by an interval o f 6 m i n utes i f th e prope r
motion o f the o n e were n o t shared in by t he other T his . ,

perhaps would not al wa ys be an u n faili n g criterio n b e


, ,

cause it might so h appen that the proper m otion s o n ly ex


h ib ite d sm a ll di fferences n o twithsta n ding the extent a n d
,

reality of the differe n ce What after all would in any


.
, ,

given case plainly decide the questio n would be the posi


tive fact (where it could be est a blished ) that o n e star
turned around the other in a closed orbit in seemi n g a c
c o rd a n c e with the reco nised p rinciples o f the law of
g
gravitatio n T his great discovery has i n deed been m ade
.
,

a n d we o we it to Sir William Herschel W hen that re .

markable man had su fcie n tly perfected his i n strum ents ,

so that he coul d pe n etrate into the depths o fspace in a way

never before attem pted by a n y o f his predecessors he se t ,

himself the task o f seeki n g to discover stellar parallax o r ,


T HE ST O RY O F T HE S T AR S .

The proximity of o n e star to a n other m ight in any


g iven case o n ly be an e ffect o f perspective a nd n o t an

actual fact For i n sta n ce a man st a n di n g on the to p o f a


. ,

s traight road which led up a hill mi ght se e 2 m en a p


p roa c h in
g him seemingly, wal k i n g shoulder to shoulder ,

as if they were 2 frie n ds engros sed in conversatio n .

whereas in reality they might be isol a ted i n dividu a ls w a lk


in g up the hill each on his o wn accou n t perh a ps 50 yards
,
-
,

a part. O n the other ha n d if the m a n at the t o p saw the


,

o ther 2 m en cross from o n e S ide of the road to the other

S imulta n eously a n d that a s one tur n ed his head a skew


, ,

a ppare n tly to look at som e distant object the other did ,

the s a m e thi n g he might justly infer that the two were


,

really friends a n d were really walki n g side by S ide .


T h e foregoing illustrations will de n e with perfect a o


c uracy the di f ference betwee n what is called a n optic a l

d ouble star (that is 2 stars which seem to be li n ked to


-
,

gether because of the e ffect o fperspective ) a n d a bi n a ry


doubl e star ; that is 2 stars which n o t only seem to be
-
,

li n ked together but truly a re so T h ese last n a m ed are .


-

o fte n S poken of as physical doubles or 2 stars physically

co n n ected T o determine in a n y given case whether a


.

pair of stars belo n g to the o n e class or the other is a m at


ter i n volving both delic a t e observatio n s a n d l a borious cal
c u l a t io n s
. More tha n a ce n tury a n d a q uarter ago Michell
suspected that there might be a physical co n n ectio n su b
s isti n g betwee n cert a i n st a rs by co n sideri n g th e probable

c ha n ce o f produci n g a purely accide n tal combi n atio n if a

batch o f stars were s o to speak promiscuously thrown


, ,

h a phazard i n to s pace H e fou n d th a t the chan ces of


.

bri n gi n g together s tars such as the P lei a des o f their ,

b right n ess and at their dista n ce was to I of I 50 0


, ,

stars visible T h e im prob a bility bec a m e mu ch greater if


.

the i n q uiry wa s based u po n the case o f stars o f the 2 nd


a n d 3 rd m a g n itudes a n d wi t hi n a few seco n ds of arc o f
DOU B L E STA R S .
53

on e another Ye t in point of fa ct we have several exam


.

ples of this kind such as a Centauri and a Geminorum


, .

B u t probability does not su fce to establish the trut h


o f a fact O n e draws a m uch m ore co n clusive argum en t
.

from a consideratio n of the actual proper m otions o f th e


stars where such can be detected I f the stars were acci .

dentally brought together as they a re generally o f di ffer


,

e n t m agnitudes their proper m otio n s both real a n d a p


, ,

parent would also d i ffer ; co n sequently with the lapse of


,

tim e they ought to S eparate from o n e another Ye t it .

happens that ma n y o f these stars though exhibiti n g con ,

s id e ra b l e actual m otion preserve very mu ch the sam e dis


,

tance from o n e a nother d uri n g a n extrem ely long interval


o f time . Such are the t wo stars com posi n g Centau ri a . a

Gem inorum y Virginis g U rs a Majoris and a great num


, ,

,

ber of others pairs o f unequal size a Centauri the two


, .
,

constituent stars o f which were separable with di ffi culty


in a telescope 1 0 0 years ago has such a co n siderabl e ,

proper m otion that the two stars ought n o w to have b e


come separated by an interval of 6 minutes i f the proper
motio n of th e one were n o t S hared in by the other T his . ,

p erhaps would not al ways be an u nfailing criterio n b e


, ,

cause it might so h appen that the proper m otio n s o n ly ex


h ib ite d sm all di fferences notwithsta n ding the extent a n d
,

reality o f the difference What after all would in any


.
, ,

give n case pl a i n ly decide the question would be th e posi


tive fact (where it could be established ) that one star
tur n ed arou n d th e other in a closed orbit in seemi n g a c
c o rd a n c e with the recog n ised pri n ciples of the law of
gravitatio n T his great discovery has indeed been made
.
,

and we o we it to Sir William Herschel W hen that re .

markable m an had su fcie n tly perfected his i n strum ents ,

s o that he coul d penetrate into the depths of space in a way

n ever before attem pted by a n y o f his predecessors he se t ,

him self the task o f seeki n g to discover stellar parallax o r ,


54 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

th e actual distances of the stars from the earth H e se .

l e c te d for his p u rpose certain large stars which were


a ccompanied by small companio n s at a distance of o n ly a

few seconds o f a re H e m easured these distan ces with


.

g re a t care b y me ans o f a n i n strume n t of his o wn i n ve n tion

c alled a m icrom eter which also enabled him to deter


m i n e the a n gle m a de by a li n e passi n g through two st a rs


with the m eridian H e called this a n gle the a n gle o f
.

p ositio n o f the two stars regarding the larger of the m


,

a s the determi n i n g ce n tre of the a re on which the m e a s

u re m e n t was founded I f there had been a n y a n n ual par


.

a ll a x that is to say a n y apparent displacem e n t of the


,

stars with respect to the celestial b a ckground as a resul t ,

o f viewi n g the stars from opposite poi n ts of the earth s


o rbit at 6 m onthly i tervals


- n t h a t parall a x would have
bee n discoverable becau se there would h a ve been disclosed
a v a riatio n in the dist a n ce o r angle com p a ri n g one tim e,

with a n other separated by the interva l o f6 m o n ths H ow .

e ver after num e rous a n d painstaking researches carried


, ,

FI G 6
. . He rc ul is FI G 7. .
5 He rc
-

ul i s

o ut with every attention to detail H erschel could not sa t


,

i sfy him self that he had obtai n ed a n y proofs o f change ,


DO U B L E S TA R S .
55

and he gave up the work fo r a tim e in despair H aving .

after wards im proved his i n strum ental m ea n s h e resum ed ,

his labours hoping for better results Great was his su r


, .

p rise to n d that som e of the stars which he had form erly


seen double had becom e single the ju n ior m ember having ,

disappeared whilst others had evidently changed both


,

their angular position and their distance T hough a ll .

hope of discovering an annual parallax seemed to hav e


vanished at least he had obtained traces o f a parallax o f
,

another sort due either to a general m ovement o f th e


,

whole syste m o r to som e special m o vem ent appertaining


to particular stars Michell s o l d idea seem s to have re
.

curred to H erschel s m ind and to have stimulated h im to


further e ffort and after several additional years o f pains


,

taking and laborious work at le n gth in 1 8 0 2 h e foun d ,

himself i n a position to announce to the scientic wo rl d


his grand discovery that there existed system s form ed b y
pairs o f stars revolvi n g about each o ther in regular e l lipti c
orbits H e coined the w o rd
.

binary and gave it to


th e s e stars to distinguish
,

the m from m ere o ptical


double stars which do not
-
,

e xhibit any m utual peri o di c

changes o f place .

T h e interval that elapsed


between Sir W Herschel s .

abandonm ent of h is rst re


searches and h is renewal of
work was about 2 5 years .

T his is a period quite su f FI G 8 ;H ul i . F e rc s

cie n t to enable the m otion of


many binary st a rs to becom e evident to the senses a n d ,

accordingly no fewer than ab out 50 stars were n o ticed b y


Herschel to hav e u ndergo n e change during th e tim e tha t
5 6 T HE S T O RY O F T HE S TA R S .

h is operations were suspe n ded T rue that his stars had .


,

fo r th e m ost part o n ly had tim e to traverse a portio n o f


,

t h eir orbits but m o re tha n 90 years havi n g elapsed si n ce


,

H erschel s a n n ou n cem ent o f 1 8 0 2 it follows th a t a certain


num ber o f bi n a ry st a rs have n o t only go n e e n tirely rou n d


in their orbits o n ce but som e o f them have do n e so alm ost
,

twice a n d the form a n d dimensio n s o f their orbits are


,

n o w f a irly well understo o d T o cut a long story short i t


.
,

m a y be st a ted that fully 2 0 0 pairs o f stars are now recog


n ise d to be in m 0 otio ou o n e a n other in obedie n ce to
1 1 0 n round
l a ws prob a bly identical
nt with
w i what are known as the laws
o fgravitatio n though for r Oobvious reaso n s their orbits have
,

n o t all bee n i n vestigated with equal complete n ess a n d


a ccu racy h e followi 8
1 g are the n a m es an d particul a rs
'
T . 0 n

o f a few o fthe binary stars with periods o f less than 1 0 0

years the nature o f whose m oveme n ts has bee n a sc e r


,

t a in e d with fair certainty

N E S T AR P e rio d
D t
a e o f La s t
AM OF . .

Pa ssa g e .

42 C o m a B e re n i c e s
CH e rc u l i s
77 C o ro a n

u
,
H e r ul i s
?
c

S i ri u s
C a c ri n

E U rsa M a j o ris
.

a Ce n t a u ri
) C o ro n a
1

7O O ph iu c h i

Sir W H erschel s original observations had reference


.

o nly to pairs of st a rs but the further a ttention w hich has


,

bee n given to this subject o f late y ears has resulted in


t h e discovery of the fact that in certain cases there exist
s ystem s of stars in triplets e a ch member of whi ch sy s ,
5 8 T HE S T O RY O F T HE S TA R S .

T hat disturbances are traceable in the m ovem ents o f


Si rius is n o n e w idea for the great Germa n astro n om er
, ,

B essel of KOn in e rg as far back as 1 8 44 n o t only no


, ,

ti c ed their existe n ce but suggested the presence of an in


visible perturbing body belongi n g to the system o f Sirius
, ,

as a n explanation of the fact that the proper m otion of


Sirius takes place n o t in a regular line but in an irregular ,

sinuous line A ccordin gly he suggested that this very


. ,

bright star possessed a dark satellite O ther astronom ers .

worked at the idea an d may be said to have paved th e


,

way for the actual discovery o f the satellite by Clark .

A very interesti n g question often presents itself to


students of astronomy wh o m edit a te on what they hav e
,

seen after they have exam ined double stars T h e ques .

tion m ay b e put in this form : We o n the earth a re


placed o n a certain m ovi n g body called a planet which is ,

o n e o f a nu mber o f pla n ets circulating round the sun as

their chief ruler o r centre I s this state o fthi n gs unique


.

O r on the other ha n d do other su n s exist ?


, , to be
m ore precise do other bodies exist in the universe whic h
,

are centres of life a n d m otion a n alogous to o u r su n ? N o


o n e who has seen a bright double star with its o n e o r ,

m ore com panio n s and still m o re no o n e who has seen


, ,

the m any bright stars wi th com panions which are t o be


found scattered u p and down the heavens can d oubt ,

that the answer to the above m ain qu estion must u n


doubtedly be in the a frmative I n other words that . ,

there are in the universe ma n y su n s each with its own ,

c orteg e of planets a n d not one sun only Much beyond



.
,

this however we cannot go O n e thi n g is n o t a m a tter


, , .

o f specul a tio n Whereas our planets revolve round the


.

su n in orbits which though not truly circular are yet n o t


, ,

very eccentric that is d o n o t depart much from the cir


,

c u l a r form yet in the cases of th e bi n ary stars the orbits


. ,

o f all that are know n depart very much indeed from the
F A M I LY P AR TI E S OF ST AR S .
59

circle Secchi has well pointed out that if we c o nsider


.

for a m oment what is involved in the existe n ce o f lumi


n ous system s o f stars we m ay well be struck with the i n
,

fe re n c e s which necessarily follo w I n the case of a sy s .

t em th e form o f whose orbit is very eccentric (such as


a Centau ri ) any atte n dant planets m ust be warm ed some
,

tim es by 2 S uns very n ear som etim es by o n e su n very


,

near a n d by another ve ry far o ff Who can calculate


, .

the tr a nsformations o flife which go o n under such cir


c u m s ta n c e s without rem embering the wisdom o f Him

who often with sm a ll appare n t m eans is able to bri n g


about an i n n ite variety of results A d d to this the fact
that double stars very often exhibit d i ffere n t and comple
m entary colours T h e imagination of even a poet would
.

be i n capable of describi n g to us the phases o f a day


illuminated by sa y a red su n and o f a night illumi n ated
, , ,

by s a y a green s u n ; o r of a day in which 2 suns o f dif


, ,

fe re n t colours competed with o n e another whilst the ,

night was u shered in by a golden t wilight a n d the next


m orning was preceded by a blue daw n B u t I do not .

wish in this chapter to drift into star colours for that is a ,

subj ect o f su f cient im portance to dese rve a chapter to


itself .

C H A PT E R V I I I .

FA M I L Y P A R T I E S O F S T AR S .

T HE subject m atter o f the preceding chapter will nat


u ra lly suggest the idea that if one naked e y e star is foun d -

telescopically to co n sist really o f 2 stars why not another ,

of 3 stars o r 4 stars o r m ore in close association physic


, ,

ally o r apparently ? A n d su ch indeed is the case W e , , .

have accordi n gly plenty o f triple st a rs som e quadruples


, , , ,

som e q uintuples som e sextuples and so o n m any of


, ,
60 T HE ST O RY O F T HE STAR S .

them very picturesque to look at through a tel e sc op e .

A mongst the t ripl e stars within the easy reach o f amateurs


arm ed with sm all telescopes
m ay be m enti o ned F la m ste e d s

1 1 Monocerotis 1 2 L yncis and , ,

5 1 L ibra T h e following are .

quadruples i r Canis Maj oris "


,

8 L acert a B Lyra is a quin


2
.

tuple A gain there are som e .

stars which com prise so many


c onstituents that they can best

be described as multiples ;

F G 9 Ly
such are Lyr a and a O rionis e .

I e ra
I t will be seen from the en
. . .

g ravings that each of these exhibits a double system o f


s tars s o that e Lyr a m ay be called a d o u b le double whilst
, .
-
,

a O ri o nis is a d o uble triple - T h e form er object c o mprise s


.

FI G . 1 0 ,
Oi 0
'
i
r o n s.
A M ILY
F P AR T I E S OF ST AR S . 61

on epair of sta rs o f m ags 5 a n d 64 whilst the second pair


.
,

are 5 a n d 5 } respectively T here seem s every reason to


1 .

suppose not only that the 2 st a rs o f each pair constitut e


a binary system (each star revolvi n g rou n d the other) ,

but that each p a ir take n together revolves rou n d th e


other pair t h us constituti n g a double bi n ary o r a syste m
,
-
,

FI G. I 1 .
9 O ri o n is .

of mutual association of great com plexity B et ween the .

2 mai n pairs there are severa l sm a ller stars Ma n y tele .

scopes will show 3 and P rofessor H a ll in A m eric a h a s


, , ,

m a de the 3 i n to 7 but his additio n al stars are very fai n t


,

indeed a n d c a n o n ly be seen in the very largest telescopes


. .

Lyra is o n the fram e o f the L yre 1 5 N E o f the very



e , . .

bright st a r Vega .

T h e group forming O rionis whilst it bears a certai n


0
'
,
62 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

fa mily resemblance to e Lyra di ffers from it in the respect


,

that we have no knowledge of any o f the stars being


linked together so as to constitute a m oving system a .

O rio n is may be easily found a s it form s the southern ver


,

tex of a tria n gle with the 2 last stars and ) in O rion s e


B elt ; and it is rather less than a degree from in the


direction of B .

O rion contains another m ultiple star o f great interest


know n a s 6 O rionis I n this case the re are 6 stars th e
.
,

four most co n spicuou s of which m ake a trapezium a t d is


t a n ces n o t very u n equal T h e 5 th an d 6th stars are fai n ter
.
,

and lie ju st outside the boundary lines o f t he trapeziu m .

I n this case the com pone n t st a rs are n o t orga n ised in


pairs a n d d o not appear to co n stitute a system physic a lly
,

connecte d 6 O rio n is is in the midst of the Great N ebula


.

in O rion o f which m ore ano n P erhaps it might even



.
,

be said to form a part o f the nebula .

C H AP T E R IX .

CO L O U R E D STA R S .

M O ST persons would on a casual glance that the


sa y

stars are S pecks or poi n ts o f white light a n d so n o doubt ,

the m aj ority o f t h em are ; but m ore atte n tive exami n a


tio n will disclose the fact that a very considerable n um ber
of them exhibit de n ite colours though those in which ,

a n y colour is very pro n ou nced are in a great mi n ority ,

T h e stude n t wh o is famili a r with th e i n te n se colours o f


the solar spectru m will be disappoi n ted if he expects to
n d am o n gst the stars m a n y colours as pronou n ced as
those which he sees in the sol a r S pectrum N e v e rt h e .

less it is possible in a general way to n d here a n d


,

there stars which if they were all brought together in


C O LO U R E D ST AR S . 63

a row would c on stitute som e similitude of the solar S pec


t ru m
.

T here are m a n y di fculties in the way both of o b se rv


in g a n d o f recordi n g the colours of stars and this ex ,

plains the discrepancies in the accou n ts p ut forth by dif


fe re n t o b servers I n the rst place people s eyes are

.
,

di ffere n tly co n stituted ; S om e e y es are m ore c a p a ble th a n


others o faccurately appreciati n g and describi n g a colou r .

Som e eyes i n deed a s is well known are totally I n capable


, , ,

o f appreciati n g certain c olours at all P ossessors of such


.

eyes are said to be colour bli n d


B u t disregardi n g ex
-
.

trem e cases of this sort it is quite certai n that ordi n ary


,

e y es will di ffer n o t a little in appreciating a given colour .

I t su fces to visit a picture gallery and take n ote o f the


di ffere n ces in the copies o f o n e a n d the same origin a l pic
ture which are bei n g m ad e by di fferent copyists to re a li se ,

the fact that particular hues in the origi n al are reproduced


in a very di fferent way by the d i ffere n t perso n s .

T he n again the qu a lity of the glass of the telescope


, ,

em ployed inuences much the appare n t colours o f the


obj ects looked at ; and still greater is th e e ffect o f the good
o r bad gri n di n g o f the le n ses I n other words le n ses
. ,

made of very pure glass and ve ry a ccurately ground a n d


polished will yield im a ges a n d i n dications o f colour which
will be m uch m ore true to n ature tha n th e indications
a fforded by i n ferior glass inaccura tely gured I t is a .

very not eworthy fact th a t m etal lic mirrors always give to


ob j ects see n through them a reddish ti n ge T his is strik .

in gly brought o u t in connection with Sir J oh n H erschel s


observa tio n s of red stars T o m any of these objects he


.

has attached such qualifyi n g words as carm i n e ruby ,


intense crim son where ordinary observers em ployi n g


,

ordi n ary telescopes would se e o n ly ordi n a ry red hues .

N o r is m agnifyi n g power e n tirely a n u n im port a nt m atter ;


with a low power white will domi n ate and other tints will .
64 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

in a m easure be lost because n o star is a bsolutely m ono


,

ch romatic ; o u the other ha n d a high ma gn ifying power


,

dimi n ishes the total light and exaggerati n g the dim e h


, ,

sio n s of the spuri ous discs renders the colours more easily
,

disti n guishable A gai n the state o f the atm osphere a n d


.
,

the p roximity of a st a r to the horizo n greatly a ffect its a p


p e a ra n c e
. I t is o n ly when a star is well up in the heavens
above the horizon that its tru e colour wh a tever it m ay be , ,

can be n oted because n ear the horizon all celestial obj ects
,

a pparently acquire red o r orange hues which do n o t really ,

belong to them .

P erhaps th e greatest of all the di fculties which beset


the observer who wish es to m ake a n accurate record o f
st a r colours is the di fculty o f providi n g and using a
,

sta n dard of colour for com p a risons Such a standard is .

furn ished n aturall y by th e solar spectrum ; but a stro n o


m ers have hitherto been altogether ba fed in their a t
tem pts to reprod u ce the prismatic colours in such a way
th a t they can be re n dered practically available in the dark
ness of ni ght side by S ide with the image of a Star pro
,

d u c e d at the eye end of a telescope


-
T here is herein in . ,

point of fact a double di fculty : that which m ay be called


,

t h e m a n ual o r m echa n ical di f culty just alluded to a n d ,

th a t which arises from the fact that the articial light em


plo y ed by n ight being yello w i n jures the neutrality o fthe
,

eye a n d fa lsie s all articial colours I t was with the idea .

o f getting over these di f culties that Secchi proposed to


m ake u se o f an electric spark which ifderived from dif
, ,

fe re n t su b stances woul d give for each of them a di ffere n t


,

hue but I am not aware that any attem pt has ever been
,

m ade to put this idea into practice .

Single stars of a red or ora n ge hu e are not uncom m on ,

but isolated blue o r green stars are very rare I n d eed .


,

B L ibr a appears to be the o n ly conspicuous star which is


gree n I n the case however of double stars it is much
.
, ,
66 T HE ST O RY O F T HE STAR S .

a H e rc u l i s O ra n ge l
E m e ra d G re e n
B Cygn i Ye l lo w S a pph i re Bl u e
0 C a ssi o p ei a Gre en i sh B ri gh t B l u e
'

Secchi c o m piled the following list of conspicuous stars


o f the colours stated W /zi te P rocyon A ltair ; B l u e , . ,

S irius Vega Castor R egulus ; Yell ow Capella P ollux


, , , , , ,

a Ceti ; O ra n e A ldebaran A I c tu ru s B etel uese



g , g R u a ay , , ,

A ntares H ercul i s
, a .

K ruger an experienced German observer has given


, ,

the followi n g list which it will be seen is not wholly


, , ,

i n accord with Secchi s W a i te Sirius A ltair R e gu


, , ,

l u s : Yell ow Capella P ollux A rcturus ; Ora ng e or R ed


, , , ,

a Herc u lis B etelguese , .

A ll the really red stars that is stars o f pronounced ,

d epth o f colour are comparatively small in size scarcely ,

if at all visible to the n aked eye T here are a fewper


, .

haps half a dozen to which the desig n ation carmine

m ay be a pplied but the bulk of the so called red stars are


,
-

m ore ora n ge than red I S hall have so m e th in g m o re to


say about som e of these in the chapter o n Variabl e

S tars

.

T h e question o f whether the stars vary in colour has


attracted som e attention but the evidence is o n the whole , ,

m eagre a n d inconclusive From a passage in Seneca an .


,

ancient R om a n writer it h a s bee n i n ferred that he wished,

it to be u n derstood that in his day Sirius th e Dog Star , ,

w a s red where a s n o w it is white or bluish white P tolemy


, ,
-
.

seem s also to have regarded Sirius a s a red star a n d to '

have used a word to describe it which he also applied to


P ollux N o w P ollux is certainly a reddish yellow star in
.
-

t h e present day a n d if it a n d Sirius could ever have been


,

a ppropriately designated by the s a m e adjective o f colou r ,

the n the conclusio n follows as a m atter o f course that


S irius no longer exhibits the colour it o n ce did Capell a .
M O VI N G ST AR S . 67

is perhaps an o ther star which has changed from red o r ,

reddish to blue but o n e could have wished fo r a larger


,

number o f instances A t present we can only sa y .

that whilst change of brilliancy in the case o f stars is a


com mon occurrence change of c ol our is n o t a well estab
,
-

l ish e d fact .

C H A PT E R X .

M O VI N G S T AR S .

T HE term xed stars is a familiar one and in a



,

certain sense it is the expression of a truth but m odern ,

science has shown that the term as applied to the stars , ,

needs to be em ployed under reserve fo r a great m any ,

stars are not xed


I a m not of course alludi n g t o
.

, ,

their apparent annual or diurn al m ovem ents : we have


co n sidered that matter in a previous chapte r a n d I hop e ,

the reader understa n ds by this tim e (at a n y rate ge n erally)


what these apparent m ovement s are and h o w they arise .

What we have n o w to deal with is actu a l proper m otion ,

a n d with this a considerable number o f the stars are e n

dued .

I t m ust be understood o f course that though the a h


, ,

c ie n ts divided th e stars into two classes th ose which

were statio n ary and those which m oved they k n ew


,

nothi n g o f the stars which form the subject o f this chap


t er being m ovi n g stars T h e obj ects to which th e a n
.

c ie n ts applied the designatio n o f wandering stars were

what we n o w call P l a n ets o r Com ets I n deed the v ery , . ,

word planet itself is derived from a Greek word m ea n


in g a wa n derer

What we have now to co n sider are

.

the moveme n ts of certain stars which m ovem ents are as , ,

a ru le very sm all in am ount and proceed very slowly


, , .

S ir John Herschel s state m ent of the c a se can hardly b e



68 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

i mp r o ved on H e says
. Motions wh ich require whole
c enturies to accu m ulate before they produce changes of

arrangem ent such as the naked eye can detect though ,

q uite su fcient to destroy that idea o f mathematical xity


which precludes S peculation are yet too triing as fa r as
, ,

practical applicatio n s go to induce a change o f la n guage


,

a n d lead u s t o speak o f the stars in com m on parla n ce as

o therwise tha n xed Sm all as they are however a s


.
, ,

t ro n o m e rs once a ssured o f their reality have not been


wanti n g in attem pts to explain and reduce the m to gen
e ra l l a ws

.

W hat the expressio n the proper m otion o f a star


m eans o r i n volves m ay perhaps be best understood by


s om e such illustratio n as the following A m an standing
i n T rafa lgar Square a n d looking down Whiteha l l m ay at
a given m om ent se e i n the directio n o f th e Houses of P a r

l ia m e n t an om n ibus a cab and a v a n


, A fter an i n terv a l
, .

o f 2 m i n utes he m ay se e the sam e vehicles but their order ,

m ay be rst the v a n the n the cab a n d lastly the om n ibus


, , .

T his may im ply ei t her ( I ) that the van h a s rem a i n ed


stationary t h e om nibus a n d the cab havi n g m oved for
,

wards the om n ibus travelli n g at a m o re rapid pace than


,

the cab ; o r (2 ) that all th ree have m oved som ewh a t but ,

e ach at a di f fere n t pace ; o r (3) that the va n has b a cked


towards T rafa lg a r Square o n ly the om n ibu s a n d the cab
,

goi n g for ward I f such a conditio n of thi n gs were c o n


.

c e ive d to be transferred to the heave n s our ide a l om n ibus , ,

c a b a n d van being tra n sfo rm ed into st a rs we S hould have


, ,

a n a n alogue o f the problem which the astro n om er h a s to

s olve in detecti n g and valui n g the proper m otio n s o f 3

n eighbouri n g stars o r it may be o f o n ly 2


, , or perhaps , ,

e ve n o f o n ly I of such stars B e it rem embered too


, .
, ,

t hat in the illustratio n I have give n it m ay well h a ppen


t hat the T rafal gar Square spect a tor from his position ,

'
a stride o f o n e o f L a n dseer s lions though he m a y be quit e
,
M O VI N G ST AR S . 69

sure that th e om nibu s and the c a b h a ve both m oved fo r

wards may yet be totally incapable of determ ini n g whether


,

their m ovem ent am ounts to 1 0 yards o r 50 yards becaus e ,

he is vie wing the whole proceeding end on or in a s ,


tro n o m ic a l language the 3 vehicles are nearly in his lin e



,

o f sight T h ings would however p rese n t quite a di ffer



. , ,

ent aspect to a second spectator standing say in front o f , ,

the Horse Guards His would be a broadside vie w o f


.

the several vehicles ; and whether they had all m o ved o r , ,

if only som e of them the n which of them and h o w m uch , ,

had eac h m oved wo u ld h e points u pon which he c o ul d


,

pronou n ce an opinio n pro m ptly and (let us h o pe ) accu


ra te l y .

The above S imile in each and all its stages and as


p e c ts m ay be take n to be a cou nterpart of t h e proble m

presented to an astronomer called u po n to i nvestigat e


stellar prop e r m otions A n d what Fontenelle once sai d .

in respect of the star k no wn as A ltair in the constellatio n


A q uil a is in keepi n g with the illustration which I hav e
borro wed from what m ay be seen any day at T rafalgar
Square Said Fontenelle
. T here is a star in th e E agl e
which if all thi n gs conti n ue t h eir prese n t course will
, , ,

after the l apse of a great number o f ages have to t h e ,

west an o ther star which at prese n t appears to th e east of


Fontenelle s rem ark is just such a remark as m y

ideal spectator at the Horse Guards might m ake becaus e


o f h i s enjoying a broadside vie w of the changes in th e
positio n s o f the vehicles going dow n Whitehall B u t th e .

R e fe rri n g t o th e d ia gra m t
o f th e s a rs in U rsa M a jor
giv e n o n ,

p 36 (a n te ), i t m a y b e
. n o ed t t h a t a ll 7 a re u t
e n d e d w i h p ro p e r m o

tion b u t wh i s B y , 6 l t , , e, ga re m o v in g on e wa y , a. a n d n a re m o vi n g
t h e o p p osi te wa y , a n d F o n te n e l l e

s re m a r k v a rie d
( as n e c e ssa ry )
n d s a u rt h e r e xe m p l ic a tio n Va rio u s x a m p l s m a y b e
f . e e fo un d of

st a rs i n p ro x i m i t y h a in g c o m m on p ro p e r m o t i on s o r
v , as M iss
C l e rk e wo rd s i t h a i n g a , gre ga rio u s t e n d e n c y
v .

70 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

o riginal spectator at the N els o n Monum ent has also h is


circu mstances reproduced in the he a vens ; for e ven though ,

in the case o f any given star no indications o r but slight ,

indication s o flateral change o f place can be detected yet


, ,

such star may nevertheless be e n dued with a rapid m o


tion o f either approach o r recession which can be found
o u t by a seco n dary m ethod T ha n ks to the spectroscope
.

and the inge n u ity o f m odern astronom ers m otio n s o f a p ,

proach to o r recession from the earth have been d isc ov


ered in the case o f certain stars notwithstandi n g that ,

those stars bei n g seen end on (a l i a s in the line of


,

,

S ight ) seem o n m ere visual observation to be practically


,

stationary .

B u t I am anticipating too m uch T h e fact that certain


.

o f the stars are endued with a proper m otion of their own

was rst ascertained in 1 7 1 8 by the E nglish astronomer


Halley B y compari n g the p o sitions o f Sirius A rcturu s
.
, ,

a n d A ldebaran as l a id down in the m ost a n cient cata


,

log n es with the positions determined b y him self in 1 7 1 7


, .
,

h e found after maki n g every allowance for the e ffects of


,

precession and the variation in the obliquity o f the ecliptic ,

that these stars seem ed to have go t ou t o f place to th e


exte n t in each case o f m ore than a displacem e n t to o
co n siderable to be ascribable to errors of observatio n o r
errors of copyi n g I n th e case of A ldebaran it was further
.

found that that star h ad u n dergone at A the n s in 50 9 A D . .

a n occultation by the Moon which could not have taken

place if the star had occupied 1 40 0 years ago the sam e


o r n early the sam e place that it occupies at the present

tim e T h e utm ost that Halley could do was to surm ise


.

that the stars in q u estion were affected by proper m otion ,

because in those days n o lo n g continued series o f observa


-

tio n s of places taken by ex a ct instrum ents were in exist


e n ce Such observatio n s however soon began to accu
.
, ,

m u l a te as the 1 8 th century rolled o n and accordi n gly in ,


M O VI N G STA R S .
7I

l [ 38Jam es Cassini was able to sa y with som e cond e n ce


that A rcturus had undergone a displacement o f 5 in a

century and a half whilst the nei ghbouri n g star 7 B o Otis


, :

had been exem pt from such displacem ent I nasm uch .


,

however as precise and ex a ct instrum e n tal observatio n s


,

o f star places can only be said to date from 1 7 60 ( bei n g

the epoch of B radley s Catalogu e of im portant stars) and


as that was only a century and a quarter a go it is evidently


clear that the stu dy of stellar prop er m otions m ust be re
garded as a b ra n ch of the science which is still in its in
fa n cy especially seeing that in the case o fth e star havi n g
,

the largest known proper m otion ( 1 8 30 Groombridge U rs a


Maj oris) the am ount is only
, and that only in the case
o f about a dozen stars does the amou n t e xceed I t was
to a fact such as this that Sir J Herschel alluded in the
.

paragraph quoted o n a previou s page when he S poke o f ,

motions which require wh o le centuries to accum ulat e


before they produ ce changes of arrangem ent such as th e
naked eye c a n detect .

Year by year is adding to the nu mber o f the observa


tions which by their exactitude enable us to detect proofs
,

o f pr o per m otion when those observations are placed in

juxtaposition with observations o f the same stars m ade in


the e a rlier part of the present century say between 1 8 0 0 ,

and 1 8 30 T h e m ate rials already available s eem to point


.

to the fact that the proper m otions o f the brighter stars


are a s a rule greater than those of th e fai n ter stars T h e
, , .

average proper m otions o f the I st m agnitude stars known


'

to possess proper m otions has been s e t down a t i annu "

ally whilst the average displacem ent o f the 6th m ag n i


,

tude stars known to be affected am ounts to n o m or e


than
T his law if law it may be properly called is subject
. ,

to exceptions for there are som e small stars su ch as 1 8 30


, ,

Groombridge U rs a Maj oris 9 3 5 2 La c P iscis A u stralis 6 1


, .
,
7 2 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE STA R S .

C ygni , 2 1 1 8 5 Lala n de U
rs a Maj oris and 2 1 2 5 8 L alande , ,

wh ich have very co n siderable proper m otions .

T h e reader who has followed a tte n tively the T rafalgar


S quare illustration will have n o di fculty in u n dersta n di n g
th e statem e n t that a knowledge of a star s proper m otion

c o n v e vs very little i n form ation a s to the s a id star s real


m otion recko n ed in m iles per seco n d When we sa y that .

a star s proper m otio n am ou n ts to 4 a year (which is



a bout 64 in a centu ry ) the record is S imply that the star s


ap pare n t lateral displace m e n t is so mu ch in such a le n gth


o f tim e alo n g a li n e assum ed to run at right a n gles to th e

o bserver s li n e of S ight B u t the true directio n m ay n o t



.

b e at right angles a s aforesaid ; it may be in a p a th which


t h e observer may o n ly se e foreshorte n ed O r in a n ex .
,

t rem e case if the m otio n takes place directly i n the li n e o f


,

S ight so that the star is m ovi n g straight towards u s or ,

from u s it m ay be in r a pid m otion a n d y e t visually seem


,

t o have n o m otio n at all ; that is to be u n dergoi n g no ,

c ha n ge of apparent pl a ce which can be detected by com

p aring observatio n s t a ken a t d i f


ferent tim es .

Whilst it ca n n ot be said that we k n ow m uch about th e


a ctual m otions o f many o f the stars yet we do k n ow ,

s om ethi n g T h e spectroscope fur n ishes u s with som e


.

c lue t h e basis of which is a pri n ciple of physics rst e n un


,

c ia t e d by Doppler in 1 8 42 T his principle m a y be thus


.

d ene d Whe n the distan ce betwee n us and a body


w hich I s emitti n g regular vibratio n s either o f sou n d or
l ight is decreasi n g then the n umber of pulsatio n s received
,

b y us in each seco n d is i n creased and t h e le n gth of the


.
,

w aves is correspo n di n gly dimi n ished I n the case su p



.

p osed the m usical pitch rises a n d in the sam e way the ,

refrangibility of a wave o f light which depends upo n its

w ave le n gth is increased so that i t will fall n earer the vio


l e t e n d of the spectrum A pra ctical illu stratio n o f this
.

p rinciple may o ften be had by a person standi n g o n th e


74 T HE ST O RY O F T HE STAR S .

in the Celestial Sphere not far from the star A H erculis .

T h e principle involved h a s been thus dened by P rofessor


You n g O n the whole the stars appear to drift b odil ,
y
in a direction opposite to the su n s real m otion T hose in
.

t hat quarter o f the s ky which we are approachi n g open


o u t fro m each other a n d those in th e rear close up b e
,

h ind us T h e m otions o f the individual stars lie in all


.

possible directions but when we deal with them by thou


,

s ands the individual is lost in the general and the pre


, ,

v aili n g drift appears



.

T h e e ffect here stated by Young m ay be seen a n d ,

b ei n g seen may be easily realised by walking through a


, ,

eld dotted over with u n its o f any kind such as sheaves ,

o f corn put u p in S h ocks o r haycocks o r any S imilar , ,

aggregations o f produce A s the pedestrian approaches .

a row o f such things the ro w which at a distance seemed


,

alm ost conti n u ous will be found on neari n g it to have its


units separated by several feet or yards o f distance : as he
passes forwards across the eld the rst and subsequent
rows will gradually seem to close u p behind him into a

more or less com pact m ass .

Sir W H erschel s endeavours to nd o u t th e apex


.

o fthe sun s way (as it is called ) have been followed up by


o ther astro n om ers S ince and about 2 0 di f ferent determina


,

t ions are now available T here is a rem arkable general


.

a ccor d between them all P erhaps o n the whole the .

m ost trustworthy because it is based upon a very large


n umber of stars is L Struve s H e has found th e poi n t
. .

o f co n vergence to be S ituated in R A 1 8 h 1 3 m ; and . . . .

Dec ] . Huggins by spectroscop i c observations of


,

an ingenious character has conrm ed the general conclu


,

s ions thu s stated .

A skilful and careful German astronom er nam ed M ad ,

l e r at that tim e employed at the O bservatory of Dorp a t


,

in R ussia put forth in 1 8 46 a n idea that there e xists


, , ,
T E M P O RA RY ST AR S .
75

s o m e central point in the universe around which th e su n ,

with its bevy o f planets and com ets revolves in the cours e ,

of millions of years ; a n d he suggested that such centre is


S i tuate in the direction o f A lcyone on e of the P leiades , .

I t is di f cult to pr o nounce dogm atically for o r agains t


E
t
2
h is idea (which by the way was rather a revival
,
of a ,

theory put forth by Wright in 1 7 50 than M ad le r s o wn )


but Gra n t s remarks may be considered to m eet the case :


I t is m anifest that all such speculations are far in a d


vance o f practical astronomy and therefore they m ust b e ,

regarded as premature .

C H A P T E R XI .

TE M P O R AR Y ST A R S .

H I S T O R IA N S o fvarious dates and nati on alities tell u s


th a t from tim e to tim e st a rs have blazed forth in the h e a v
e n s i n pl a ces where no stars h a d ever been seen be f ore ,

a n d that a f ter a n existe n ce o f it m ay be a fe w weeks or , ,

m o n ths such st a rs h a ve fa ded away a n d bee n n o m or e


.

seen I t wa s at one tim e co n sidered that the a uthors o f


.

these st a teme n ts had bee n dra wi n g upo n the i r I m a gi n ation


fo r their facts but the bul k o fwhat h a s been h a n ded down
,

to u s are well fou n ded A bout 1 2 stars in all a re recog .

n ise d by astronomers under th e desig n a tio n o f tempora ry

stars T hey severa lly a ppe a red a s follows I 34 B C 3 2 9


.

. .
,

A D . .
, 1 5 7 2 , 1 60 0 , I 6O 4 , 1 67 0 , 1 8 48 (N ov a O p h iu c h i) , 1 8 60
(T Scorpii) 1 8 66 (T Coro n a ) 1 8 76 (N ov a Cyg n i ) 1 8 8 5
, , ,

( ov a A n drom ed a ) a n d 1 8 9 2 (N ov a
N T h e chie f
,

di fculty in reg a rd to all the m ore ancient c a ses has bee n


Si nc e th is t
c h a p er wa s w ri tt e n h a ve a p p e a re d : N ova C a ri n a
a nd N o va C e n t a u ri , 1 89 5 ; N ov a S a gi tt a rii 8 9 8 ; N ova A q i a ,
,
1 u ll
18 99 ; a n d N o va P e rse i , 1 90 1 . The l a tt l
e r re a c h e d a m o s t h e b righ t t
n ess o f i ri S us ,
F eb r u a ry 2 4, a nd in so m e re sp e c s t wa s t h e m o s t re

m a rka b l e t
a s ro n o m ica l
ph e n o m en a o f re c e n t y e a rs .
7 6 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

to d etermine how far th e ce l estial o bj ects thus rec o rd e d to


h ave burst forth were in any true sense stars or whether ,

t h e y were com ets o r m ere m eteors T h e records which .

we have are of very diverse origin an d so m e o f the m ,

2 0 0 0 years old handed down to u s from tim es when t h e


,

s cie n tic precision and verbal accuracy o f modern writing

a n d speech were unknown T h e fact that the ancient


.

G reeks were a dreamy people th e R oma n s callous to sc i ,

e nce altoge ther and t he Chinese , owery as n o wadays ,

re nders it extrem ely di f cult for u s to sift the wheat from


t h e cha ff an d to p rec i ser as the French sa y any given

, , ,

s tat e m e n t For instance what is on e to m ake out of th e


.
,

following Chinese account o f som et h ing seen in A D . .

1 73 O n Dec l o th a star appeared between a and B


.

C en t auri and remained visible fo r 7 or 8 m onths it wa s


,

l ike a l a rg e ba m boo m a t ( i) and displayed 5 d i fferent,

c olours Were it n ot for the fact that on several occa



.

s ions during the present centu ry new stars have b u rst

fo rth have sho n e fo r a while and have then either d isa p


, ,

p e a re d absolutely or dwindled alm ost to invisibility w e ,

s hould often have to be sceptical as to the tales told u s by

m any ancie n t ch roniclers .

O u r sources of i n formation are twofold E uropean and


C hinese .T h e form er are generally very vagu e as to d ates
a nd places ; the l a tter m uch m or e understa n dable

,

t hou gh both dates and places are ofte n expressed in a


v ery peculiar fashion T h e C hinese observations hav e
.

th e great m erit that they are co n tinuous through many


c e n turies and are expressed in la n guage o f v ery uniform
,

s tyle ; s o that o n ce get an i n sight into the st y le and a ,

E uropean astro n om er m ay feel sure that he can i n terpre t


with tolerable accuracy the e n tire series a n d this is wh a t ,

h a s been do n e T h e rst workers in this eld were cer


.

ta i n Fre n ch J esuit m issio n a ries n a m ed Couplet G a u b il, , ,

a nd De M a i lla who lived fo r a while at P ekin som e I 50


,
T E M P O RARY ST AR S .
77

y ears a go T hey made a n d brought to Franc e copies o f


.

v a rious Chinese annals which som eho w o r other they go t ,

hold o f at P ekin De Mailla s manuscripts were pub .


l ish e d at P aris about 1 0 0 years ago but those o f Couple t ,

a n d G a u b il still remain I believe unpublished A ve ry , ,


.

industrious Fre n chman nam ed P i n gre worked up all thes e


m a teri a ls in a book on com ets which he published in
1 7 8 4 whilst a n other Fre n chman named B iot i n 1 8 46 gav e
,

to the world a further series o f observatio n s B y far th e .

m ost com plete and accurate however o f all the existi n g , ,

versions of the Chi n ese astronom ic a l records is th e lat e


John W ill ia m s s O bservations o f Com ets from B C 6 1 1

. .

to A D . which appeared in 1 8 7 1
. .

A ll this is a digressio n from the subj ect which I wante d


to start with but it is a d igre ssI O n which seem ed p eces
,

s ary under the circum st a n ces o f the case .

T h e earliest n e w star appears to have been o n e o b


served by the Greek astro n om er Hipparchus a n d a tradi ,

tion fathered by P li n y h a s al ways suggested that it wa s


, ,

the appearance o f this star which prom pted H ipparchu s


to com pile his the rst catalogue o f stars T his tradition
,
.

was long regarded as a myth but as a n e w star in Scorpi o ,

is recorded by the Chi n ese to h a ve bee n see n in 1 34 B C . .


,

a few ye a rs b efore the date com monly assign ed to Hipp a r


c h u s s Cat a logue there seem s now no su f cie n t reason fo r

rejecti n g the tradition above refe rred to P assing ove r .

new stars asserted to h a ve appeared in 945 A D and 1 2 64 . .

A D
. the authe n ticity o f which is gravely doubtful (th e
.
,

a ccou n ts probably referri n g to th e great com ets of thos e

years) we com e to the ye a r I 5 7 2 I n that year th ere wa s


, .

a celebra ted new star with which T ycho B ra h e s n a m e is

ofte n li n ked because he left behi n d him a particularly full


,

accou n t o f it I t wa s visible for 1 7 m o n ths from N ovem


.

ber 1 5 7 2 to M a rc h 1 5 74 B righter th a n Siriu s it ri v a lle d


, , ,
.
,

Venus I t cha n ged colour from whi t e to yellow a n d re d


.
7 8 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST A R S .

a nd then back again to whit e and rem ained stationary a ll ,

th e whil e tha t it was visible D A rre st point e d o u t in 1 864



.

t hat within 1 o f arc o f the place assigned by A rgel a nder


to T y c h o s star there e xists a small star which Hind and


P l u m mer f o u nd in 1 8 7 3 to be certainly variable in its


light T h e position for 1 8 90 o f T y c h o s star is R A o h

. . .
, .

1 8m . Decl 63 . A mateurs possessed o f


t e lescopes sa y of 3 inches aperture m ight usefully em


, ,

p loy their tim e i n nding a n d watchi n g this supposed

T ycho star I t follows a certain 9 t h m ag star at a d is


. .

t ance o f a n d is 1 0 4

to the S T hi s 91 h m a g . .

s tar m ay itsel f be identied by reason o f th e fact that it

follows a star kn o wn as F la m ste e d s I o Cassiopei a (m ag



.

6) at a distance of 1 7 m and is to the N o f it


. . .

I n 1 60 4 a n d in 1 67 0 tem porary stars o f considerable


b rillia n cy becam e visible T h e star o f 1 60 4 appeared in
.

O phiuchus and grew to be nearly as bright a s Venus


, ,

l asting 1 2 m onths o r lo n ger T h e star o f 1 670 often .


,

c alled A n th e l m s star appeared in Cygnus a n d reached


, ,

the bright n ess o f a star o f the 3 rd m ag I t lasted alto .

gether about 2 years but faded away a n d the n bright


,

e ned up again m ore than once before its nal d isa p

p e a ra n c e
.

I n A pril a n e w star o f the 5 th m ag was seen in


, 1 8 48 , .

O phiuchus by Hind I t eve n tually rose to the 4th m ag


. .
,

a nd then faded away and becam e very sm all but has ,

n ever e n tirely disappeared T his star is n o w ra n ked a s a


.

recogn ised variable but it seems not to have received


,

m uch notice o f l a te years .

I n 1 8 66 a very rem a rkable tra n sformatio n took place


in the case o f a star which had bee n previously recorded
in 1 8 5 5 by A rgel a n der as bei n g o f the 9 th o r l o th m ag .

B irmi n gham at T uam on May 1 2 1 8 66 found the star, , ,

s hi n i n g as of the se c on a m a g Combi n i n g the testimony



.

o f B irm ingham with that of Schmidt o f A thens it would ,


T E M P O RARY ST AR S .
79

seem that this star brightened up from th e 4th to the 2 n d


m a g in about 3 hours o n the eve n i n g o f May 1 2
. It .

soon began to lose light and after dim i n ishi n g to below


,

m ag 9 it rose to 7% in Septem ber a n d remai n ed at that


. ,

for t he rest of the year T his star also is n o w treated as


.

a recog n ised variable though we have gained very littl e


,

additio n al k n owledge respecti n g it .

I n N ovem ber 1 8 76 after several days o f pronounced


, ,

bad weather Schmidt at A thens observed o n the 2 4th a


,
.

new star of the 3rd m ag yellow in colour B y the begi n


.
, .

ni n g of December it had su n k to the 5 th mag a n d by the .


,

end of December to the 7 th m ag and n o w it seem s to .


,

h ave disappeared altogether .

I n A ugu st 1 8 8 5 a n e w star burst o u t in o r in fro n t o f


, , , ,

the Great N ebula in A ndrom eda T hough it o n ly reached .

the 6th m ag yet owing to the large number o f telescopes


.
, ,

a n d spectroscopes brought to bear on it this n ov a has a ,

considera b le a n d v ery interesti n g history a ttached to it .

O n e m oral to be dr a w n from this is that amateur


observers n eed n o t fa n cy th a t there is n o work for
them to do in A stronom y R especti n g this st a r I
.
,

will here state historically what seem s to have hap


pened T h e Great N ebula in A ndrom eda is o n e of th e
,
.

l a rgest a n d m ost im portant of the k n ow n n ebul a a s we ,

shall se e whe n we com e to speak o f that class o f celestial


objects I t ordi n arily o ffers th e a ppeara n ce o f a n exten
.

sive a n d dense ov a l m a ss o f lumi n ous h a ze I t so pre .

sented itself to v a riou s observers du ri n g the rst half of


A ugust 1 8 8 5 , P riority in n otici n g it to be otherwise
.

that is as havi g a star


, n in o r o n i t seem s to rest either
with the late Mr I saac Ward o f B elfa st o r with a H un
.
, ,

garian lady th e B a ron ess de P o d m a n ic z ky wh o o n


, ,

A ugust 2 2 had stayi n g with her at her husband s hous e


L p ro fessio n a l astro n om er Dr De Kov e sl ige th y , T her e


. .

was a telescop e o f 34: i n ches aperture in th e hous e .


80 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

Hostess and guest several times m ade this u se of

t elescope and o n A ugust 2 2 the b a ro n ess rem arked to


.

t h e doctor that S h e sa w a little st a r in the n ebula a state ,

m ent which the visitor co n rm ed Ye t the p h e n om e n on


.

w a s so fai n t that both believed the full m oon w a s the ih


d irect cause the m oonlight overshadowi n g the f a i n ter
,

portio n s o f th e nebula a n d permitting o n ly of th e v isib il


,

ity o fthe bright ce n tre I t was n o t till m ore tha n a week


.

after the above date that the existe n ce o f the new star
wa s generally recognised though there is evide n ce to
,

S how that som e days previously to A ugust 2 2 the n ebula

a s a n ebula had exhibited unwo n ted brightness T o none .


,

however o f the observers who noted this fact does it


,

appear that the thought presented itself that they were


g azing o n a stellar obj ect A t it s brightest this n e w star
.

s eem s to have reached the 6th m ag n itude and there is ,

reason to suppose that when M r Ward and the B aro n ess .

d e P o d m a n ic z ky sa w the star it was rising to bu t had n o t ,

reached its m axim u m brilliancy


, T h e date of t his m ay
.

p erhaps be put at A ugust 3 1 T h e star then .rapidly de


c l in e d in lustre u n til the e n d of Septem ber when it stood ,

a t about the I o th m ag n itude I t then further dim i n ished


.

u ntil it becam e m erged in the nebula itself o r rather u n til ,

i ts lumi n osity becam e lost in the luminosity o f the n ebula .

A n interesting question arose as to what were the rela


t io n s if any between the new star a n d th e nebula
, , A .

v ery com pete n t French astronom er nam ed T ro u velot su g

g ested the followi n g reaso n s for co n cluding tha t there


w a s no physical co n n ectio n between the star a n d th e n e b
u la . T here a re a m ultitude of sm all stars v isually scat
t e re d all over the nebula T rouvelot considers these to
.

b elong to the Milky Way o f which he traces a n exte n sion


,

b eyond the nebula since they increase in n u mber as the


,

M ilky Way is approac h ed T hey are likew i se perfectly


.

S harp and well d e n e d which they w o uld n o t be if they


-
,
82 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

t h is star du ring the week s imm ediately preceding its dis


c o v e ry by Dr A nderson becam e known i n a very cu rious
.

way P rofessor P ickeri n g o f Harvard College U


. had , .

recently conceived the idea o f patrolling the h eave n s


eve ry ne night by m eans o f a sm all photographic t ra n sit


i n strum ent which would automatically sweep the m eridian
i n a series o f steps o f su fcie n t exposure to photograph
6th magni tude stars at i n tervals correspo n ding to the
,

equatorial breadth o f the eld T h e sch em e was well .

adapted for the detection o f strange obj ects brighter than


6t h m agnitude stars and so it resulted that A n derso n s

,

star wa s found o n 1 3 photographs taken between Decem


ber 1 0 1 8 9 1 a n d J anuary 2 0 1 8 9 2 A s it appeared o n
, , , .

all these which em braced stars down to the 9 th m ag n i


,

tude but was not to be found o n the ph otograph o f De


.

c e m b e r 8 th the presum ption is that the n ew star bright


,

ened up fro m below the 9 th m ag n itude between December


8 th a n d Decem ber l o th A fter rem ai n ing at about the
.

4th o r 5 th magnitu de till the end o f February i t dimin ,

i sh e d som ewhat rapidly in brightness a n d by the e n d o f ,

M arch had fallen to belo w the 1 2 th m ag n itude O bserva .

t io n s were continu ed at the Lick O bservatory in Califor n ia


t ill A pril 2 6th whe n bad weather s u perve n ed I t was
, .

then of th e 1 6th m ag n itu de s o th a t it m ay be said to have,

p ractically disappeared I n A ugust however


. it had , ,

b righte n ed u p agai n to above the 1 0 th m agnitud e nall y ,

s ubsid in g to about th e 1 2 th m ag n itu de .

I have dwelt som ewhat fully o n the so c a lled tem -


p o ra ry stars because the subj


. ect is o n e which S eem s to

o pe n up opportunities o f scie n ti c u seful n ess to the cl a ss

o f perso n s u n der whose n otice t h is volum e is likely to fall

a mateurs possessed o f sm all tel esc opes o r wit h n o tele ,

scopes a t all bu t with m a n y ope n air opportu n ities o f


,
'
-
'

becomi n g famili a r with th e aspect o ft h e h eave n s .

I t may have been inferred from various rem arks mad e


VA R I A B LE ST AR S . 83

in this chapter that tem porary stars an d variable stars , ,

which will form the subj ect of the next chapter are so ,

closely associated as almost to im ply that all tem porary


stars are m erely variables o f long and irregular periods .

T here is mu ch to support this idea as also the correlati ve


,

idea that m a n y o f the missi n g stars are also variable s


no t yet recognised to be such B u t Kirkwood a n ex


.
,

e ri e nc ed a n d thoughtful A m erican observer consider s


p ,

that the theory that tem porary stars are lo n g period vari -

ables is u n sound that the sudde n ness o f their appari t i on ,

the S hort duration o f their m aximu m brightness a n d th e ,

great le n gth o f their periods if they are really periodic a re


, ,

reasons for regardi n g them as disti n ct in their nature from


t he vari a ble st a rs properly so called I t is worthy o f
-
.

notic e that there is no known i n sta n ce o f a new star


appearing and remaining permanently visible .

C H A PT E R XI I .

VA R I A B L E S T AR S .

A L I ST L E SS observer th e stars will regard them a s


of

always preservi n g their brillian cy be it m uc h or little n u


, ,

cha n ged but such is n o t the case with all o f them a cer
,

tai n n umber vary from tim e to tim e in th e ir ligh t a n d a re . ,

therefore c a lled v a riable stars T h e num ber of those



.

of which it m ay be said with certai n t y that they undergo


periodic a l cha n ges o f brilliancy amounts to n ea rly 30 0 ;
bu t it is probable that as many agai n m ay be regarded as
possibly subj ect to uctuatio n s o f light I n the absence .

o f absolute st a ndards for com pariso n the systematic stu d y


,

o f variable stars is a matter involvi n g much patie n ce o n

the part of the observer a n d much re n em ent in his pro


c e d u re
. Were the nu mber of observers endowed wit h
84 T HE ST O RY O F T HE STAR S .

the requisite patience and e xperience m uch increased .

there is no doubt that large additio n s would soon be made


to our lists o fvariable stars T his departm ent o fa stro n o
.

m y is e n tirely moder n for the a n cie n ts have left u s m erely


,

a fe w vague statem ents o f stars havi n g disappeared a n d ,

w e c a n se l dom determine with adeq u ate precision the


p l a ces occupied by them .

P rofessor You n g has m ade some remarks o n the


m ethod of observation to be resorted to in the case of
v a riable stars which it m ay be useful to quote here H e
. .

says T here is n o better way tha n that o f com paring


the star by the eye o r with th e help of an opera glass
,
-
,

with surrounding stars o f about the sam e brightness at


the tim e whe n its light is near the m aximu m o r mi n imum
n oti n g to which o f them it is j ust equ a l a t that m om e n t .

a n d also those which are a S hade brighter or fai n ter It .

is possible for a n a m ateur to do re a lly valuable work in


t his way by putti n g him self in relation with som e o h
,

s e rva t o r which is i n terested in the subject T h e observa


y .

t io n s t hemselves require s o m uch tim e that it is di f cult


fo r the worki n g force in a regular observatory to atte n d
l

t o t he m a t te r p rO p e rl y a n d outside assista n ce is h eartily


,

w elcom ed in gatheri n g the needed facts T h e observa .

t io n s them selves a re n o t specially d i fcult re q uire no ,

very great labour or m athem atical S kill in their re d u c


tio n a n d as has been said can be made without in stru
, , ,

m e n ts ; but they require patience assiduity a n d a keen , ,

eye .

O n e o f the m ost c elebrated o f the periodical stars is


o Ceti otherwise k n ow n as [Mi ra (the wo n derful s ta r)
,

which latter nam e h a s bee n give n to it precisely because


it u n dergoes such rem a rkable cha n ges I ts period is .

33 1 d 8 h
.
; that
. is to say it goes,through its ch a n ges 1 2

tim es in about I I ye a rs A t its m axim um bright n ess it


.

som etim es rises to the 2 n d m a g remaining thereat fo r


.
,
86 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

is a rem arkable o n e o f Secchi s I I I rd T ype in which

b right lines have been seen .

P erh a ps A lgol (B P e rs e i) m ay be regarded as after ,

M ira Ceti the second m ost rem arkable vari a ble in the
,

he a ve n s o r at a n y rate in the N orthern hem isphere as it


, , , ,

is seco n d also in point of date o f discovery T h e fact o f .

its v a riability was noticed by Montanari in 1 669 wa s c on ,

rm ed by M a ra l d i in 1 694 and i n vestigated h a lf a century


,

later by a Saxo n farmer nam ed P a l itz c h celebrated for his ,

early detectio n of Halley s Com et in 1 7 5 8 B u t it was


.

Goodricke i n 1 7 8 2 who rst de rmi n ed in full detail the


, , t
e

cha n ges o f brillia n cy which Algo l undergoes I t c o m .

m o n l y shi n es as a star o f m ag from th a t it descends .

to about P ickering from photom etric m easures at


,

Harvard College n ds that the star s light diminishes


,

duri n g 4h 2 3m before minimum When the m inimu m


. . .

is reached the n 5 h 3 7 m pass before the star regai n s its


, . .

n ormal m a ximum I t remai n s at this fo r about 2 d 1 0 h


. . .

T h e m ost rapid changes take place duri n g about 1 0 0


m inutes before and 1 0 0 m inutes after the epoc h of m ini
m u m P ickering suggests that the ra n ge o f variabil i ty is
.

l ess than is com m only stated and does n o t exceed o n e ,

whole m agnitude T h e period in which th e e n ti re series


.

o f cha n ges t a ke place is about 2 d 2 0h 48 m and is . . .


,

thought by Chandler t o have dimi n ished by 8 5 si n ce .

G o o d ric ke s tim e ; but to talk about 8 5 in such a connec



.

t io n is a renement o f precision which savours of a f fec


t a tio n .

A nother naked eye variable handy by reason o f its


-
,

p osition and m agnitude for obser v ers in th e N orthern


,

h emisphere is 8 Cephei I ts period is 5 d 8 h 47 m count


. . . .

i n g from minimu m to m i n imum and its range from about ,

m a g 3% to mag 42
. T h e i n terv al between m axim um a n d
. .

m aximum is not equally divided by the m i n imum p hase ,

fo r I t takes l o nger for the star to pass fro m its m axi


VAR I A B LE ST AR S . 87

m um to its m inim u m tha n it does to regain its m aximu m '

after a m i n im u m T h e former transform ation occupies


.
.

3 d .1 9 h but the
. latter only I d 1 4h T h e vari a bility of . .

8 Cephei was discovered by Goodricke in 1 7 8 4 and the ,

whole peri od is put at 5 d 8 h 48 m . . .

A7 quil a a n d B Ly ra may also be m entioned as short


7
period vari a bles which on that accou n t and because they
, ,

are visible to the naked eye are S pecially suitable for o b .

servation b y am ateurs in E n gland .

A1 quil a varies from about mag 3% to mag 4% in a


7 . .

period of about 7 d 4h 1 4m but this period itself seem s


. . .
,

variable T h e st a r is yellow in colour and yields a spec


.

tru m o f Secchi s I I n d T ype


.
o

B Ly r a is rem arkable as having a d o uble m axim u m


a n d a double minimum which together m ake u p a m ain ,

period of 1 2 d 2 1 h 47m T h e variations take th e follow


. . .

ing for m Starting from a m axi mu m when the star is o f


ma g it desce n ds to its rst minimu m of m ag 4 ; it
. .

then rises to the same maximum as before but in descend ,

in g to the n ext mi n imu m it goes d o wn to mag A rge .

lander ascertained that B Lyra resem bles Mira Ceti a s


regards the circum stances of its period in other words ,

that its period is itself vari a ble ; that down to 1 8 40 th e


p eriod was increasing but that after 1 8 40 it began to de
,

c rease and was decreasing at the tim e when A rgelander


,

m ade this remark in 1 8 66 P ickeri n g has propou n ded th e .

idea that this star is a surface o f revolution o r a s ph e


roid in form and di ffere n tly lu mi n ous in d i fferent parts ,

and that the epoch o f minim um light represe n ts a tim e


when the darker portion at o n e of the ends is presented
to the earth T his seems to be o n e of those far fetche d
.
-

fancies which c a n neither be pro v ed nor disproved T h e .

variability o f B Lyra was discovered by G o odricke in


1 784 .

I have reserved to the last that which is perhaps th e


88 T HE ST O RY O F T HE ST AR S .

m ost remarkable as certainly it is the m ost erratic o f all


, ,

the prom inent variable stars 7 A rgs U nfortunately it 2 .

is not visible in the N orther n hemisphere H alley o n his .


,

re t urn from St Hele n a as far b ack as 1 67 7 frequ e n tly ex


.
, ,

pressed doubts as to the co n stancy o fthe light of the st a rs


i n A rgo T hough he seem s only to have based his co n clu
.

sions u pon P tolemy s st a tem e n ts of star m ag n itudes yet


t hese were ge n er a lly so accurate that when discrepancies


were found to exist betwee n m od er n and a n cient records
the idea at o n ce suggested itself that there had been actual
c hange rather than m istakes of observation H a lley in .
,

1 677 rated 7 A rg us as of the 4th m agnitude


, 7 I n 1 751 .

La Caille n oted it as o f the 2 n d magn itude I n the n ext .

h a l f ce n tury it dim i n ished for B urchell duri n g his resi


'

i
, ,

d enc e a n d travels in South A fric a betwee n 1 8 1 1 a n d ,

1 8 1 5 sa w it as o f th e 4th m a gnitude
, Fallows in 1 8 2 2 .
, ,

a t t h e Cape a n d Sir T M B risba n e betwee n 1 8 2 2 a n d


, . .
,

1 8 2 6 i n N e w South Wales sa w it as o f th e 2 md m a g n i
, .

t ude . I n the following y ear that is o n Feb 1 I 8 2 7 , , .


, ,

B urchell then at St Paul s in B razil s a w it as Of the I st



.
, , ,

m ag n itude a n d alm ost as bright as


, Crucis ; but within a

a year that is by Feb 2 0 1 8 2 8 it had decreased to the


, , .
, ,

2 n d m ag n itude a n d a s such was e n tered by M J J oh n


, . .

so n a n d T aylor in their respective catalogues between

1 8 2 9 a n d 1 8 33 Sir J ohn H erschel who started obser va


.
,

tio n s at the C a pe in 1 8 34 fou n d it the n a n d fo r severa l,

y ears afterwards to be som ethi n g betwee n mags I and 2 .

but n earer 2 I t seem s to have rem ai n ed statio n ary or


.
,

nearly so for well n igh 3 ye a rs but o n December 1 6


,
-
, ,

1 8 3 7 o n resumi n g work after an interval


, Sir J ohn was ,

s tartled to n d it had becom e o n e o f the very brightest

stars of the I st m ag n itude excelli n g all belongi n g to that ,

c a tegory except Sirius a n d C a n opus Sir Joh n H erschel s


.

accou n t of it will bear quoti n g : I t s light wa s n e a rly

t ripled . I t very decidedly surpassed P rocyon which ,


9 0 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

ma g 5 by E llery ; in 1 8 67 at m ag 6 by T e b b u tt D u r
. . .

in g the next 1 0 years it fell to m ag 7 and in March 1 8 86 .


, , ,

was rated at m ag by Finlay at the Cape o f Good Hope


. .

T his appears to have been the lowest poi n t for by May , ,

1 8 8 8 the light h ad increased by fully half a m agnitude



, ,

so that apparently it is o n its way towards a n other m axi


m um which perhaps may be expected within the rst dec
,

ade o f the 2 0 th centu ry From the foregoi n g account it


.

is howe v er clear that we do not possess su fcient in fo r


, ,

m ation to assign with a n y reasonable degree of accuracy


a period to 7 A rg us though Wolf has suggested 46 years
7 , ,

a n d L oom is 67 years Sch onfeld however thinks that


.
, ,

th e star has n o regular period at all A t a n y rate th e .

m aximu m stage seem s very complicated a n d to consist o f


3 m axim a which jointly occu py 2 5 years o f the period
whatever that m ay be During this su b period th e
.
-
,

changes m ay perhaps be regarded as restricted to the I st


and 2 n d m ag n itu des and this su b period m ay perhaps b e
,
-

assum ed to fall som ething like in the mid i n terv al between -

every 6th or 7 th m agnitude m inimu m o f the star


7 1A r gs is in the eld with the celebrated


Grea t
N ebula in A rgo and som e remarkable circum stance s

beari n g alike on the star a n d on the nebula will com e


un d er consideratio n in a later chapter in which the nebul a
will be described .

T h e reader who has followed m e thus far in trying to


pick u p som e ideas about the peculiarities of the stars
called variable will very l i kely wish now to put the

question W hat is a variable star ?


, I t is im possible to

answer such an i n quiry with any condence t seems .


,

however likely that the variability of the stars which are


,

known to be variable may b e due to o n e o f two causes ,

o n e of which applies to o n e class of star a n d the other to

a n other class I t is generally accepted by astronom ers


.

that A lgol is a type of a sm all number of stars which owe


V AR I A B LE ST AR S .
9 1

their peculiarity to a cause quite di fferent from that which


a pplies to the vast m a j ority o f these objects T h e i dea .

was started by P igott i n 1 7 8 3 and has m et with m uch ,

accepta n ce t hat the periodical uctuations in the light of


,

A lgol a re due to the revolution rou n d it of an opaque


satellite smaller than itself yet large enough to eclipse
p a rtially the primary With respect t o the general ru n o f
.

variables it is thought th a t we m ay dra w som e i n fere n ces


respecti n g the m from what we know o f the physical con
stitu tio n o f the su n and o f what happens in o r upon that

luminary N o w we know that from tim e to tim e and a o


.
,

c
ording to a perio d which is recognised to am ount to
about 1 1 years d a rk S pots o f various sizes and sh a pes and
,

of di fferent depths o f shade break o u t upon the su n T h e .

solar S pots which we are accustom ed to se e even the very ,

largest o f them are too sm a ll re l a tively to th e size and


,

brilliancy o f the su n to cause any m easura ble depreciation


in the aggregate of the su n s light but let u s suppose it

were otherwise a n d th a t every 1 1 years masses o f spots


,

so exte n sive as to represe n t one half or eve n o n e four t h o f -

the a ppare n t surface o f the su n burst forth we S hould , .

then have th e great ce n tre o f our system converted fro m


a perm a n ently bright star i n to a vari a ble star I speak of .

o u r su n a s a bright star because probably it represe n ts for

u s o n the earth neither less nor m ore than what Siriu s or


other bright stars *represent to the inhabitants o f other
w o rlds in far o ff regio n s of space I f we could travel from
-
.

the ea rth a lo n g way towards Sirius we shoul d probably


nd Sirius to grow i n to what we should without reserva
tion call a su n whilst o u r sun would deteriorate int o what
,

we now call a star .

So much for the possible circu mstances of th o se stars


which undergo periodic ch a n ges of light B u t this e xpl a .

S e e p 5 8 ( a n te)
. .
9 2 T HE ST O RY O F T HE S TA R S .

nation even if accepted so far does n o t m eet the case o f


, ,

t h ose tem pora ry ou t bursts of stellar light which we c o n


s id e re d in Ch a pter X I (
.a n t e ) H ere ag a i
. n however sol a r , ,

history m a y be brought in I t is n o w quite recog n ised a s


.

a fact that the red ames seen during tot a l eclipses of the
sun are outbu rsts of glowing hydroge n gas em an ati n g
from the i n terior o fth e su n nay m ore th a t such ema n a , ,

tio n s o f bur n i n g hydroge n are co n sta n tly occurri n g on the


sun N o w in the case o f the tem pora ry st a r in Coro na
.

B orealis which becam e visible in 1 8 66 Hu ggin s s observa


tio n s tended to S how that there happe n ed in that star a


sudden and extraordinary outburst o f glowi n g hydrogen ,

which by it s o wn l ight as well perhaps a s by he a ti n g u p


,

the whole surface o f the star caused the u n wonted in ,

crease in its brillian cy which then took place T hese .

ideas n d co n rmation in other directions but it seem s ,

hardly withi n the design o f this work to go further into


details of this character .

T here a re however som e m iscellaneous facts con


, ,

n e c t e d with variable stars which are too in te re s tih g to be

p a ssed over For i n sta n ce it is an u n doubted fact that


.
,

the vast m aj ority of the variable stars are red or reddish


in colour and so ge n eral is this rule that whe n ever a n e w
star I S fou n d it is a safe presum ptio n to st a rt with that if
it s colour is red it has hitherto escaped observation b e
cause o f its being variable H i n d has noticed that vari
.

a ble S tars when at m inimum ofte n appear hazy or foggy on ,

which A ra go suggested the idea that the dim inution of


brillia n cy might be due to the interfere n ce o f clouds I t .

is a n undoubted fa ct that in the case of red vari a ble stars


as they dim i n ish in brillia n cy they deepe n in colou r whilst ,

as their ligh t i n creases their hue becom es paler .

A n experie n ced A merica n observer Chandler h a s , ,

evolved a co n nectio n between the colours a n d periods of


variabl e st a rs H e not o n ly subscribes to the O pi n ion
.
94 T HE ST O RY O F T HE S TA R S .

are too elaborate for embodiment in these pages in their


entirety but som e further general co n clusio n s are of
,

su fcient i n terest and import a nce to be rep roduced .

Writing in 1 8 8 2 he fou n d that the variables the n k n own


readily fell i n to two classes : ( 1 ) those with peri ods o f
less than 70 day s ; a n d (2 ) those with periods o f m ore
than 1 3 5 days ; there bei n g no n e with periods betwee n 7 1
a nd 1 3 5 days O f the form er group it might be said
.

that they were in colour white o r red in tolerably even


num bers a n d large in mag n itude whilst the latter group
,

were mainly red a n d sm all in m a g n itude .

Som e other co n clusio n s which he arrived at were that


if the variation o f light be small in exte n t or if the star be ,

bright th e period will probably be S hort ; o n the o t her


,

hand where the period ra n ges from 1 3 5 days up to 42 0


,

days the n umber o f stars i n creases with the le n gth of th e


period ; also that between a ra n ge of I mag n itude u p to
,

6 m a g n itudes the n umber of stars i n creases with the vari


a t ion in m ag n itude T hese rules seem ho wev er to fa il
.
, ,

where the stars have periods of m ore tha n 42 0 days o r ,

where the ra n ge exte n ds beyo n d 6 magnitudes .

T h e foregoi n g statistics a re b a sed upo n o n ly a m i n ority


o f the k n ow n va ri a bles a n d therefore c a n n ot yet be put
,

forward as disclosi n g a series o fge n eral laws N e v e rth e .

less they are su fcie n tly i n teresti n g a n d pro n ounced to de


,

serve atte n tio n n o w as well as t o e n courage further in


,

quiry in the future .

T h e followi n g classicatio n o f vari a ble stars has m et


with som e a ccepta n ce in A m erica a n d therefore it m a y be.

give n here but it is O pe n to the objection that it assum es


,

tha t tem pora ry st a rs a re m erely lo n g period variables -


.

which at prese n t is at the best a n a ssu mptio n


, ,

( 1 ) St a rs showi n g slow continuous ch a n ge .

(2 ) St a rs exhibiti n g ir regular uctuatio n s o f light : 2 1*


T HE ST AR S IN P O ET R Y .
95

ternately brightening up and becom ing dim with


o u t a n y appare n t l a w .

(3) T em porary stars which blaze , o u t suddenly and

the n disappear .

(4) P eriodic stars of the type o f Ceti usually o f lo n g


o ,

period .

) eriodic stars f the type o f B L yr a of S hort


(5 P o ,

period .

6
( ) P eriodic stars o f th e type o f A lgol in which the ,

va riation of light is such as would result from


some i n terve n i n g body eclipsi n g the primary
star .

I t is evide n t from a l l that has go n e before that variable


s tars form a very i n teresti n g branch o f observational as

t ron o m y .

C HAP T E R X I I I .

T HE S T AR S I N POE T R Y
.

AS the previous ch a pter co n cludes what I have to sa y


i re s e c tin
, p g the stars take n i n dividually a n d the remai n der ,

o f this volu m e will be occu pied with the stars in m asses


E
u n der the desig n a tions Clusters and N ebul a the present ,

seem s a co n ve n ie n t point at which to withdraw the reader s

thoughts for a while f rom the tech n icalities of science to


thi n gs m ore light a n d se n tim e n tal H e n ce it has occurred
.

t o m e to try a n d e n live n m y pages by a fe w citatio n s from


E nglish classic a l poetry a eld which has bee n worked
wi t h great assiduity from an astro n omer s sta n dpoint by

Mr J E Gore *
, ,

. . . .

Sh a kespeare o f course occupies th e front rank amongst


the great E n glish writers who h a ve brought th e facts o f
I n h is S c e n e ry f t/1 e H e a ven s
o .
9 6 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

s c ie n ce as tronomi c al and ge n era l into line with their o r


, ,

di n a ry m usi n gs U n fortu n ately h e li ved at a period wh e n


.

t he s o call ed science o f as trology ourished side by side


-

with astro n omy a n d trading a s i t di d o n th e credulity o f


,

m an it overshadowed but t o o su ccessfully the sister scie n c e


o f astronomy if such a bracketi n g together o f fraud a n d
,

humbug wi t h t ru e le a rni n g can be tolerated P erh aps . ,

aft er all w e o fthe l gth century m ust n o t be too hard o n


,

o u r foref a thers o f the E lizabethan epoch for gu res o f ,

speech im plying a beli ef in the te n ets o f as trology a n d in


m a n y oth er ri di culous beliefs and prac t ices hold sw a y in
these closing years o f the century a n d they are not re ,

s t ri c t e d to ign orant a n d u n le t tered dwellers in rem ote


agri cultural v illages .

A n d n o w to Shakespeare
'

I n j u l z u s Ce sa r (A c t i . .
,

s cene 2 ) C assiu s says

M en a t so m e t i m e s a re m as t e rs of th e i r fa t es
Th e fa ul t , d e a r B ru tu s is , n ot in o u r s a rs t
B u t in o u rse l v e s t h a t ,
we a re u n d e rli n gs .

T he idea th a t the stars exercise som e i n ue n ce for weal ,

o r woe over the birth of i n dividuals w a s widely preval e n t


,

3 0 0 years a go a n d Shakespeare does n o m ore than c o n


,

form to th e ideas o f the tim es when h e makes R ichard I I I .

say (A c t iv sce n e 4) .
,

L o, at th eir b i rt h s goo d st a rs w e re op p osite


Jupiter in say (A c t v scene 4)
'

or , Cy m be l zn e , .
,

'
O u r J ovi a l t
s a r re ign d a t h is b i rt h
whilst R om eo (A c t v .
, sce n e 3) speaks in the Churchyard
scene o f shaki n g
Th e y ok e i u sp i c i o u s sta rs
of n a .
"
9 6 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

sci e n ce astronomical and general into line with their o r


, ,

d in a ry m usi n gs U nfortunately h e lived at a period when


.

the so called science o f astrology ourished side by S ide


-

with astronomy a n d tradi n g a s it did o n the credulity of


,

m an it overshadowed but too su ccessfully the sister scie n c e


of astronomy if such a bracketi n g together of fraud and
,

hu mbug with true learn ing can be tolerated P erh aps .


,

after all we o fthe 1 9 th century m ust n o t be too h a rd o n


,

o u r forefathers of the E lizabetha n epoch for gures o f ,

speech implyi n g a belief in the tenets o f astrology and in


m any other ridiculous beliefs and practices hold sway in
these closing y ears o f the century a n d they are not re ,

stric te d to ignorant an d unle ttered d wellers in rem ot e


agricultural villages .

A n d n o w to Shakespeare I n fu l z u s Ce sa r (A c t i

. .
,

s cene 2 ) Cassiu s says

M en e ti m e s a re m a st e rs o f th e i r fa t e s
a t so m

T h e fa u l t d e a r B ru t u s i s n o t i n o u r st a rs
, ,

B u t i n o u rse l v e s th a t we a re u n d e rli n gs

.
,

T he idea that the stars exercise som e influence fo r weal ,

o r woe over the birth o f i n dividuals was widely prevale n t


,

30 0 years ago a n d Shakespeare does no m ore than c o n


,

form to the ideas o f the tim es when he makes R ichard I I I .

s a y (A c t iv scene 4) .
,

L o, at th e i r b i rth s go o d sta rs w e re Op p o sit e


Jupiter in sce n e
'
or , Cy m bel zn e , sa y (A c t v.,

O u r J ov i a l t i rth

s a r re ign d at h is b

whilst R om eo (Ac t v scene 3) speaks in the Churchyard


.
,

s cene of shaking

T h e y ok e i
o f n a u sp c o i i u s sta rs .

T HE ST AR S IN PO E T R Y .
97

Malvolio in d fM [Vzg/zt (A c t ii sce n e


, .
, expresses
the popular sentiment in words m ost clear

I n my t
s a rs I a m a b ov e th e e ;b ut b e n ot afra id of gr ea t
n e ss

and then follow im m ediately the familiar sentiments


S om e a re t
b o rn gre a so m e a c h ev ,
i e g e t
r a ne ss , and so m e h a ve
gre a t t t
n e ss h ru s u o n h m
p

t e .

P articular
constellations o r groups of stars are occa
sio n a lly referred to by Shakespeare T hu s in Ot/zell o .

(A c t ii scene
. I
, ) the sea stirred by the wi n d is said to , ,

Se e m to ca s t wa te r o n th e b u rn i n g B e a r,
An d qu e n c h th e Gu a rd s o f th e e e r xe d v -
Po le .

What idea underlies th e application of the ter m burning


to U rsa Major does not appear .

T h e P ole Star receives elaborate treatm ent in 7 u Zz u s


Ca sa r (A c t tii sce n e I ) C ae sar him self thus S peaks


.
, .

Bu t I a m con s a n t t a s th e n orth e rn st a r ,

O f wh o se t ru e - x d

and re sti n
g qu a li t y
e
T h e r is l l o w i n th e rm a m e t
no fe n .

T h e s k ie s a re p a i n t e d w i t h u n u m b e r d sp a rks

n ,

T h e y a re a l l re a n d e v e ry o e d o th sh i n e
,
n

B u t th e re s b u t o n e i n a l l d o t h h o l d h is p l a c e

.

I n letter read by Polonius (H a m l et A c t ii scene 2 )


th e , . ,

we com e upon an idea which is alike ancient (fo r Stoic s


and E picureans held it ) a n d m odern
D o u b t th o u th e st a rs a re re :

D ou b t th a t th e su n d o th mo ve .

Milt o n is another of our gre a t natio n al writers who


makes various allu sions to celestial objects I n the P a ra . .

a zse L ost ( B ook vii ) he refers to the m o on and stars


'
.
9 8 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

th e n fo rm e d th e m oo n
Gl ob o se , a n d e v e ry m a gn it u d e t
of s a rs,

An d so w ed w ith t
s a rs th e h e a v e n s, th i c k as a el d

and to the Pleiades (in the sam e book )


th e gra y
D a wn ,
a nd l i a d es b e fo re
th e P e , h im d a n c d , e
Sh e d d in g s weet i n u en c e .

You n g s N zgkt T /zoug kts is peculiarly rich in its ref


e re n c e s to astronomy P erhaps th e best known passage


.
-

o f all is that in the 9 th N ight which r u ns as follows

D e v o ti on D a u gh te r o fA st ro n o m y ,

An und evo u t A st ro n om e r i s m a d .

T rue Al l T h i n gs sp e a k a G o d b u t i n th e S m a l l
M en t ra c e o u t H i m i n G re a t H e seize s M a n
.

In the following passage ( 8 th N ight ) we com e upon

the idea already m entioned in these pages as being a so b e r


astro nom ical probability
Th e se
sp a r s o fn gh k i t th e se st a rs sh a ll sh i n e
, ,
'
U nnu m b erd ns Su .

Ag a i n the following passage re ferri n g to the dist a n ces O f


,

the st a rs co n t a i n s a s we have see n true astro n omic a l


, ,

te a chi n g
H o w d i st a n t so m e
th e se o c t u r a l S u s
of n n n

S O d i st a n t (s y s th e S ge ) t we re n o t a b su rd

a a

T o d o u b t i f B e a m s se t o u t a t N a tu re s B i rt h

, ,

A re y e t a rri e d t t h i s so fo re i gn W o rl d
v a

T h o n o th i g h a l f so ra p i d a s th e i r F li gh t
"
n .

T uly i n deed m a y it be s a id th a t the st a rs serve the pur


r

pose thus suggested by You n g


1 00 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

By the way this allusion is n o t scientically accurate


, ,

fo r the com pass n eedle does not poi n t to the P ole Star
-
,

b u t to the earth s m agnetic pole



.

T h e stars naturally nd a place in T h o mson s S ea son s



.

H e says

S a t c h m e to h e a v e n th y ro lli n g won d e rs th e re
n ,

W o rl d b e y o n d wo rl d i n i n ite e x t e n t ,
n ,

P ro fu sely sc a tte r d o e r th e b l u e i m m e n se

,

Sh o w m e : th e i r m oti o n s p e ri o d s a n d th e i r l a ws
, , ,

Gi v e m e to sc a n .

Longfellow remarks
W o n d ro u s t ru th s , and m a n fo d i l as won d rou s,
G o d h a t h w rit t e n t h o se st a rs a b ov e
in .

Wordsworth in T ne E x c u rsi on (B ook


, IV ) thus
b ri ngs in the uses O f the P ole Star

C h a l d e a n S h e ph e rd s ra n gi n g t ra c kle ss el d s
, ,

B e n e a t h th e c o n c a e o f u n c l o u d e d sk i e s
v

Sp re a d l i k e a se in b o u d less so l i tu d e
a, n

L o o k e d o th e p o l a r st a r a s o n a gu i d e
n ,

A n d gu a rd i a o f t h e i r c o u rse t h a t n eve r c lo se d
n ,

H i s s t e a d f st e y e
a .

And in P oem s o
f M e I ma
g i n a ti on (P art I I .
, XXV .
)

The t
s a rs a re i o n s b u i l t b y N a t u re s h a n d
mans

A d h a p l y th e re th e spi ri t s o f th e b l e st
n . ,

D we l l c l o th e d in ra d i a c e th e i r i mm o rt a l ve st
n ,
.

T ennyson is very astronomical . I n T ne P ri n c ess we


nd

A n d th e i i n g d a ffo d il d i e s a d th e Ch ri o t e er
sh n ,
n a

An d s t a rry G e m i i h a g l i k e gl o ri u s c ro wn s
n n o

Ov e r O ri o s gra e l o w d o w n in th e w e st
n

v .

GR O U P S OF ST A R S . I OI

T e nnysonhas a very good conception of a binary star


when he speaks o f
th o se l e st a rs
d ou b
Wh e re o f th e o n e m o re b ri h t
g
I i le d
s c rc by th e oth e r .

C H A PT E R XI V .

GR O U P S O F ST AR S .

T HE thing to do in order to be able to realise to th e


utmost the m arvellous beauty o f the star ry heave n s is to ,

obtain an opportu n ity of gazi n g at som e o fthose crowded


elds O f stars borderi n g o n the Milky Way in which th e ,

stars are so close together that though they hardly consti


tute a cluster tech n ically s o called are yet so nu m er

-
,

o u s that the whole circular eld o f the telescope is on e

shi n ing m ass o f bright points T here is such a eld .


,

favourably circumstanced for O bservers in E ngla n d in the


co n stellation P erseus (R A 2 h I 1 m 2 0 5 D ecl
. .
56 . . . .

and I would urge every reader of this book to take th e


rst O pportu n ity open to him o f viewing this in a telescop e
o f if possible
, , not less than 3 i n ches aperture Doing .

this he will I am co n dent be m ore i n spired to dedicat e


, ,

to astronomy som e o f his tim e thoughts and m oney than , , ,

by doi n g a n ythi n g else which I could suggest T his par .

tic u l a r O bject is som etimes called T h e Clu ster in t h e

S word Ha n dle o f P erseu s .


Starti n g with the stars as si n gle stars we have seen


that a con siderable num ber go together in pairs ; that a
sm a ller nu mber are associated in triplets ; a n d so o n till ,

we com e to a pri n cipal star having it m a y be half a dozen , ,

compa n ions gathered rou n d it T h e transition fro m such


.
1 0 2 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

a group to what is called a cluster and so o n to a re ,


s olvable nebula is a gradual one which however m ay


, , ,

be said to com e about in the nature of things alm ost as a


m atter o f course T h e li n es of dem arcation between .

t hese di fferent classes o f O bj ects are naturally n o t very


pronounced a n d m ust be laid down in a rather arbitrary
,

m anner H owever I think that for our present purpose


.
,

we m ay co n veniently range the celestial obj ects now


about to be described under the three following heads
( I ) I rregular groups m ore or less visible to the naked eye ;
( )
2 Clusters o f stars resolvable into their co n stituent stars ,

with the aid of a telescope ; (3) N ebul ae fo r the m ost part


irresolvable with the telescopes we at present possess ;
e ither because the telescopes are decient in the n e c e S

s ary optical power o r because the obj ects them selves are ,

n o t stellar at all but are som ething else gaseous o r what


,

n ot
~

O f the
gro u ps of stars which m ay be considered to be
i ncipient clusters there are several visible to the naked
e y e n o t counting certain true n ebul a which can be de
,

t e c te d by the n a ked eye by re a so n o f their great size .

T hree o f these clu sters were n oticed a n d recorded by the


a ncients n amely the ,
P leiades and Hyades in T a u
,

rus a n d P r aesepe in Cancer T h e Pleiades are m en


,
.

t io n e d twice in the B ook o f J o b an d once in th e prophecy ,

O f A m os a n d also in Hom er who likewise names the


, ,

Hyades T h e passages in Job a n d A m o s have already


b een qu oted * T h e passage in H om er (Ody ssey Lib v
.

. . .

v e r 2 70 ) runs thus in P ope s version



.

W ith b e a ti n g h e a rt U lysse s sp re a d s h is sa il s
Pla c d

at th e l
he m he sa t a n d m a rk d th e skie s
,

,

sl e e p h i s e v e r wa t c h fu l e ye s

N or cl os d in - .

A n te , p 40
. .
1 0 4 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE S T AR S .

would overshadow the nebula Schiaparelli in 1 8 7 5 saw


.

the nebula very clearly and wa s m u ch surprised at its


,

FI G . 1 2 .
T h e P l e a d e s.
i

Size and appare n t ramicatio n s in di fferent directions .

H ind had stated that he had ofte n suspected nebulosity


arou n d som e of th e sm aller ou tlyi n g stars of the P leiades .

T h e earlier O bservations of this n ebula (o r these nebul a )


GR O U P S OF ST A R S . 1 0 5

in th e P leiades were by n o m eans very consistent a n d th e ,

idea O f variability suggested itself ; som e eve n regarded


the whole thing as a myth B u t later researches by the .

aid o f phot ography have n o t only established the reality


o f T em pel s discovery but have do n e a good deal m ore ;

for it is n o w certain that n o fewer than ve o f the chief


stars in the Pleiades (P leio n e A tlas A sterope and T a y , , ,

geta being the exceptio n s) a re involved in a m a ss o f nebu


lous matter the extent o f which was n ever suspected
,

u n til the photographic proof wa s o btai n ed at P aris in


1 88 5 I t is satisfactory under th e cir cum stances to know
.
, ,

that a general co n rm atio n of the photograph has been


obtained by the direct testim ony o f th e telescope in the
S hape o f eye views at the R ussian obse rvatory at P u l
-

ko wa with the gigantic refractor of 30 inches aperture


, .

there in u se .

T h e Hyades for m a m ore O pen and less interesting


group also in the co n stell a tion T aur u s and near A lde
, ,

bara n ; but the stars are too scattered to make a very


striki n g eld .

P ra se p e in Cancer is altogether a more e ffective group ;


o n e however whic h should be looked at through a tele
, ,

scope with a l o w power and large eld T his O bject lon g .


,

cal led the B e e hive appears to have been the rst o b


-
,

j e c t to which the term n ebula was applied in bygo n e


days its compo n e n t stars not bei n g separately disti n guish


,

a ble . We have it o n record th a t P ra se p e was taken


a ccount of by the ancie n ts 2 0 0 0 years ago ; fo r both
A ratus and T heophrastus tell us that its dimness a n d dis
appearan ce during the progressive condensation o f the
atmosphere were regarded as the rst sign o f approachi n g
rain Galileo with h is baby telescope counted 36 stars
. .

T O nd P ra se pe carry a n im a gi n ary line from Spica


,

Virgi n is under R egulus i n Le o and about 2 2 beyond it ,


will strike Pra se pe .


tli t)
S icl

iris
21 f
1r
sr 1

f ro n
tici

I 3c>
t i( ) i
S ti cl

vy l i

t ire:
c: ret

icl e
li zrr
(let

It em:
j) a: s
t li e:

irl '
C

sta r
its
cal l )
2 1 l) 1

vy i l
l ) ri l
is 21

21 5 t
21 5 t ,

9 V 0
1 0 6 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

T he grou p of stars formi n g the co n stellation Com a


B erenices is cited by Webb as a gatheri n g o f small stars
which obviously at a su fci ent distance would becom e a
n ebula to the naked eye B y the way this constell a tion

.
,

is said to have been instituted by the astronom er Conon


i n hon o ur of th e Q ueen o f P tolemy Soter who dedicated ,

her splendid tresses to the g o ds to secure h e r hu sband s

s afety in wa r "

C H AP T E R XV .

CLU S T E R S O F S T A R S .

W E h ave n ow co n sider t he clusters of stars which


to ,

t h o ugh seem ingly n ebu l ous i n very small telescopes b e ,

com e im m ediately resolved i n to individual stars on the


application o f a very S light additional am ount o f o pti c l m

power A select num ber o fthese are put together in th


. e

A ppendix fo r the u se o f those readers o f this b ook who ,

po ssessi n g telescopes would wish to k n o w whither to


,

direct them protably I t will sufce therefore to allud e


.
, ,

here to only a few of these clusters 3 1 I ll V I Cassiopei a . .

is a som ewhat conspic u ous object and readily S e en with a


telesc o p e of 2 i n ches aperture P erhaps the best known
.

o f all the so called globular c l u st e rS is I 3 M H erculis that


'
-
.
,

is to sa y the I 3th in Messier s Catalogue and in th e con


,

stellation H ercules T his is com m only regarded as the


.

nest o f the globular clusters Smyth called it an ex .


te n sive a n d m agnicent mass o fstars with the m ost com


pressed part densely com pacted and wedged together
under u n known laws o f aggregation Sir J H erschel .

.

S poke of its thousands of stars a n d hairy looking curvi


-

linear bra n ches which features the E arl o f R osse inter


,

p r e t e d as indicative o fa spiral tendency ; he also perceived


C LU ST E R S OF ST A R S . 1 0 7

seve ral dark rifts in the cluster B eautif u l as it is o n e .

might even sa y m a gn ic e n t yet J P N ichol goes a little . .

too far in asserting that perhaps no one ever sa w it for

the rs t time through a telescope without utteri n g a shout


o f wonder

.

B efore o ffering any further remarks on the larger clus



ters it will be convenient to explain the w o rd globular ,

FI G . I 3
.
3I M He rc ul is
. .

a nd seemly to sa y s o m ething about t h e French a stron o


m er M essier whose n am e is s o closely associated with
,

these obj ects


Globular as a word of course needs
.
,

no explan at io n but it was rst applied to star clusters I


, ,

believe by Sir W H erschel in order to convey to t h e


, .
,

mind the idea that when l ooki n g at them the eye is gaz
, ,

ing not o n a at background sprinkled with stars but on ,

a veritable ball of stars Without sayi n g that all o r even


.

any o f the clusters so called are truly such yet undoubt ,

e d l y an ordinary e e will readily appreciat e the m a s ball s


y
o f star s .
1 0 8 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST AR S .

M essier was a Fre n chman who dedicated h i mself about


a century ago to the tas k of hunti n g for com ets I n car .

ry in g o u t this work he was so far very successful that b e

tween 1 760 and 1 7 9 8 he found no fewer than 1 3 H e .

was however much bothered by constantly coming upon


, ,

objects in his small telescope which whilst they looked at ,

rst like comets were only clusters and nebul a ; so in


,

I 7 5 8 he thought to guard against being take n in any m ore

by formi n g a permanent cat a l ogue o f nebul a includi n g ,

c lusters by collecting together all that had been found by


,

h imself L a Caille and M echain


, , T his catalogue wa s .

published (but whether for the rst tim e or not I am not


sure ) in 1 7 8 4 and is alike a m onu m e n t of its author s
,

shrewdness a n d o f his i n dust ry for it embraces with , ,

scarcely an exception the whole of the conspicuous clus


,

ters and nebul a visible in the latitude o f P aris .

\V e will n o w resu me o u r consideration o f the clusters


by m entioning a fe w m ore of th em N ex t after the clu s .

ter in Hercules comes perhaps 5 M L ibra whi c h in the .


, ,

words o f W ebb is a beautiful assemblage o f m inute


,

stars greatly com pressed in the centre Sir W Herschel .



.

with his 40 ft r e ector made o u t about 2 0 0 st a rs though


-
.
,

th e middle of it was s o com pressed that it was im possible

to i n dividualise the com po n ents Smyth says that .

T his superb obj ect is a noble mass refreshing to the ,

senses after searchi n g for faint obj ects with outliers in all ,

directio n s a n d a bright central blaze Messier however .



, ,

assu red him self that it did n o t contain a si n gle star ,


but this unsound statem ent wa s the u n wise result of dog


m a tisin g o n the stre n gth o f a telescope 2 feet long
, .

8 0 M Scorpii is a com pressed globular cluster which


.

Messier who fou n d it in 1 7 8 0 d escribed a s resembli n g


, ,

the nucleus of a com et ; and indeed its bl a zi n g centre a n d


atte n u a ted d isc give it a very com eta ry aspect Sir W . .

H erschel pronou n ced it to be the richest and m ost con v


1 1 0 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

marked central conde n sation P o gso n s observations we re


.

fully conrmed by two German observers E Luther and . .

A uwers .P ogson thus su m m ed u p the circu m stance s o f


this curious case I t is therefore i n co n testably proved
u pon th e evidence of 3 witnesses that between M a y 9 and
June 1 0 [I 8 60 ] the cluster k n own as 8 0 Messier ch a n ged
apparently from a p a le com etary looki n g obj ect to a well -

d e n ed star fully of the 7 th mag n itude a n d then returned ,

to its usual and original appeara n ce I t see m s to m e a b .

surd to attribute this phenom e na to actual change in th e

FI G . 1 5 .
8 o M . S c o rp ii .

cluster itself but it is very str a n ge if a n e w vari a b l e star


, ,

the 3rd in the sam e eld of view sho u ld be situated b e ,

twee n u s and the ce n tre o f the cluster A t the tim e .


whe n this was w ritten the incide n t thus n arrated wa s


u n i q u e but the m ore rece n t c a se o f N ova A n drom ed a a p
,
'

pears to prese n t various a n alogies to the case of 8 0 M .

Scorpii in I 8 6O Sch on feld t h ought he saw som e trace of


.

the star in J une I 8 69 but b a rri n g this I am not aware of


, , , ,

any further information being on record T here are many .


C LU ST E R S OF ST A R S . I I I

other globular clusters to be m et with in the heavens ,

som e which will be found referred to in the List in the


A ppendix but 2 m ore only need be m e n tio n ed here
, .

T hese are b oth in the southern hemisphere and surpass , ,

it would seem i n the m atter O fS ize and brilliancy anything ,

visible in E n gland .

47 T o u c a n i was described by Sir J H erschel as a su .

p e rb globular .cluster very visible to the naked eye and


o n e of the n est ob j ects in the heavens I t consists o f a .

very condensed S pherical m ass o f stars o f a pale rose


colour concentrically e n closed in a m u ch less condensed
globe O f white ones I 5 o r 2 0 in diam eter

H erschel in .

speaki n g o f this cluster made th e very c u rious a n d S ig


,

n i c a n t rem ark that he could n o t rem ember a single e l l ip

tical nebula which is resolvable all the resolvable clusters


,

bei n g m ore o r less circular in form H e then goes o n to .

add B etween these two characters then (ellipticity O f


form a n d d i fculty o f resol u tion) there undoubtedly exists
som e physical co n n ection it deserves also to be no
ticed that I n very elliptic n ebul a which have a spherical
ce n tre (as in 6 5 M ) a resolva ble or m ottled character o f
.

t e n distinguishes the central portion wh i le the branches ,

exhibit nothing o f the kind T his was written prior to


.

the co n struction o f L ord R osse s great telescope a n d


therefore it is n o reectio n on Sir John s accuracy to point

o u t that the Crab N ebula in T aurus is an exceptio n to


the above rule .

R especting the clu ster surrounding Ce n tau ri Sir Johnco ,

H erschel says that it is visible to the naked eye as a dim



,

round com etic O bject about equal to a star of 4% m ag n i


,

tu de though probably if co n ce n trated in a S ingle point the


,

impression o n the eye would be much greater Viewed .

'
in a powerful telescope it a ppears as a globe of fully 2 0
in diam eter very gradually i n creasing in bright n ess to the
,

ce n tre and com posed o f in n u m erable stars o f the 1 3th


,
1 1 2 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

and 1 5th m agnitudes the form er probably being two o r


,

m ore o fthe latter closely j uxtaposed .


"

T his chapter m a y a ppropri a tely be concluded with a


m e n tio n o f som e large clusters n o t s pecically globul a r in
form 67 M C a n cri is a rich bu t loose cluster at the root
. .

o f the Cr a b s sou ther n cl a w Smyth n oted it a s consist


ing pri n cipa lly o f a m a ss o f stars o fthe 9 th and l oth mag


n itu d e s gathered som ewhat in the form o f a P h rygian
,

FI G . 1 6
.
67 M . C a n c ri .

cap followed by a cresce n t o f stragglers W H erschel


, . .

s a w above 2 0 0 stars a t o n ce in the eld o fview T his o h .

j e c t precedes C a n cri by about


a

7 7 M Ceti is a round stell a r object near in the c o n


.

stellatio n named I t is sm a ll bright and exactly o n a


.
, ,

li n e with 3 small stars o n e precedi n g a n d 2 followi n g ; o f


,

which the ne a rest and largest is o f the 9th mag n itude .


1 1 2 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

a nd I m agnitudes the form er probably being two o r


5 th ,

m ore of the latter closely j uxtaposed



.

T his chapter m a y appropri a tely be co n cluded with a


m ention of som e large clusters not s pecically globular in
form 67 M Cancri is a rich but loose cluster at the root
. .

o f the Crab s sou thern claw Smyth noted it a s consist



.

in g principal ly of a m ass o f stars of the 9th and l o t h m ag


n itu d e s gathered som ewhat in th e f o rm o f a P h r
, y gian .

FI G . 1 6
.
67 M . Ca n c ri .

c a p, followed by a crescent of stragglers W H e rsch e l . .

s a w above 2 0 0 stars at once in the eld o fvie w T his o b .

j e c t precedes a Cancri by about

77 M Ceti is a round stellar O bj ect near gin the con


.

stellation n a m ed I t is small bright and exactly o n a


.
, ,

l i n e with 3 sm all stars one preceding and 2 following ; o f


,

which t h e n e arest and largest is of t h e 9th magnitud e .


C LU ST E R S OF ST A R S .
1 1 3

S ir W . H erschel m ade this object a peg on which to han g


th e followi n g remark We may conclu de that the p ro
fu n d ity of the n earest part is at least o f the 9 1 0 th order

.

B y this Sir William meant that this object is 9 1 0 times a s

FI G . 1 7
.
77 M . t
Ce i (n eb ul ous t
s ar. )

fa r o ff as stars o f the rst m a gnitude ; but to say th e ,

l eas t of itthis is a highly imagi n ative thought o n e o f a


,

type which I think is too com mon and rather apt to


make astro n om y a n d astronom ers look ridiculous in th e
m inds of matter O f fact people
- -
.

T h e cluster 1 1 M A n tin o i is an interesting cluster o f


unc o m m on for m Smyth likened it to a ight of wild


.

ducks a S im ile more appropriate tha n m any of those m e t


,

with in astronom ic a l writings T here is an 8 th m agni.

tude star in the m iddle and two outside its lim its and
,

precedin g it Smyth rem arks


. B y all an a logy thes e
a re decidedly bet ween us and the cluster T his h o w

.
,

8
1 1 4 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

e ver was not the opi n io n of Kirch its discoverer wh o in , , ,

1 68 1 described it as a sm all obsc u re spot with a star


, , ,

S hi n i n g tnroug n a n d rendering it m ore lum i n ou s .

I n the eld with a n d adj ace n t to th e star K C ru cis


, ,

there is a l a rge a n d loose cluster described by Sir John ,

H erschel as o n e O f the m ost beautiful ob j ects o f its class .

I t com prises m ore th a n 1 0 0 st a rs from the 7 th m agnitude


d own wards 8 of th e m ore co n spicuous o f th em being
,

c oloured va riou s shades O f red green a n d blue T his , , .

O bject w a s very carefully surv eyed in 1 8 7 2 by R u ssell at


Syd n ey who rem arked that ma n y of the stars had d rifted
,

(presum ably in conseque n ce O f proper m otio n ) in th e 40


years which had elapsed S i n ce Sir John s drawi n g w a s

m a de R ussell adds T h e colours o f this cluster are


.

very beaut i ful a n d fully justify H erschel s rem ark that it


,

lo oks li ke a superb piece o f fa n cy jewelle ry .


C H AP T E R XV I .

N E B U LE .

I N the present chapter w e S h a ll co n sider the N ebul a


c om m o n ly so called those celes t ial objects o fvery diverse
siz es S hapes and brilli a n cy O fwhich m a n y or m ost are
, , ,

probably stellar in their constitution though some o f ,

them however m a y be n o t su ch but gaseous At the


, , .

outset I will deal with th em m erely descriptively M e s .

'
sier s c a talogu e to which such freque n t al lusions have
,

been m ade embracing as it did only those larger a n d


,

brighter ob j ects which w ere within reach o f a m ere ha n d


telescop e does in n o wa y i n dicate th e prese n t state o fou r
,

knowledge respec t i n g the n ebul a T h e bulk o f the o b .

j e c t s e n rolled by Messier eve n tu a lly proved t o be resolv a ble


star clusters though a residu e were veritable nebul a
,
1 1 4 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

e ver was not the O pinion of Kirch its discoverer wh o in , , ,

1 68 1 described it as a sm all obsc u re spot with a star


, , ,

S hi n ing t nron /z and re n dering it m ore lum i n ou s


g .

I n the eld with a n d adjace n t to the star K Crucis


, ,

there is a la rge and loose cluster described by Sir John ,

H erschel a s o n e of the m ost beautiful objects o f its class .

I t com prises m ore tha n 1 0 0 stars from the 7 th m agnitude


dow n wards 8 o f the m ore co n spicuous O f them being
,

c oloured variou s S hades O f red green a n d blue T his , , .

O bj ect w a s very carefully surveyed in 1 8 7 2 by R ussell at


Syd n ey who remarked that many of the stars had drifted
,

(presum ably in co n seque n ce o f proper m otion ) in the 40


years whic h had elapsed si n ce Sir John s dra wi n g was

m ade R ussell adds


. T h e colours of this cluster are
very bea u t i ful a n d fully justify H erschel s rem ark that it
,

l oo ks like a superb piece o f fa n cy j ewellery



.

C H A PT E R XV I .

N E B U LI E .

I N the present chapter we S hall c o nsider the N ebul a


comm o n ly so called those celestial obj ects o fvery diverse
sizes S hapes and brilliancy O f which m any or m ost are
, , ,

probably stellar in their constitution though some o f ,

them however m ay be n o t su ch but gaseous At the


, , .

outset I will deal with them m erely descriptively M e s .

'
sier s catalogu e to which such frequent allusio n s h a ve
,

been m ade embra cing as it did o n ly those larger a n d


,

brighter O b j ects which were W ithin reach O f a m ere hand


telescope does in n o wa y i n dicate the present st a te o fo u r
,

knowledge respecting the n ebul a T h e bulk of the O h .

j e c ts e n rolled by Messier eve n tu a lly proved to be resolva ble


star clusters though a residu e were veritable nebul a
,
N E B U LZE . 1 1
5

faint misty obj ects many of them not unlike specks o f


, ,

luminou s fog O f these n ebul a som e have y ielded to th e


.

larger telescopes of m od e n days a n d have proved to b e


r ,

m asses o f stars too closely a ggreg a t ed together to be re


solved by the pu n y telescopes which o n ly were available a
ce n tury or m ore ago Si n ce Messier s days a n d as a re
.

sult O f S O ma n y large telescopes hav i n g been se t to work


duri n g the second half O fthe n i n etee n t h ce n tu ry the n u m ,

ber of observed nebul a has becom e so great that u pward s


o f 8 0 0 0 a re n o w o n record B y far the greater n umber o f
.

these a re however irresolvable a n d t herefore it is an


, , ,

O pe n questio n wh a t they a re .

T h e n ebul a generally m ay be co n venie n tly classied


under six ge n eral heads it being understood o f cours e
,

that this classicatio n only h a s reg a rd to form or size


( )
I A n n ular n ebul a ; ( )
2 elliptic n ebul a ; (3) spira l n ebu
l a ; (4) pla n etary n ebul a ; ( 5) n ebulou s stars ; (6) larg e
nebul a O f irregular form .

T h e a n nular n ebul a hitherto recog n ised scarcely n u m


ber a doze n a n d o f these o n e o n ly is large o r bright
,

e n ough to have O btai n ed m uch n otorie t y T his is M e s .

sier s 5 7 th in the co n stell a tio n Lyra I f it be re a lised that



.

the word an n ular is derived from the L atin wo rd a n


n u l u s a ri n g a ready clue will be had as to the ge n eral


, ,

form O f these bodies T h e a n n exed e n gravi n g i n dicate s


.

it but o n ly that S im ple co n ception which is obtai n able by


,

m ean s o f a modera te sized telescope sa y an i n strum e n t


-

O f 4 i n ches aperture With i n strum ents O f much l a rger


.

size the i n dividuality of the ri n g disappears a n d the c e n ,

tral sp a ce black o r nearly so in a small telescope show s


, ,

evide n t indicatio n s O fn ebulous matter which L ord R oss e ,

found to be distributed n o t u niformly but in streaks ;


, ,

whilst the external edge O f the ri n g wa s broke n by pro


n s of various sizes a n d shapes A l l these particular s
j e c ti o .

will b e better understood from a p icture than from any


I I O T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

written descr i ption T here is c o nsiderable conict o f


.

opi n ion a s to the ultimate accou n t which ought to be ren


dered of thi s o bj ect wh e n th e largest available telescop e s

FI G . I 8 .
T h e'
ri n g n eb ul a in FI G . 1 9
.
Th e ri n g n eb ul a in
L y ra . (S z r j . H e r so/z e l ) . Ly ra .
(E a rl o f R oss e ) .

are brought to bear upon it ; R osse Ch a cornac and , ,

S ecchi all claimed to have resolved it i n to stars Hug .

gins o u the other ha n d insists th a t it i s m erely a m ass o f


, ,

glowing gas T h e L ick O bservers nd its stru ct ure t o be


.

very complex but seem u nwilling to comm it t hem selves


,

to a very de n ite opi n ion o n the subject A t the sam e .

tim e they make m ention o f th e existe n ce o f an d describe ,

the position o f n um erous i n dividual stars


, .

E lliptic n ebul a o f various degrees o f eccentricity from ,

a com m on oval to a lo n g streak are m et with in various ,

parts o f the heavens A s a rule they a re very bright a n d .


,

several o f them are rem arkable as havi n g double st a rs a t


or n ear each o f t h eir foci T here is o n e elliptic nebula .

which stan ds o u t be y o n d all the rest yet its gre a t S ize , ,

brillia n cy a n d peculiar features forbid i t s being reg a rded


,

as a typical elliptic n ebul a I am here alluding to the .

Gre a t N ebul a in A n drom eda Messier s 3 l st I ts e ll ip ,



.

tic ity is co n siderable ; it is likewise very lo n g a n d has a ,

b right central condensatio n which re n ders it readily d is


1 1 8 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

di ffere n t parts I t seemed as if it was split through for


.

about " th s of its circumferen ce i n to 2 lami n a o n e of ,

w hich gave the im pressio n that it was tur n ed up tow a rd s


th e eye o u t O f the general plane
, Sir Joh n sa w seem . ,

FI G . 2 1 .
T h e sp iral n eb ul a 51 M . u
C a n m V e n a ti c orum.
H e rse lze l )
'

(S z r j . .

in gl y detached from th e main object a small bright , , ,

rou n d nebula L ord R osse s telescope entirely altered


.

the aspect o f the whole group T h e ri n g wa s found to .

pass i n to a distinct spiral coil o f nebulou s m atter and th e ,

o utlyi n g portion to be connected with the m ai n m as s b y


N E B U L ZE . I 19

a curved band the whol e showi n g indications o fre solv a b il


,
c

it y i n to st a rs N 0 ordinary telescope a ffords eve n suspicion


.

O f t hese de t a ils T h e spectrum appears to be n o n gaseous


.
-


P la n et a ry n ebul a are O bjects rst s o desig n a ted by

Sir W Herschel because they exhibited a fairly well de n e d


.

o utli n e a s o f a disc circular or slightly oval, T h e m os t .

FI G . 2 2 .
T h e sp ira l n e b ul a 51 M . u
Ca n m V e n a t ic oru m .
(E a rl o
f R osse ) .

st ri ki n g o f these is Messier s 9 7th in U rsa M a j or 2 south

a n d followi n g the star ,8 I t h a s bee n described a s a


.

very S i n gu lar O b j ect circular and u n iform a n d after a long


, ,

i n s p ection looks like a co n de n sed m ass of attenuated light .


I t h a s a diam eter of 2 T h e l a te E a rl o f R osse de


t e c te d p e rforations a n d a spiral tendency in it H e found .


I I .
8 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

d i fferentparts I t see m ed as if it was split through for


.

about " ths of its circum ference i n to 2 lami n a o n e of ,

which gave the im pression that it was tur n ed up to wards


t h e eye o u t of the general plane
, Sir John sa w seem . ,

FI G . 2 1 .
T h e sp ira l n e b ul a 51 M . u
Ca n m V e n a ti c orum.
(S i r H e rsc h e l ) .

in gl y detached fro m the m ain object a small brigh t , , ,

ro und nebula L ord R osse s telescope entirely altere d


.

th e aspect of th e whole group T h e rin g was found to .

p ass into a distinct spiral coil of nebulou s m atter and th e ,

o utlying portion to be con n ected with th e main mas s b


y
T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

di ffere n t parts I t see m ed as if it was split through for


.

about " th s of its circ u m fere n ce into 2 lam i n a o n e of ,

w hich g a ve the im pressio n that it was tur n ed u p to wa rd s


th e eye o u t of the genera l pla n e
, Sir John sa w seem . ,

FI G . 2 1 .
T h e sp i ra l n eb ul a 51 M . u
Ca n m V e n a ti c orum.
(S i r j . H e rsc ne l ) .

in gl y detached from the m ain object a small bright , , ,

rou n d n ebula L ord R osse s telescope entirely altered


.

the aspect o f the whole group T h e rin g was found to .

pass i n to a distinct spiral coil of n ebulou s m atter and th e ,

o utlyi n g portion to be con n ected with th e mai n m as s b


y
'

N E B U L zE . I 19

a cu rved band the whole showi n g i n dicatio n s of re solva b il


,
c

it y i n to stars N O ordi n ary telescope a ffords eve n suspicio n


.

o f t hese de t ails T h e spectrum appears t o be n o n gaseous


.
-

P l a n etary n ebul a are objects rst s o desig n ated by

Sir W Herschel bec a use they exhibited a fai rly well de n ed


.

o utlin e a s O f a disc circular o r S lightly oval , T h e m os t .

FI G . 2 2 .
T h e spira l ne b ul a 51 M . u
Ca n m V e n a t ic oru m .
(E a rl o
f R osse ) .

st ri ki n g o f these is Messier s 9 7 th in U rsa M a j or 2 south

a d followi n g the star [ I t h a s been described a s a


n 3 .

very S i n gu l ar O bject circular a n d u n iform a n d after a lo n g


, ,

i n s p ectio n looks like a co n densed m ass o fatte n uated light .


I t h a s a diam eter o f 2 T h e late E a rl O f R osse de


te c te d p e rforatio n s and a spiral tendency in it H e found .


1 2 0 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST AR S .

a star in about the centre of each m a in perforation a n d


c al led it the O wl nebula from its a ppearance O n e o f

, .

the s ta rs seem s to have d isa p


p e a re d si n ce 1 8 5 0 or as a , ,

thou ghtful w riter suggests the ,

owl h a s closed o n e o f his ey es


Huggi n s h a s fou n d the spec
trum g a seous .

T h e pla n etary n ebul a are


n o t very nu m erou s a n d n o t very

bright w h ich is a m atter fo r re ,

g ret bec a u se it w ould seem th a t



,

F Th O wl b ul
I G 3
. 2
i U M j
.

n
they e
rsa
possess
a or
.
i
ne
n teresti n g features
a

e n ti t li n g t hem to the speci a l a t


te n tion o f as tro n om ers but n eedi n g large telescopes For .

i n sta n ce there is o n e in the co n stell a tio n Draco N o


, , .

3 7 in Sir \V H erschel s I V th accordi n g


to P rofess or H olde n who , th e L ick


telescope possesses a n e xtr ,

that it is a
ly i n g
o ther a ,

heli
1 2 0 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST AR S .

a star in about the centre o f each m a in perforation an d


c alled it the nebula from its appearance O n e of
O wl , .

the stars seems to have d isa p


p e a re d since 1 8 50 o r as a , ,

thoughtful writer suggests the ,

o wl has closed one o f his e y es

Huggi n s h a s found the spec


trum gaseous .

T h e planetary n ebul a are


not very n u merou s a n d not very
bright which is a m a tter fo r re ,

gret becau se it would seem th a t



,

F Th O wl b ul
I G3 .

i U
2

M j
.

n
they rsa
possess
e
i
a or
n teresti n g features
.
ne a

e n titli n g them to the special a t


t ention O f astro n om ers but needi n g large telescopes Fo r .

i n stance there is o n e in the co n stellatio n Draco N O


, , .

3 7 in Sir W H erschel s I V th cl a ss which accordi n g


.
, ,

t o P rofessor H olde n who h a s studied it with the L ick ,

t elescope possesses an extraordi n ary structure


, H e says .

t hat it is appare n tly com posed of ri n gs overly i ng each


o ther a n d it is di f
, cult to resist the convictio n t hat these
a re arr a n ged in space in th e form o f a true helix

At .

the rst glance the n ebula appears to H olde n to consist


Of 2 circles which i n tersect a centra l star bei n g within ,

t h e area resulti n g from the i n tersectio n o f th e 2 circles


, .

A t th e S poi n t O f i n tersectio n the b right n ess is a p


.

p roxim ately twice the ave rage bright n ess O f the circum

fere n ce ; at the N poi n t it is less bright re l a tive l v A


. .

little attentio n however seem s to S ho w that these ri n gs


, ,

a re so a rranged that o n e com plete ri n g lies o n the u pper

o r hither side nearer the eye f h other com plete ri g


( ) o t e n

which is u n dermost o r farther from the eye T here is .

a n other peculiar feature T h e n ebula itself is u n m ista k .

a bly blue in colour whilst the st a r is yellowish red , St a r -


.

a n d nebula yield differe n t spectr a a n d require for accu .


N E B U L AE . 1 2 I

rate denition the telescope to be brought to a different


focus accordi n g as it is desired to obtain a good im a ge
o f t he o n e o r the other A ll these fa cts poi n t to remark
.

able i n trinsic peculiarities in this object Holden nds .

the nebula 1 I 31 I V A quarii to possess som e analogies


.

iwith the n ebula in Draco just described .

B efore passing a way from the pla n etary n ebul a som e


further peculiarities appertai n i ng to them deserve a pass
in g n otice . A ccor d i n g to the spectroscope they are m ost ,

l y gaseous a n d several are n oticeably bluish in hue


, .

T hree fou rths o f th em are in the south ern hemisphere ,

a n d the greater number are in o r very close to t he Milky , ,

Way .

N e b u l o u s stars acco rdi n g to their n am e are ordi


, ,

nary S tars with a fai n t n ebulosity surrounding them but


the term does n ot seem altogether a h a ppy o n e Hi n d .

remarks that the n ebulosity is in som e cases well dened ,

but in other cases is quite the reverse ; th a t the stars

thus attended have n othi n g in their appearance to dis


tin gu ish them from others e n tirely destitute o f such a p
pendages ; n o r does the n ebulous m atter in w hich they
a re S ituated O f fer t he slightest i n dication of resolv a bility
into st a rs with a n y telescopes h i therto co n structed .

P erh a ps t he m ost striki n g n ebulou s star is N o 4 5 in .

Sir W Herschel s I V th class in the co n stellatio n Gemi n i


.

, .

Sir J c h n H erschel speaks o f it as an 8 th m agnitude star


which lies exactly in th e ce n tre o f an ex a ctly rou n d

,

bright atm osphere 2 5 in diam eter



K ey described it as .

a bright b u t som ewhat n ebulous star closely surrounded


by a d a rk ring ; this agai n by a lum i n ous ri n g ; the n an
i n terval much less lum i n ous and , n ally at som e d istance
, ,

a n exterior lu mi n ous ri n g T his description accords well



.

with the late E arl o f R osse s


.

T h e brightest nebulous st a r certainly recognised as


such appears to be I O rionis a triple star of m ag , .
1 2 2 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

e O rionis , m ag
of is often spoken o f a s a star sur
.

rounded by a nebulosity but the evidence is very contra ,

d ic to ry a n d incli n es o n the whole to the negative


, .

T h e last class o f nebul a rem aini n g to be described


are som e of very diverse size and S hape which cannot be ,

brought under a n y ge n eral denominatio n .

T he
Crab nebula in T aurus bears a popular and

familiar designatio n but it does not seem to rest o n a


,

very satisfactory foundation I n all ordinary telescopes .

this O bject exhibits a S im ple oval outli n e but the special ,

title was based o n the late L ord R osse s early description

o f it which Sir John H erschel tho u ght j ustied by the


,

facts though the later P arsonstown observatio n s seem to


,

negative the claw features I t was the discovery of this .

object in 1 7 5 8 when he was following a com et which led


, ,

M essier to form his well k n own catalogue o f n ebu l a -


.

A ll things considered it seem s probable that th e ,

Great N ebula in O rion m ust be regarded as the

grandest and m ost interesti n g of all the nebul a I have .

in a previous chapter m entioned it in co n nection with the


m ultiple star 6 O rio n is which it surrounds ; a n d the dia
,

gram already give n rough though it is a ffords an idea of


. ,

the promine n t feature o f the n ebula which prese n ts i t self


in every small telescope n am ely the Fish s m outh , ,

.

Sir John H erschel s ge n eral description written a gre a t


m any years ago still in the main holds good though


, ,

m odern O bservatio n s when m ade with the large tele


,

scopes of the present day bri n g o u t m a n y features n o t ,

recognised h a lf a centu ry ago ; a n d in particular exhibit


very disti n ctly what may be called the o c c u l e n t charac
ter o r structure of the nebula .

Sir Joh n H erschel s accou n t ru ns as follows



I n its
m ore prominent details m ay be traced som e slight resem
blance to the wi n gs of a bird I n the brightest portion .

a re four co n spicuous stars forming a trapezium T h e , .


1 2 4 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST AR S .

j e c ts which the heavens present to sa y h e S trange



.
,

does not describe it in detail contenting him self by say ing


,

that the e n graving (in his O u tl i n es of A stron om y ) is so


satisfactory as to render further d escription superuous .

T h e special feature of this nebula is the wonderful series


o f co n volutions which it exhibits m asses o f nebulous

matter twisted in and o u t in S ingular fashion with nu m


b e rl e ss black o r m ore or less starless interstices
, , .

A nother Southern n ebula not entirely unlike the f o re


goi n g is that surrou n di n g the stra n ge variable star ; A r 1

gus already described Sir John H erschel s account o fit


.

penned at the Cape of Good H ope som e 60 years ago ,

runs as follows Viewed with an 1 8 inch reector n o - .

part of this strange object sh o ws any S ign o f resolution


into stars nor in the bri ghtest and m ost condensed por
,

tion adj a cent to the S i n gular oval vacancy in the m iddle


,

o f the gure i s there any o f that curdled appearance o r


, ,

that te n dency to break u p i n to bright k n ots with in te rv e n


in g darker portio n s which characterise the nebula o f
,

O rion and indicate its resolvability


, I t is not easy fo r
.

language to convey a full im pression o f the beau t y and


sublimity of the spectacle which this nebula o ffers as it ,

e n ters the eld o f the telescope (xed in R A ) by the . .

diurnal m otion u shered in as it is by so gloriou s and in


,

num erable a procession of stars to which it form s a sor t


,

of climax .

Som e mystery ha n gs over this nebula an d its central


sta r M uch excitem e n t was caused in 1 8 63 by the publi
.

cation o fan announcem e n t by A bbott of H obart T own , ,

T asm ania that whereas Sir John H erschel had notice d


, ,

near the centre o fthe nebula a lenticular sort o f space de


void o f stars 7 being som e dista n ce from this void a n d
, 7

closely e n com passed by nebulous m atter the void space ,

h a d altered in form a n d the star (which had dwi n dled


,

down to the 6th mag ) no lo n ger had nebulous m atter


.
N E B U L ZE . 1 2 5

r
ose u p to it T hes e assertions indicative if true o f m a
. , , ,

t e ria l changes in the appearance o f the nebul a havi n g


taken place between 1 8 8 3 a n d 1 8 63 were reviewed by ,

Captain J H erschel in I ndia and Dr B A Gould in


. , , . . .
,

South A m erica a n d others and the general verdict was


, ,

that th e allegations o f A bbott were u nfounded and that ,

'
Sir John H erschel s drawi n g o f 1 8 33 con ti n ued in 1 8 8 2 to
represe n t the details o f the nebula as they were to be seen
at the later date .

T h e constellatio n Sagittarius contains 2 large nebulous


m asses of considerable interest at n o great distance from
each other 2 0 M Sagittarii is th e chief m em ber o f a n
. .

im portant group respecting which Sir Joh n H erschel


writes as follows O n e o f them is si n gularly t rid con ,

sisti n g o f3 bright and irregularly form ed nebulous m asses ,

graduating away i n sensibly externally but comi n g u p to a ,

great intensity of light at their anterior edges where they ,

e n close and s u rroun d a sort o f three forked rift o r vacan t -

area abru ptly an d uncouthly crooked a n d quite void O f


, ,

nebulou s light A beautiful triple star is S ituated precisely


.

o n the edge of o n e o f these nebulou s m asses ju st where ,

the interior vaca n cy forks ou t into two chan n els .


8 M Sagittarii n o t far from the last n am ed is a n oth er


.
, ,

remarkable obj ect perceptible to the n a ked eye and show


, ,

ing effectively even in a telescope a s small as a 3 i n ch


,
-
.

Sir John H erschel thus speaks o it f A collection o f

nebulou s folds an d m asses surrou n d ing and includi n g a,

number of oval dark vacancies and in o n e place comi n g ,

up to so great a degre e o f bright n ess as to O ffer the a p


p e a ra n c e O f an elo n gated n ucleu s Superposed u pon this .

nebula and exte n ding in o n e direction beyond its a re a is


, ,

a n e and rich cluster o f scattered stars which seem t o ,

h a ve no co n n ection with it as t he n ebula does n o t as in ,

the region o f O rion S how a n y te n de n cy to congregate


,

about the stars .



1 2 6 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

small co n stellation Scutum S o b ie skii contains a


T he
rather fam ous o bj ect som etim es (but n o t very j udiciously
)

2 4 T h e g ul ut

FI G . . Ome a n eb a in S c u m S o b ie sk ii .

called the
H orse
S hoe
n ebula o r by o t h e rS (a n d with

m ore propriety) the O m ega n ebula From the e n gra v



.

in g a n n exed it will be see n th a t as regards a t a n y rate a ,

sm all telescope the idea co n veyed is m ore that o fa swa n


,

as see n oati n g on the su rface o f w a ter A s in the c a se .

o f 7 A rgus
7 allegatio n s h a ve bee n m a de a n d a pp a re n tly
, ,

with better fou n d a tio n in this case th a t im porta n t cha n ges ,

have t a ke n pl a ce in the appe a ra n ce o f this n ebula S i n ce the


rst drawi n gs o f it were m ade Weighty n a m es are a t .

ta c h e d to these co n clusio n s a n d H olde n who has investi


, ,

gated with m uch c a re a n d de t a il its history as recorded ,

betwee n 1 8 33 a n d 1 8 7 5 co n cludes that the Ho rse shoe


,
-

has m oved W i th refere n ce to the stars a n d that therefore ,


we have evide n ces o f a cha n ge goi n g o n in the n ebula .

T his m ay be a verit a ble ch a n ge in the structure of the neb


u l a itself such a s w a s su spected by S c h rOte r co n rm ed

, ,

by O Stuve a n d aga in co n rmed by myself in the nebula


.
,
1 2 6 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

small constellation Scutum S o b ie skii contains a


The
rather fam ous obj ect s om etim es (but n o t very judiciously
)

FI G . 2 4
.
-
The Ome g a n eb ul a in S c utu m S i
o b e ski i .

called the
Horse shoe
n ebula or by o t h e rS

(a n d with ,

m ore prop riety) the O m ega nebula From the e n gra v


.

ing a n n exed it will be see n th a t as regards at a n y rate a ,

sm a ll telescope the idea co n veyed is m ore that o fa swa n


,

as seen oati n g on the surface o f w a ter A s in the c a se .

O f 7 A rgu s
1 alleg a tio n s h a ve bee n m a de a n d a ppare n tly
, ,

with better fou n d a tio n in this case th a t im porta n t cha n ges ,

h ave take n pl a ce in the a ppear a n ce o f this n ebula si n ce the


rst drawi n gs o f it were m ade \V e igh ty n a m es are a t .

ta c h e d to these co n clusio n s a n d H olden who has investi


, ,

gated with m uch care a n d de t a il its history as recorded ,

between 1 8 3 3 a n d 1 8 7 5 co n cludes that the Horse S hoe



,
-

has m oved with refere n ce to the stars a n d that therefore ,


we have evide n ces o f a ch a n ge goi n g o n in the n ebula .

T his m ay be a veritable cha n ge in the structure o f the neb


ula itself such a s wa s su spected by S c h rOte r conrm ed
,

by O Stuve a n d agai n conrm ed by myself in the nebula


.
,
N E B U L ZE . 1 2 7

ofO rion ; or it may be the bodily shifting of the whol e


nebula in space .

The
Du m b bell N ebula (2 7 M Vulpecul a ) is too
-

.

well k n o wn to need a lengthened description in this place .

T h e records of its appeara n ce during more than a ce n tury


past as telescopes of successively i n cre a si n g power have
,

been brought to bear o n it co n stitute a weighty w a rn


,

ing to those who on the strength of seeming discrepa n cies


,

in verbal descriptions a n d drawings choose to i n fer that ,

absolute cha n ges have taken place in the appearance o r


circumstances O f celestial obj ects I t is not to o m u ch to .

sa y that W hilst t he designation D umb bell is fairly a p - ~

r ri t e i n describi n g this object a s seen in telescopes


p p o a

u p to 6 or 8 or m ore inches o f aperture yet this feature ,

becom es inappreciable altogether in the giant telescopes


o f the present day which run to 2 0 or 30 o r 40 inches o f
, , ,

aperture R ob e rts s photograph of this object is visually


.

almost irreconcilable with the older drawings in which ,

the Dum b bell idea is the dom i n ant o n e


-
.

T h e Southern hemisphere contains two objects which


must not be passed over in treating of nebul a T hese .

are the Magellanic Clouds o r th e N ubecula Maj or ,


a nd N ub ecula Minor both o f them term s recallin g the


cloudlike appearance o fthese objects the words maj or ,

and minor relati n g o f course to their size B ot h are



.

at n o great distance fro m the Pole the Greater Clou d ,

being in the constell a tion Dorado a n d the L esse r ,

Cloud in T ouca n T hey are of a som ewhat oval S hap e


.

and visible to th e naked eye but the smaller o n e d isa p ,

pears in strong m oonlight Sir John H erschel describes


.

t he m as co n sisting of swarm s o f stars clusters and , ,

nebul a .

T h e distribution of the n ebul a in the heave n s is a sub


c e t which has attracted the atte n tion of many a st ro n o
j
mers wh o have had theories to ad vance respecting such
1 2 8 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

topics or wh o have written o n the constitution o f the


,

U n iverse B u t I do not know that it c a n be said th a t


.

very m uch light has been thrown u po n th e qu estions o f


this character which have presented the mselves for solu
tio n O n e thi n g is very n ot eworthy a n d n o doubt is sig
.
,

n ic a n t but we do not know o f what it is si gnica n t


, T he .

dist ri butio n o f t he nebul a over the heaven s is extrem ely


u n equal T hey congregate i n a zone which crosses the
.

Milky Way a t right angles T h e maj ority are to be .

found in a zo n e w hich scarcely em braces an eighth part


o f the heave n s T h e constellation Virgo is w here they
.

are gathered together in greatest nu mber and th ey abound ,

also in the n eighbou ri n g co n stellatio n s o f L e o U rsa ,

Maj or Cam elopardus Draco B o otes Coma B ere n ices


, , , , ,

and Canes V e n a tic i I n the part o f the h eavens al m o st


.

exactly opposite to these constellations that is to sa y in ,

P egas u s A ndrom eda and P isces they are also num er


, ,

ou s . T h e i n equ a lity in the distribution o f th e n ebul a


will perhaps be best brought hom e to the reade r by c o n
s id e ri n g h o w they are distributed in hours o f R ight A s

c e n s io n O f the 5 0 7 9 clusters and n ebul a entered in Sir


.

John Herschel s Catal ogue o f 1 8 64 whilst the Xl Xth a n d


XXt h hours cont a in only 7 9 and 90 O bjects respectively ,

th e KI th hour contains 42 1 a n d th e X I I th 68 6 T h e .

last nam ed hour is that which embraces a large part o f


-

Virgo T h e regi ons o f th e heave n s which lie nearest to


.

the Milky \Vay a re th e poorest in nebul a while they ,

are m ost abundant around the P oles o f that great and


m vste rio u s belt I n the Southern hemisphere the n ebul a
.

are m ore u n iformly spread over the zone which surrounds


the South P ole O n the other hand their aggregate nu m
. ,

h e r is smaller ; nevertheless there are 2 magnicent re


gio n s there w hich al one contain nearly 40 0 nebul a and
star clusters .

I t is a rem arkable fact that alm ost all the n ebul a in


1 2 8 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

topics or who have written on the constituti o n of the


,

U n iverse B u t I do not know that it can b e sa id that


very m uch light has been throw n u po n the questions o f


this character which have prese n ted the mselves for solu
tion O n e thing is very noteworthy a n d no doubt is S ig
.
,

n ic a n t but we d o not know of what it is signicant


, T he .

distribution o f the nebul a over the heavens is extrem ely


u n equal T hey co n gregate i n a zone which crosses the
.

Milky Way at right an gles T h e m aj ority are to be .

found in a zo n e which scarcely em braces an eighth part


O f the heave n s T h e constellation Virgo is where they
.

are gathered together in greatest nu mber and they abou nd ,

also in the neighbouri n g co n stellations of L e o U rsa ,

Major Cam elopardus Draco B oOte S Coma B ere n ices


, , , , ,

and C a nes V e n a tic i I n the part of the heavens alm o st


.

exactly opposite to these constellations that is to sa y in ,

Pegasus A n drom eda and P isces they are also num er


, ,

ou s . T h e i n equa lity in the distribution of the n ebul a


will perhaps be best brought hom e to the reader by c o n
sid e rin g how they are distributed in h o urs o f R ight A s

c e n s io n O f the 5 0 79 clusters and nebul a entered in Sir


.

John Herschel s Catalogue of 1 8 64 whilst the Xl Xt h and


XXt h hours contain only 7 9 and 90 O bj ects respectively ,

the XI th hour contains 42 1 a n d th e XI I th 68 6 T h e .

last nam ed hour is that which embraces a large part of


-

Virgo T h e regio n s o f the heavens which lie nearest to


.

the Milky Way a re t he po o rest in nebul a while they ,

are m ost abundant around the P oles o f that great a n d


mysterious belt I n the Southern hemisphere the nebul a
.

are m ore uniformly spread o ver the zone which surrounds


the South P ole O n the other hand their aggregate num
.
,

ber is smaller ; n evertheless there are 2 m agnice n t re


g io n s there w hich al o ne contain n early 40 0 nebul a and
s tar clusters .

I t i s a rem arkable fact that alm o s t all th e n ebul a in


T HE M I L KY W AY . I 2 9

d ic a te dby the spectroscope to be gase o us are situated


either within t h e Milky Way o r closely adjacent thereto ;
whilst in the regio n s near the poles o f the Milky Way
gaseous nebul a are wanting though other n ebul a a re ,

abu n dan t
T h e reader will rem ember what has already been said
respecting the alleged variability o fgreat nebula in O rio n ,

o ft h e nebula surrounding ; A rgs an d O f th e O m ega 7 ,

nebula in Vulpecula Subj ect to the rem arks already


.

m ade in dealing with those 3 n ebul a it is to be c o n sid ,

ered that though there are such things as variable stars


, ,

n o variable nebul a are known to exist .

C H APT E R X V I I .

T HE M I L KY W A Y .

T HO U G Hwhen o n e gazes at the Milky Way th er e is ,

in a certain sense not much to se e (or at least n o t m uch


,

w hich o n e can realise ) yet an attentive consideration of it


,

with th e assistance of a telescope brings to light a vast


variety of details of the highest interest H ow it pre .

sented itself to o u r E nglish forefathers is su fciently


show n by Milton s well known description o f it (P a ra d i se
,

-

L ost bk vii v 5 7 7 8 1 ) a s
,
. . .
-


A b ro a d p l e ro a d wh o se d u st is gol d
and am ,

A n d p a e m e n t st a rs a s st a rs t o th e e a pp e a r
v , ,

S e e n in th e Ga l a xy th a t Mil ky W a y
,

W h i c h n i gh t l y a s a c i rc li g z on e th o u se e st
,
n , ,

P o wd e re d w it h st a rs

.

From the foregoing it will appear that W ordsw o rt h


wa s n o t displaying his o wn o ri ginal ge ni u s when (in D i on )
h e spok e o f
9
1 3 0 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

H e a v e n s b roa d

c a u se wa y p a v ed wit h t
s a rs.
"

P erhaps before I recount any further speculations of


t his character we had better consider the Milky Way de
s c ript ive l y S O far as I kno w the o n ly astronom er wh o
.

has written o n it a n d been able t o do so from perso n al


,

s tudy O f it in both hemispheres o f th e earth is Sir John ,

H erschel I t is obvious that no description o f such an


.

O bj ect can be adequately fram ed m erely by the colloca

tion o f accounts prepared piecem eal but that there is re ,

quired the pen of a m an who has take n n otes of it at rs t


hand round it s e n tire circum ference I m ake n o apology .
,

therefore for borro wing in a sim plied a n d co n densed


, ,

form Sir J o hn H erschel s descriptio n O fth e Milky Way


,

.

Followi n g the li n e o f its greatest brightness a s well a s ,

its varyi n g breadth permits its course conform s a s nearly ,

as may be to that o f a great circle i n cli n ed about 63 to

the equinoctial a n d cuttin g that circle in R A 6h 4 7 m


, . . . .
,

and 1 8 h 47 m so that its poles are in R A 1 2 h 47 m


. .
, . . . .
,

Decl N 2 7 and R A O h
. .

Decl S T hrough
. . . . .

o u t the regio n where it is su b divided this great circle -

runs as it were in between the 2 great streams o f galax y


m a tter with a n earer approxim atio n however to th e
, , ,

brighter a n d continuous stream I f we trace the Milky .

Way in t h e order o f R A we n d it traversing C a ssn . .


,

opeia its brighter part passi ng about 2 to the N orth o f


,

6. P a ssing thence between y a n d it se n ds o ff a bra n ch -


s ,

southwards a n d precedi n g tow a rds P e rse i conspicu ous , a ,

as far a s tha t star prolonged fai n tly towards P e rse i a n d


,
e ,

possibly traceable towards the Hyades a n d P lei a des T h e .

mai n stream however (which is here very fai n t ) passes


, ,

o n through A uriga o ver g n precedi n g Capella between



6, , , .

the feet of Gemi n i a n d the hor n s of T aurus (where it in


t e rs e c ts the ecliptic n e a rly in the sol stitial colure ) and ,

thence over the club o f O rion to the n eck of Mo n oceros .


1 3 2 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST AR S .

the nearest app roach of the Milky Way to the South


P ole T hroughou t all this region its brightness is very
.

s triki n g and when compared wit h the m ore N orthern


,

portion the course o f which has bee n already traced con


, ,

veys strongly the idea of greater proximity a n d woul d ,

a lm ost lead to a belief that o u r situatio n as S pectators is

separated o n all sides by a considerable i n terval from the


d ense body o f stars com posing the Galaxy which in this ,

v iew would have to be considered as a at ri n g of im

m ense and irregular breadth a n d thickness within which


we are eccentrically situated nearer to the Southern than ,

t o the N orther n part of its circuit .

At Centauri the Milky Way again subdivides se n d


a ,

i n g o ff a gre a t bra n ch o f nearly half its breadth but ,

which thins o ff r a pidly at a n a n gle of 2 0 with its gen


,

e ra l direction towards the precedi n g side to 7 and d L upi


, 1 ,

beyond which it loses itself in a narrow a n d fai n t stream


let T h e m ain stream passes o n i n creasi n g in bre a dth
.
, ,

t o y N orm a where it m akes an a brupt elbow a n d again


,

s ubdivides i n to o n e principal a n d co n tinu ous stre a m of

very irregular breadth a n d brightness o n the following


S ide a n d a com plicated system of interlaced stre a ks a n d
,

m asses o n the precedi n g which covers the tail o f Scorpio


, ,

and term inates in a vast and fai n t e ffusio n over th e whole


e xte n sive region occu pied by the preceding leg o f O ph iu

chus exte n ding northwards to a pa rallel o f 1 3 of South


,

Decli n atio n beyond which it can n ot be traced a wide in


, ,

t e rva l of 1 4 free from all appeara n ce o f nebulous light


s epara ti n g it fro m the great br a n ch o n the N orth S i de o f

the e q ui n octial o f which it is usually represented as a con


t in u a tio n .

etur n i n g to the poi n t o f separation o f this great


R
bra n ch from the m ai n stream at Ce n t a uri let us n ow a ,

pursu e the cou rse of th e l a tter Making a n abrupt be n d .

to the followi n g side it p a sses over A ra 6 a n d Scorpii 1 , a ,


T HE M I L KY W AY 1 33
.

a nd y T elesc o pii
to y Sagittarii where it suddenly collect s ,

i n to a vivid ov a l mass about 6 in length and 4 in breadth


,

so excessively rich in stars that a very m oderate calcula


tion makes their nu m ber exceed N orthward o f
this m ass this stream crosses the ecliptic in longitud e
about a n d p roceeding alo n g the bow of Sagittariu s

into A n tin o ii s has its course rippled by 3 deep co n cavi


,

ties separ a ted from each other by remarkable p rotu b e r


a n c e s o f which th e larger and brighter (situated between
,

the stars 3 a n d 6 A quil a ) form s th e m ost conspicuou s


patch in the Southern portion of the Milky Way visible in
E nglish l a titudes .

Crossi n g th e equin o ctial at the Xl Xth hour o f R A . .

it ru n s in a n irregular patchy and windi n g stream through


, ,

A quila Sagitta a n d Vulpecula up to Cygnus


, , At Cygn i . 5

its conti n uity is interru p t ed a n d a very co n fused a n d ,

irregular region com m ences m arked by a broad dark , ,

vacuity not u n like the Coal sack o f th e Southern hem i


-

sphere occupying the space between


,
and y Cygni 6, a ,

which serves as a kind o f centre from which 3 great


stream s diverge O f these stream s o n e has bee n alre a dy
.

traced ; a second which is a continuatio n o f the rst


,

( across the interval ) from Cygni northwards


a between ,

L acerta and the h ead of Cepheus to the poi n t in Cassio ~

p e ia ,
wh ence w e s e t o u t ; and a third branching off fro m

y Cyg ni very , vivid a nd co n spicuou s ru n n in g off in a ,

southerly direction through B Cygni a n d s A quil a a lmos t ,

to the equi n octial where it loses itself in a region thi n l y


,

sprinkled with stars where in som e m aps th e m odern


,

co n stellation T a urus P o n ia to wskii is placed T his is th e .

branch which if conti n ued across the equinoctial m ight


, ,

be supposed to u n ite with the great southern e ffusio n in


O phiuchus already noticed A considerable o ffshoot o r
.

protuberant appendage is also throw n o ff by the n orthern


stream from the head o f Cepheus directly towards th e
1 34 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST AR S .

P ole occupying the greater part o f th e trapeziu m form ed


by a B a n d 6 of that constellatio n
, , l
. .

I n con n ection with the Milky Way a large am ount o f


s peculatio n has been i n dulged in but as Gore well re ,

m arks Ma n y attem pts have been m ade to form a sa t


i sfa c to ry theory of the construction of the Milky Way but ,

t hese efforts have bee n hitherto attended with but little suc
c ess .T his is n o t surprisi n g as th e problem is evidently
,

o n e o fgreat di f culty T homas Wright of Durham was



.
, ,

the rst m od ern speculator H e started about 1 7 34 a .


, ,

t heory which in a m ore m atured form and worked out


,

with better m a teri a ls w a s put forward by Sir W H erschel


, .

a bout 1 7 8 4 a n d becam e w ide l y know n a s th e Stratum


t heory O f the Milky Way or a s som e have called it the

, , ,

Clove n disc theory B riey his idea was t hat the stars
.

w ere n o t indi ffere n tly scattered through the h eave n s but ,

were rather arranged in a certain de n ite stratum c o m ,

prised betwee n 2 pla n e surfaces parallel to and n ear each


o ther but prolonged to im m e n se dista n ces in eve ry dirce

tio n the thick n ess o f which stratum as com pared with


, ,

i t s le n gth and breadth was inco n siderable ; a n d that the


,

S u n occupies a place som ewhere about the m iddle of its


t hickness a n d ne a r th e poi n t whe re it subdivides into 2
,

pri n cipal stream s i n clined to each other at a small a n gle


*
.

T his theory is not accepted in th e present day and other ,

t heories have been put forth P roctor whose stro n g.


,

poi n t was ru nning down his rivals suggested that the ,

form o f the Milky Way was that of a spiral but this n o ,

t ion has been dem olished by Sutton Gould is disposed .

t o consider the Milky Way to be the resulta n t O f two o r


P roct o r a sse rt e d t h a t it w s e e n gi e n u p b y its a ut h o r b u t


a v v ,

S ir J o h He rsc h e l w rit in g m o re t h a n h a l f a c e n tu ry a ft e rwa rd s


n , ,

re p ro d u c e d i t w i t h o ut a n y h i n t t h a t it h a d b e e n a b a n d o n e d b y h is

fa t h e r a n d a so n is a b e tt e r a ut h o ri t y a s t o h is fa t h e r s O p in io s
,

n

t h a n a m e re st ra n ge r a s P ro c t o r w a s
, .
T HE M I L KY W AY . 1 35

m ore superposed galaxies whatever that m ay m ean All ,



.

things co n sidered Gore s words are em i n ently wise


,

T h e Copernicu s of the sidereal system has n o t yet a p


e a r e d and it m ay be m any years or even centuries b e
p , , ,

fore this great pro b lem is satisfactorily solved I n poin t .


o f fact for m ore than 2 0 0 0 years astronom ers (and others )


,

have been speculati n g as to the origi n and nature o f th e


Milky way M e tro d o ru s considered it to be the origi n al
.

course o f the Su n abando n ed by him after the bloody


banquet of T hyestes ; others thought that it pointed o u t
the place of P ha eton s accident whilst yet another clas s

regarded it as bei n g m ade up of the ears of corn dropped


by I sis in her ight from T yphon I t seem s hardly c o n .

sonant with our prosaic n i n eteenth century thoughts to -

transcribe su ch rubbish as this yet these and kindred fa ,

bles and fa n cies have taken deep root in the human mind ,

though probably it is true that they do not possess th e


ascendancy which they did even ftv years ago T here .

were however others of the ancients who though n o


, , ,

doubt painfully ign orant of physic a l science as tested by ,

o u r m odern standards and im pregnated with ideas o f th e


,

most ridiculous and fantastic character did at any rate , , ,

do their best according to th eir lights F o r i n stance


, .
,

whe n A ristotle im agi ned the Milky Way to be the result


o fgaseous exhalations from the earth which were se t o n

re in the sky who shall sa y that h e did not pre gu re


,

Hu ggin s s conclusion that certain o f the nebul a a re


nought else but blazing masses of hydrogen o r other ter


re stria l gases ? I t is m ore di fcult however to n d a , ,

m odern cou n terpart for the idea of T heophrastus that it ,

is the solderi n g together o f2 hemispheres or for the c o n


c e p tio n of D io d o ru s that in gazi n g at the Milky Way we
,

see a dense celestial re which shows itself through th e


clefts which indic a te that 2 hemispheres are about to burs t
apart I t is h owever interesting to c o m e u pon specula
.
, ,
[ 3 6 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

tions by D e m oc ra te s and Pythagoras that the galaxy was


n either m ore nor less tha n a vast assemblage o f stars .

O vid speaks of it as a high road


whose groundwork is -

s tars Ma n ilius who posed as an astronomical writer



.
,

a bout the rst century of the Christian E ra a n d who was ,

pro b ably a R om a n uses simil a r language I n a poem


, .

which he wrote called the A stro n o m ic o n and which



,

h a s been more than o n ce I think re n dered into E nglish , , ,

we n d the following allusion to the Milky Way


O r is th e s
pa c i o u s b e d se re n e l y b ri gh t
n

F r m l it t le s t a rs w h i c h th e re t h ei r b e a m s u n ite
o , ,

A n d m a ke o e so li d a d c o ti u e d l i gh t ?

n n n n

It is not a little cu riou s how widely spread both as ,

regards tim e a n d place is the association o f the idea of ,

m i l k with the Milky Way ; a n d though no doubt it may , ,

be a c a se O fo n e l a n guage supplying a word which others


borrowed and tra n slated yet this would hardly have been ,

d o n e if the u n derlyi n g idea had not proved a ccept a ble .

T h e Gree k n am e was l A g s o r Kxh s y h m x s which



-
a a ia o a a i o ,

the R oma n s co n verted i n to Ci rc u l n s L a c te u s or Oroi s


L a c te u s whe n ce no doubt o u r
Milky Way A t the

.
,

sam e time our E n glish a n cestors had several indepe n de n t


n a m es o f their o wn A m o n gst th ese were J acob s L a d

T h e wa y to St J a m es s Watli n g Street
a nd

d er , .
,
.

T h e existe n ce o f these n a m es su pplies a n other proof if ,

o n e were wa n ted that the cardi n al facts a n d features o f a


,

s cience l ike astro n omy O fte n take a m uch deeper hold

o ver the popular mind than m ight be expected .


1 3 8 T HE S T O R Y O F T HE S T AR S .

t hat th e spectra o f the stars were n ot q u it e co m pl ete a n d ,

in ste a d of the c ol o u re d line be in g ab solu t ely co n tin u o u s


fro m th e red e n d to th e vio le t e n d it wa s in t erru pted here
,

and there by na rro w dar k spa c es T hese s pa c es in th e . .

ca s e of the planets M a rs a n d Ven u s c o rre s po n ded pre ,


c ise ly wi th th o se S pa c es w h i ch h e had al re a d y detec ted in

th e s pec tru m of the su n a n d t h i s wa s n at u ra l s in ce t h e


, ,

plane t s on ly reect to u s th e l igh t wh ich the y re c e ive fro m


t he su n B u t the gaps o r d a rk li nes in the s pec t ra of d if
.

fe re n t sta rs were n o t prec ise lv id e n tic al w ith th o se t o b e


t ra c ed in the s o lar spe c t ru m a n d m o re o ver th e s pec tra
, , ,
' '
o fdi e re n t st a rs we re di e re n t .

T h is w a s an i m p o rt a n t di sc o very for it pro ved that t h e ,

s o urc e and ca u se o f these d a r k l in es depen d ed on the su n


o r o n the vario u s sta rs t h emse lv es a s the case m i gh t b e ,

and was n ot due t o anythi n g in o u r at mos phere o r in cc ,


l es ti a l spa c e fo r in su c h ca s e a ll the lin es w o u l d h a v e


,

been ali ke Certain parti c u l ar li nes were indeed t ra ce d to


.

o u r atmosphere a s they w ere in v a ria b ly s ee n in th e s p ec .

tru m o f a n y c e l e s ti al bo d y w hen it wa s ne a r t h e h o riz o n ,

and was the refore bei n g vi e w ed t h ro u gh a gre a t thi c kn ess


o f terre stri al atm os phere .

Fra u n h o fer did n o t a rri ve at a n y expla n a tio n o f th e


ca u se o f these lines and a generati on p a ss ed a wa y b efo re
,

Kirc h h o in 1 8 5 9 p ro v ed t h at a n u m b e r o f the so l ar l in es
, ,

were d u e to the pre sen c e in the s u n s atm o sphere of th e


g l o wi ng vap o u rs o f va ri o u s m e t al s o f whic h s o d iu m a n d
,

i ro n seem ed t o be the c hief .

T h e presence o f a p a i r of bri gh t li nes in the o ra n ge


yell o w porti o n o f the spect ru m o f a c a n dle a m e h a d lo n g
been no tic ed I t h a d b ee n p ro ved t h at t h es e we re d u e t o
.

s od i u m and it had bee n sh own th at th ey co rre s po n d ed


.

p recisely i n p o s i ti on to a p a i r of d ar k li n es kn ow n a s t h e

D li nes in th e spectru m of th e su n Kirc h h o su c cee d ed .

in sh owi ng that a gl o win g ga s w h ic h a t a giv en tem pera ,


A P P L I CA T I O N O F S PE C T R O SCO PE TO ST A R S . 1 39

ture gives o ff light o fa particular ti n t (or rather o fa par


,

tic u l a r w a ve le n gth ) possesses also at that tem perature t h e


-

power o fabsorbing light o f that same wave length T h e -


.

surfa ce of the sun (the ph otosphere as it is tech n ically ,


called ) emits light o f every colour but superposed o n it ,

are the luminou s vapours o f various m etals T hese va .

pours could we but se e them alo n e would give u s only


, ,

light o f certain particular colours their spectra would be


spectra o f bright li n es B u t looki n g through them at th e
.
,

solar photosphere (which lies b e l o w u these gases S hut O ff


from us light ema n ati n g from the photosphere o f precisely
the sam e quality a s they them selves emit We nd .
,

therefore the solar spectru m crossed by dark li n es whic h


, ,

correspo n d to the bright li n es of the gases o fthe solar a t


m o s ph e re T h e co n clusion o f the whole matter is that
.

whilst the two D li n es S ho w the prese n ce o f sodium oth e r ,

li n es k n ow n a s C F C a n d h S how the prese n ce of h y


,

, , ,

d rogen whilst iro n m a gnesium a n d other elem ents have


, ,

also been severally detected in tur n .

T h e sam e pri n ciple has now been applied to the spectra


of st a rs I n their c a se as in t h e case o f the spectrum of
. ,

the su n t he bri ght backgrou n d o f the continuous S pec


,

trum shows the presence o f a stellar pho t osphere the dark ,

lines crossi n g it the prese n ce o f p a rticular gases in the


stellar atmosphere B u t the work o f ide n tifyi n g these
.

g a ses in co n nection with the stars was o n e o f far greater


dif culty than it had bee n in the case o fthe su n owi n g to ,

t h e light even of the brightest stars bei n g com paratively so

feeble T his task wa s however unde rtaken by Huggins


.
, ,

a n d Miller with the utm ost skill and patience and hydro ,

gen sodium magnesium iron calcium and other elem e n ts


, , , ,

which had bee n previously detected in the s u n were sho wn


to exist in the atm ospheres o f A rcturus A ldebaran a n d , ,

s everal other stars .

F o r such researches as those o f Huggins and Mille r


1 38 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

t hat the spectra o fthe stars were not quite com plete a n d ,

i nstead o f the col oured line being absolutely continuou s


from the red end to the violet end it wa s interrupted here ,

a n d there by narro w dark spaces T hese spaces in the


. .

c ase o f the planets Mars and Venus correspo n ded pre ,

c is e ly with those spaces which he had already detected in

t h e spectru m o f the s u n a n d this wa s natural si n ce the


, ,

planets only reect to u s the light which they receive from


t he sun B u t the gaps o r dark li n es in the spectra o f dif
.

fe re n t stars were not precisely ide n tical with those t o be


t raced in the solar spectrum and m o reover the spectra, , ,

o f di f ferent stars were di fferent .

T his wa s an im portant discovery for it proved that the ,

s ource and cause o f these dark lines depended o n the su n

o r o n the various stars them selves as the case m ight be ,

a n d was not due to a n ythi n g in o u r atm osphere or in c e ,

l e stia l space for in such case all the lines would have
,

been alike Certain particul a r lines were indeed traced to


.

o u r atm osphere as they were inv a riably seen in the spec

t ru m o f any celestial body when it was near the horizon ,

a n d was therefore being viewed throu gh a great thick n ess

o f terrestrial atm osphere .

Fraunhofer did not arrive at a n y explanation o f the


cause O fthese li n es and a ge n eration passed away before
,

Kirchhoff in 1 8 5 9 proved that a num ber O f the solar lines


, ,

were due to the prese n ce in the su n s atm osphere o f th e

g lowing vapours of various m etals o f which sodium and ,

i ron seem ed to be the chief .

T h e presence o f a pair o f bright lines in the ora n ge


yellow portion of the S pectrum of a ca n dle am e had long
bee n noticed I t had been proved that these were due to
.

s odium and it had been S how n that they corresponded


,

p recisely in position to a pair o f dark lines known a s the

D lines in the spectrum of the su n Kirchhoff succeeded .

in sh o wing that a glowing gas which at a given tem pera ,


1 40 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

t h e object glass prism of Fraunhofer was quite unsuited


-
,

a n d a sl i t spectroscope was adopted I n this a very nar .

ro w slit occupies the focus o f the telescope s o that th e ,

i m age form ed by th e telescope falls u pon it T h e slit is .

a lso in the focu s o f a sm all obj ect glass placed behind it -


,

c alled the collimator which renders the rays o f light com


,

in g from the star parallel to each other T h e rays then .

p ass through one o r m ore prism s and so becom e dis

p e rse d the , di ferently


f coloured rays undergoing a di ferent
f
a mount of be n ding o u t of their course Finally the spec .

t ru m thus produced is viewed by m ean s of a sm all tele


s cope . A s the normal im age o f a star is only a point the
resulti n g spectru m is only a line and a small breadth has ,

to be im parted to it by m eans of a c y li n drical le n s befor e


it can be successfully observed .

A l a bour o f a differe n t character was being u ndertaken


by Secchi at about the sam e tim e that Huggin s a n d Miller
were at work T his disti n guished I talian physicist fou n d
.

that though the spectra o fdi f fere n t stars d iffe re d in charac

te r these differe n ces m ight easily be reduced to no m ore


.

than 3 o r 4 sim ple types R utherfurd had mad e a similar


.

s uggestio n a little earlier but Secchi was the rst to carry


,

o u t a sys tematic spectroscopic exam i n ation of a n y con

s id e ra b l e n um ber of stars More rece n tly other a n d m ore


.
,

detailed classications have been proposed by Vogel an d


b y L ockyer and as regards the photographs o f stellar
s pectra b y Pickeri n g but these have in no way super
,

se d e d Secchi s schem e o fclasses they have supplem ented


it rather than replace d it .

Secchi divided the stars into 4 p rincipal groups which ,

h e designated T ypes
T h e white o r bluish stars ,

o f which Sirius may be taken a s the type T hese stars .

yield spectra with the li n es o f hydrogen very broad a n d


d ark but the lines of the m etals faint an d di fcult to se e
, ,

o r altogether abse n t T h e yello w stars o f which


.
,
A P P LI C A T I O N O F S P E C T R O SC O P E TO ST A R S . 1 4]

our Sun A rcturu s and Capella may be t a ken as th e chi e f


, ,

types T h e spectra o f these S ho w the lines o f hydroge n


. ,

but not S O broadly o r prominently a s in the case of the I st


type ; the m etallic li n es are however on the other ha n d , , ,

num erous and distinct T h e orange stars o f which


.
,

a O rio n is Herculis and the variable star [Mi ra Ceti a re


, a ,

types T his cl a ss also incl u des divers variable st a rs o f


.

lo n g o r irregular period T h e S pec tra are crossed by a .

nu mber of dark ba n ds very dark a n d S harp o n the sid e ,

nearest the blue and S hading o ff gradually tow a rds th e


,

red e n d (I V ) T h e red stars n o n e of which are brighte r


. .
,

than 5 th m agnitude T hese have spectra crossed pri n ci


.

pally by 3 dark bands due to the absorption o f carbon , ,

and S haded the reverse wa y to those o f the I I I rd type .

A n umber o f small stars distributed along the axis o f ,

the Milky Way and com m o n ly called the Wolf R ayet


,
-

stars fro m the two French astro n omers who fou n d th e


,

rst exam ples are now co n sidered in accordance with a


, ,

suggestion o f P ickering s to form together with th e

, ,

planetary n ebul a a V th ge n eral type T hese S ho w ve ry


, .

characte ristic spectra the backgrou nd bei n g o f irregular


,

brightness and crossed by two bright li n es in the yellow ,

by another in the light green and by a distin ctive brigh t ,

ba n d in the blue .

T here are a lso a fe w stars which c a n scarcely b e


brought under a n y o f the foregoi n g ve h eads For in .

stance m a ny o i the stars in O rion have the hydrogen a s


,

well as the m etallic lines narrow a n d faint ; they c a n


therefore hardly be placed under either the I st o r 1 1 n d
types A n d it m ay be added that y Cassiopei a B Lyra
.
, ,

and a fe w other stars S ho w the hy d rogen lines bright .

Secchi s cat a logue co n tained abou t 50 0 stellar spectra


but this n umber h a s been very l a rgely increased by Vogel ,

who h a s inform ed us concerning the spectra O f about


40 0 0 stars ; whilst Ko n ko ly has dealt w ith about 2 0 0 0
1 40 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

th e obj ect glass prism of Fraunhofer was quite unsuit e d


-
,

a n d a sl i t spectroscope was adopted I n this a ve ry n a r .

ro w S lit occupies the focus o f the telescope so that the ,

i mage formed by th e telescope f a lls u po n it T h e slit is .

a lso in the focu s o f a sm all obj ect glass placed behind it -


,

c alled the collimator which renders the rays o f light c o m


,

in g from the star parallel to each other T h e rays then .

p ass through o n e o r m ore prism s and s o becom e dis

e rse d the di f ferently coloured rays undergoi n g a di fferent


p ,

a mou n t o f bending o u t of their course Finally the spec .

t ru m thus produced is viewed by m eans o f a sm all tele


s cope . A s the normal im age o f a star is only a point the
resulting spectru m is only a line and a sm all breadth has ,

to be im parted to it by m eans o f a c y li n drical lens befor e


it can be successfully observed .

A l a bour of a differe n t character was being u ndertaken


by Secchi at about the sam e tim e that Huggi n s and Miller
were at work T his disti n guished I t a lian physicist found
.

that though the spectra of di fferent stars d iffe re d in charac


t e r these di f
, fere n ces might easily be reduced to n o m ore
t ha n 3 o r 4 sim ple types R utherfurd had made a similar
.

s uggestio n a little earlier but Secchi was the rst to carry


,

o u t a systematic spectroscopic ex a m ination o f a n y c o n

s id e ra b l e number O f stars More recently other and m ore


.
,

detailed cl a ssicatio n s have been proposed by Vogel and


b y L ockyer and as regards the photographs o f stellar
s pectra b y P ickeri n g but these have in no way super
,

s e d e d Secchi s sche m e of classes they have supplem ented


it rather than replaced it .

Secchi divided the stars into 4 p rincipal groups which ,

h e desig n ated T ypes T h e white o r bluish stars ,

o f which Sirius may be taken as the type T hese st a rs .

y ield S pectra with the li n es o f hydrogen very broad a n d

d ark but the lines o f the m etals faint and d ii c u l t to se e


, ,

o r altogether abse n t T h e yello w stars o f which


.
,
1 42 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

st a rs All the foregoing were the result of direct eye ob


.

servation but a fuller survey has si n ce been accom plished


,

by m eans o f photograph y H uggi n s at an early period .

applied photography to the study O f stellar spectra and ,

discovered thereby a rem arkable series o f broad dark ,

li n es in the ultra violet region o f S pectra O f stars O f the


-

Sirius type Dr He n ry Draper wo rked o n similar li n es at


. .

a bout th e s a m e tim e a n d after his death his widow placed


,

am ple fu n ds at the disposal o f the Harvard College o b


s e rv a t o ry for further researches to be carried o n in m emory

o f her late husband O n e of the results of her generosity


.
,

a n d of P ickeri n g s skilful u se o f it is the Draper Cata


logue a classied cat a logu e O f the photographed S pectra


,

o f m ore tha n st a rs T h e classication adopted is


.

s om ewhat m ore detailed than Secchi s but proceeds o n


esse n ti a lly the sam e lines .

I n a previous chapter (X1 1 ) 1 have s a id a good deal .

about that remarkable cl a ss o f O bj ects com m o n ly c a lled


the tem porary stars o r N om e stars which have sudde n ly
,

com e i n to view a n d have the n ra pidly faded away O n ly .

a few i n stances h a ve occurred si n ce the a pplic a tio n o f the


spectroscope to stellar O bservatio n a n d the st a rs ha v e all ,

bee n m uch less b righ t a n d e n duri n g tha n T y c h o s fa m ous

star O f 1 5 7 2 but striki n g characteristics h a ve bee n exhib


,

ite d by each O f those which have bee n spectroscopically


treated .

T h e spectru m o f T Coro n a in 1 8 66 showed besides ,

a conti n uous spectrum crossed by d a rk li n es a number ,

o f bright lines amo n gst which those o f hydroge n were


,

clearly to be n oticed I n N ov a Cyg n i in 1 8 7 6 a gai n a


. , ,

number of bright li n es were see n superposed o n a c o n


t in u o u s spectrum T hese bright li n es appeared o n the
.

w hole to correspo n d to those o f the sol a r chrom osphere


( th e n arrow red fri n ge see n surrou n di n g the sun s disc

d uring a total solar eclipse), T h e hydroge n lines and a ,


A P P L I C AT I O N OF S P E CT R O SCO PE TO ST A R S . I 43

characteristic line in the yellow near the D lines O f so ,

d iu m and called D (o r the H eliu m li n e ) were th e


, 3 ,

m ost conspicuous I t m ust be noted in this connection


.

that the hydroge n li n es with the D line are also the chief 3

li n es exhibited by the red am es o r prom i n e n ces



,

,
"

which are ofte n seen to rise from the solar chromospher e


to heigh ts o f miles o r more I t follows from this .
,

therefore th a t T Coro n a a n d N ov a Cyg n i seem ed to o ffer


,

evide n ce that stars are not only som etim es com posed of
the sam e elem e n ts as the s u n and like it possess pho , , ,

t o sph e re s surrou n ded by absorbing gases but also that ,

they possess chrom ospheres and prom ine n ces so that in , ,

point o f fact the sudden developm e n t o f brilliancy re


,

corded in the case o f these 2 s tars wa s really in th e


n atu re o f a prodigious chrom osp heric outburst .

N ov a Cygni however u n derwent further changes


, , .

When its co n tinuous S pectru m had nearly faded out th e


aspect o f the spectru m that remai n ed greatly resembled
that of the Wol f R ayet stars L ater still in the autu m n
-
.
,

o f 1 8 77 the light o f the st a r appeared concentrated in a


, .

si n gle bright line apparently the line characteristic o f th e


,

n eb u la
l .

N ear the centre o f the great nebula in A ndrom eda a


new star bec a m e visible in A ugust 1 8 8 5 I ts spectru m , .

was practically co n ti n uous .

T wo other N ov a have yet to be m entioned N ov a A u


.
,
.

riga and N ov a N orm a the last n am ed apparently a faint


,

copy o f the rst N ov a Auriga stands out a s perh a ps


.

the m ost i n teresting and m ost perplexing obj ect yet stud
ie d by aid o f the spectroscope D iscovered by Dr T homas . .

A nderson on J a n uary 2 4 1 8 9 2 b u t recorded by the auto


, ,

m atic stellar cam era of Harvard College o n December 1 0 ,

1 8 9 1 it showed when subjected to spectroscopic a n alysis


, , ,

the twofold spectrum see n in T Coro n a a n d N ov a Cygni ,

a continuous spectrum crossed by dark lines a n d a spec ,


1 44 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

t ru m o f bright lines amo n gst which those of hydroge n ,

were conspicuous together with many of the principal ,

l ines o f the solar chromosphere .

T h e star dimi n ished in bright n ess v ery quickly after


M arch 1 6 1 8 9 2 a n d was u nfavourably placed for som e
, ,

m onths When it was examined afresh on A ugust 1 7 by


.

the Lick ob se rvers it was fou n d to have undergone a pa r


,

ti a l revival and as in the case o f N ov a Cygni they


, , ,

t ho u ght it s spectrum close l y resem bled that of a planet


ary nebula Huggi n s however did not regard this con
.
, ,

e lu sion as fairly established T h e spectrum showed it is .


,

true two bright bands n ear the positio n s o f the two chief
,

n ebular li n es but the bands were really groups of bright


,

l i n es exte n ding over a co n siderable length o f the spec


,

tru m T h e m ost striki n g feature of the spectrum o f


.

N ov a A urig a was the displacem ent of its lines A s rst .

s ee n , the bright hydroge n li n es were accom panied by


d ark absorption lines m a n ifestly due to the sam e elem ent , ,

b u t displaced towards the violet as compare d wit h the


bright l i nes P hotographs O f the spectru m revealed
.

further details Many o f the dark l i n es carried a ne


.

b right li n e u pon them m any o f t h e bright lines could be


resolved into two or three comp o nents H ere the n .
, ,

there was at least a double hydrogen spectru m : o n e of


d ark li n es the other of bright li n es the two displaced
, ,

with reg a rd to each other P ossibly there were several .

s uch disti n ct spectra H ow were their displacem ent with


.

regard to each other to be explai n ed P

D oppler i n 1 8 43 h a d shown that the m otion of a


, ,

s o u rce o f light towards the observer must cause a short

e n in g of the i n terv a ls between the waves of light In .

o ther words light of a given special wave length would


,
-

h a ve th a t wave le n gth dim i n i shed and the light would


-
,

a ppear to have shifted its place in the spectru m towards

t h e blue end if the source o f the light were in m otion


1 46 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

69 h o urs Vogel now conclusively showed that this wa s


.

the case for A lgol was m o ving round the ce n tre of gravit y
,

o f th e pair in precisely th e time required a n d the diam e ,

ter m ass distance from its primary and speed in its orbit
, , , ,

o f the u n seen compa n ion were all com puted , .

Spica Virginis proved to be another close double ,

though in this case the com panion does not obscure the
bright pri n cipal star I ndeed it is possible that it is as
.
,

bright as the 3rd m agnitude .

I n som e cases a spectroscopic double is com posed


o f two stars o f n early equal brightness T his is the case .

with U rs a Maj oris a n d B A urig a which were discovered ,

by Pickeri n g a little before Vogel s proof of the existe n ce

o f the com panion o f A lgol T h e two stars which m ake.

u p B A urig a revolve in an orbit which is but little inclined


to the line o f sight Co n sequently at o n e tim e o n e star
.

will be approaching u s in its orbit whilst the oth er is re


cedi n g T h e li n es due to the rst star are displaced
.

towards the blue and those o f the second to wards the


,

red and the li n es in the compound spectrum are therefore


,

double A little later both bodies are m o vmg across the


.

line of sight and therefore are neither approachi n g us nor


,

recedi n g from u s so that the li n es o f the two stars exactly


,

coincide T h e period in the case o f this star is nearly 4


.

d ays .

A nother probable spectroscopic double is the vari


able star B Lyra T his star (as we have already seen )
.

goes through its changes in a little less than 1 3 d a ys hav ,

in g two maxima a n d two minima I ts spectrum shows .

broad dark bands due to hydrogen besides bright lines


, , , ,

which cha n ge their appeara n ce a n d positio n from tim e to


tim e I t has been suggested that the system co n sists of
.

two stars o f unlike spectra revolving rou n d e a ch other ,

a n d parti a lly eclipsi n g each other as they cross the line of

sight T h e changes o f the spectru m are h owever very


.
, ,
A P P L I C AT I O N OF S P E C T R O SC O P E TO ST A R S . I 47

com plicated and hav e n ot yet been completely stu died


, ,

and so sim pl e an explanation appears sc a rcely adequ a te .

A very promisi n g a n d im portant study is that of th e


distribution of the di ffere n t t ypes o f stellar spectra For .

this the available m aterial is as yet insufcie n t N ever .

t h e l e ss the Draper cat a logue a n d the catalo gu es o f Vogel


, ,

a n d Ko n ko ly have enabled som e rst approxi m ations t o


,

be m ade I t appears from a considerati o n o f such binary


.
,

stars as have been spectroscopically exam ined that th e ,

I st or Sirius type of stars a re m uch less dense relatively


to their bright n ess than the Solar stars o r are intri n sically ,

brighter relatively to their density T h e 1 1 n d type o f .

st a rs e th e Solar stars and to a less degree the I I I rd


, . , ,

type of stars appear to be pretty eve n ly distributed over


,

the s ky T h e I st or Sirius type S ho ws a distinct disposi


.
, ,

ti o n to aggregation toward s the Milky W a y whilst a s , ,

already pointed out the Wolf R ayet stars cluster alo n g its
,
-

axis T h e proper m otions o f the Sirius stars appe a r to be


.

smaller tha n those o f th e Solar stars which from thi s ,

and other reasons m ay b e supposed to be o n th e avera ge


nearer to us than the Sirius stars I f the Solar type stars .

be divided i n to two classes accordi n g to their greater ,

resembla n ce to Capella and A rcturus respectively the for ,

m er cl a ss appears to have a larger avera ge proper m otion


than the latter a n d m ay therefore be su pposed to be th e
,

n earer st a rs T h e entire subject however needs muc h


.
, ,

fuller investigatio n before a n y grea t weight c a n be a t


t a c h e d to these p rovisio n a l conclusio n s T h e com pletion .

o f the D r a per catalogue by the publicatio n o f the result s

o f the survey o f the south er n he a ve n s carried o u t a t A re

quipa in P eru u n der the direction of the Harvard a stro n o


, ,

m ers will co n stitute the nex t im portan t forw a rd step


, .

T h e rst observatio n of the spectru m o f a nebula wa s


m a de b y Huggi n s in A ugust 1 8 64 T h e object exami n ed , .

wa s the small bright planetary nebula in the pole o f th e


, ,
1 48 T HE ST O R Y O F T HE ST A R S .

. e cliptic 37 131 I V Draconis to which som e allusion h a s


, ,

alre a dy been m ade T h e rst scruti n y revealed the fact


.

th a t there existed an imm ense di fference between its


spectrum and an ordinary stellar spectrum I n place o f .

t h e usual continuous spectrum only three isolated bright


lines were seen a proof o fthe presence o f lum inous gas .

I n other words the object was a true n ebula that is a


, , ,

m ass o fglowi n g gas and not a star cluster seemi n g to be


, ,

n ebulous o n ly on account o f its distance .

O f the three lines o n e the fai n test was evide n tly due
, , ,

to hydrogen T h e other two have not yet been identied


.
,

but the brightest is very near o n e of a pair o f green lines


in the spectrum of nitrogen and has hence bee n sometim es ,

spoke n o f as the n itroge n li n e



O ther li n es d u e to .

hydrogen have since been observed in various n ebular


s pectra together with the well k n ow n chrom ospheric lin e
,
-

D 3 A nu mber o f other li n es have also been detected in


,

the visual spectrum with extrem e di fculty by di fferent


o bservers a n d ma n y m o re by m ea n s of photography in
,

the violet a n d ultra violet regio n s T h e sources of these


-
.

li n es have n o t yet bee n ascertai n ed a n d in a great number ,

o f the fainter spectra the line in the gree n n e a r the n itrogen

pair which is especially to be regarded a s the typical


,

n ebular line is alo n e visible


, .

T h e problem o f the m otions of the nebul a in the line


o f sight has been att a cked by K eeler at the L ick O bserva

t ory H e has m easured the displacem e n t o f the chief


.

n ebular line in the spectra of the nebul a and has obtained ,

e vide n ce o f m ovem ents v a ryi n g from a speed o f about 40

m iles per seco n d o f a pproach to about 30 m iles per ,

s eco n d of recession .

Several of the n ebul a a s for example the great n ebula


, , ,

in A n drom eda S how co n ti n uous spectra


, B u t m an y of .

t hose that give a spectrum o f bright li n es give also a fai n t ,

co n tinuous spectrum T h e great n ebula of O rion is one


.
A PP E N D I X 1 .

T A B LE O F T HE C O N S T E L L AT I O N S .

BYthe entries in the c o lum n headed Centre it is

m eant to be inferred that a line o f R ight A scension and a


l ine o f Declination taken o f f the m ap will intercept at a
point which m ay be regarded as about th e centre o f th e
c onstellation T his however is o nly true o f the m ore
.
, ,

c om pact c onstellations for there are som e like Draco , , ,

Cetus and A rgo which


,
h ic are so long and straggling that
,

era hh o urs o f R A When t herefore


t hey extend over several . .
, ,

I state that the constellati


u st ati o ns are h ere arra n ged in th e
order of R A the statemtat m en
ent must be regarded as need
. .
,

i n g some qualication1 1 in m
m any cases I n the c olum n of .

Declination m eans N orth and South , .

CE N T RE .

N A ME OF C O N S T E LL AT I O N .

R A
. . D ec l .

i e
P sc s .

S c u l p t o r [App a ra u s t S c u lpt o ri s]
A n d ro m e d a
P h oe n x i .

i
C a ss o p e a i
C e tu s
T ria n gu l
F o rn a x [C h e m ic a ]
i
A r es
H y d ru s

1 50
T HE CO N ST E L L A T I O N S . 1 5 1

CE N T RE .

N A ME OF CO N SS T EE LL AT I O N .

R A
. . D l ec .

H o ro l o gi u m
R e t i c u l u m [R h o m b oi d a llii s]

T u ru s
a

C a l u m [C a l a S c u l p to rii s]
D o ra d o
O ri o n
Lepu s
P i c t o r [E q u l e u s P ic to ris]
Me sa [M o n s M e n sa ]
n .

C o l u m b a [N o a c h i]
Ca m l o p a rd u s
e

A u ri ga

M o n o c e ro s
Ca n is Mi n o r
A rgo [P u ppi s] .

L yn x
A rgo
Ca n c e r
Argo [C a ri n a ]
Vo l a n s [P i sc i s Vo l a n s]
A rgo [M a l u s]
A rgo [Ve l a ]
A t li a P n e u m a ti c a
n

S e x ta n s
L e o M in o r
Leo
Ch a m a l e o n
Hy d ra .

C ra t e r .

C o r vu s .

M u sc a
C o m a B e re n i c e s . .
1 5 2 A P PE N DI X 1 .

CE N T RE .

N A ME OF C O N SS T EE LL AT I O N .

R A
. . D l ec .

O . O .

B O OEC S O O .

O . O
L u pu s . 0 O
i
L b ra o . O
A pu s . 0 0 0

S e rp e n s . 0 O .

C o ro n a B o re a l is o . o
i
T r a n gul u m o . o

U rsa M in o r o
N o rm a O . . 9

D ra c o
S c o rpi o O . 0

O ph i u ch u s
H e rc u l e s
C o ro n a
S c u tu m S O b i e sk i i
T e l e sc o p u m i .

L y ra

Pa vo
A qu l a i (w i t h
Vul p e c u l a et
Cygn u s . .

P i sc i s
1 5 2 A PP E N DI X 1 .

CE N T RE .

N A ME OF C O N SS T EE LL A TI O N .

R A
. . D l ec .

V i rgo o o 0 0

B o ot e s o o

i i
C rc n u s 0 0 o

L u pu s O . 0

i
L b ra 0 0 O

A pu s o . 0 0

S e rp e ns 0 0 o

C o ro n a B o r a l s e i o . o .

i
T r a n gul u m A u st ra l e . 0 0 0

U rsa n orMi o o

N o rm a o . o .

D ra c o
Sc or
p io 0 0 o

O ph iuch us
H e rc ul e s
C o ro n a
Sc utu m S o b i e skii

T e l e sc o p u m i .

L y ra
S gi tt a ri u s
a

Pa v o
A qu i l a (w t h Ain t i n o ii s)

S a gi tt a
Vul p e c u l e t a

Cy g u s n

D e l ph i u s n

E quu l e u s
P i c is
s

ooooo
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 . 0
AP P E N D I X I I .

LI S T OF C E LE S T I A L O B E CT S J FO R S M A LL T E LE
sc o rn s

is here assum ed that a certain nu m b e r of the read


IT
ers o f this volum e m ay happe n to possess a sm all tele
scope a n d would be glad to direct it on celestial O bject s
,

o f interest if they kne w where to look for som e which

were withinn the reeach ac o f their instrum ents H ence th e .

m otive for the ccomomp il t on o f th is ca talogue which may


pilation ,

be said to represent
e pre se n t the
he ccapacity o f portable refracting
telescopes o O f about 2 inches he in apertur e .

( )
1 D O U B L E OR CO M P O U N D S T AR S .

R igh t D li ec na M a gn itu d e s Di t s ance


N O. N AM E OF S T AR . A se e n t i on , o fC o m b twe een th e
si o n , 1 8 90 . 1 8 90 .
p on e n ts . C o m p on e n t s.

h .
I "

t B T ou c a n i 0 2 8
2 1) C a ssiop e i ae o 5
3 7 A ri e ti s I 8

4 7 An d ro m e d ae

5 9 E ri d a n i N
6 I 4 A u ri gae l'

U
7 2 3 O ri o n i s
l
'

U
8 6 O ri o n i s l

Fo r a c o m p re h en si v e t
ge n e ra l c a a l o gu e o f o b j e ct s o f h is in d , t k
with ful l d esc rip t io n s o f e a c h , s e e A d m ira l W H my h s

Cy cl e
. . S t
o f Ce l e st ia l O b j ec t s , x

2 n d ed O fo rd ,
.
, 1 881 , p rice 1 2 5 .

I 553
1 54 AP PE N DI X II .

Ri h g t D liec na M a gn itu d es Di t s a n ce
N AM E or S T A RR . As e e n ti on , o f Co m b tw
e een th e
sii o n , 1
S 8 90 . 1 8 90 .
p on e n ts . C om po n e n t s.

1 2 a nd 42
a O ri on i s
m u l t ip l e .

I I Mon o c e rotis 7. 9 3

5)
7 Vo l a n ti s
a G e m i n o ru m
7 A rgs
54 L e on is
a C ru c is go :

q u i n tu pl e
I7 C om m aeB
Be r 2 5 +26
I 4S l
l ow p o we r]
.

7 C ru c i s 2 5 6 5
2 9 2 and

7 V i rgi i s n 5 0 b o th 4
a Ca n V e n a L
. t .
5 3 + 3 8 5 4 2 1} a n d 6%
I4;A c , l or
CU rsa? M aj . 2 9 + 5 5 30 3 and 5 m g 5 , is .

i
d st a n t I I Q

a Ce t a u ri
n 2 2 I and 2

1r B o ot e s 33 + 1 6 5 3 31} a n d 6

5 S c o rp ii I 9
-
II 4 41} a n d 7%

BS co rp ii 2 I g 3 O 2 a nd 5}
4

v S c orpii
3 6 (A) O ph iu c h i
a H e rc u lis
L y rae
6 S e rp e n ti s
B C y gn i
3 76 [u se
a
2
C a pri c o rn i l ow p o we r]
B C a p ri c o rn i
9

7 D e l ph i i n

B C e ph e i
6 Cep h ei
1 54 A P PE N DI X 11 .

Ri htg D li
ec na M a gn itud es Di t s a n ce
Ase e n ti on , o f Com b tw
e een th e
S Iio n , 1
s 8 90 . I 8 90 .
p on e n ts . C o m p on e n ts .

1 2 a nd
42 :
a
'
O ri on is
mu p elti l .

I I Mon oc e rottiss 7, 9
5)
7 Vol a n ti s
a G e m i n o ru m
7 A rgs
54 L e on i s
a C ru c i s 90 3
q u i n tu pl e
I 7 C o m ae Be r 2 5 2 6
I 45 [u se
l ow p o we r]
.

7 C ru c i s 2 5 6
7 Vi rgi n 1i 5s
a Ca n V e n a t
. .
5 3 + 38
4 ; A c r,
1 l o
2 9 + 55 m a g 5 , is .

i
d st a n t 1 1 %
a C e n t a u ri 2 2 I and 2

1r Bo Ote s 33 + 1 6 5 3 31} a n d 6

gS c orp i i I 9
II 4 41} a n d 7%

B S c o rp i i 2 1 9 3o 2 and 5 1}

v S c orp i i
3 6 (A) O ph iu ch i
a H e rc u li s
L y rae
0 S e rpe n tis
B C y gn i
3 76 [u se
2
at C a pri c o rn i l ow p owe r]
B C a p ri c o rn i
2

7 D e l ph i n i
B C e ph e i
8 C e ph e i 40 : A . v a r.
LI S T O F C E L E S T I AL O B J E CT S . I 55

( ) 2 C LU S T E R S O F S T A R S A N D N E B U LJE .

N o. D E S G N AT I O N
I 0F O Bj E CT
0
tu
N a re o f Ri h g tA s D liec na
O bj e c t
.
. c e n sron . n on .

h .

H 47 T ou c a n i Cl u ste r
N 31 M
A n d ro m e d a . N eb u l a
J
U T h e N u b e c u ll a Mi n o
or
A 1 0 3 M C a ss i o pe i a
si .

3 3 I ll V I P e rse i
I
U
O

n T u ri
a

Q N u b e c ul a M a j o r
D
C I M T a u ri
. C ra
O
V 42 M O rio is. n

35 M G e m i n o ru m
.

41 M C a n i s M a j o ri s
.

P ra se p e in C a n c e r
1) Argus
x C ru c i s
w C e t a u ri
n

3 M C a n u m V e n a ti c o ru m
.

5 M L i b ra
.

8 0 M S c o rp ii.

1 3 M H e rc u li s
.

9 2 M H e r
.c u l i s
1 4 M O ph iu c h i
.

8 M Sa git t a ri i
.

2 4 M S c u t i S ob ie skii
.

1 7 M S c u ti S o b ie skii
.

H o rse sh o e -

2 2 M S a gitt a rii Cl u st e r 2 2 8
3 59
-
2
.
9
I I M A n tin o i C l u st e r 6 24

.
45 1 3
5 7 M L y ra . An n u l a r n e b .
49 2 8 + 3 2 5 3
2 7 M Vu l p e c u l a
. N eb u l a 5 4 48 + 2 2 2 5
Du mb b e ll J -
"

1 5 M P e ga si
. Cl u st e r 2 4 38 + 1 1 40
2 M A qu a ri i
. Cl u st e r 44 I I 9
1 5 6 A P PE N DI X 11 .

(3) S P E CI A L S T A R S .

Ri h
h g t D li
ec na

N o. N A ME OF S T ARS . Asc e n s i on , ti on , M ag. N t


o e s.
1 8 90 . 1 8 90 .


h . Im
n. s.
5

I o C e ti 2 1 3 47 3

2 a Cet i 2 56
3 B P e rse i 3
4 5 Ly n c is 6
5 f C a i s M a j o ri s
l. n 6
6 2 0 9 1 8 L a l Hy d ra . I O

7 B L i b ra 1 5
8 a S c o rp ii 1 6
9 x C m yg I 9

I o u
,
C e ph e i 2 1 4O 8 + 58

I I 8 e ph C ei 2 2 5 + 57
2 5
I 2 8 A n d ro m d a e 2 3 1 2 3 8 + 48
1 3 3o P i s c i u m 2 3 56 1 9 6
1 5 8 GE N E R AL I N DE X .

C h i n e se o b se rv a ti o n s re fe rre d t o , 41 ,

7 6:
C i rc m u s (c o n s e
.

t ll t i a i on ) ,
1 52 .

lu t t
C s e rs o f s a rs , 1 0 1 .

Li t f f m l ll t l
s o p, 55 or s a e e sc o e s, 1 .

C l S k Th
oa ac
3 . e, 1 1 .

C l u d t
o o re6 s a rs , 2 .

C lu m b N
o hi ( a t ll t i ) 3 3
oa c c on s e a on , .

C m B r i
o a ( t llll t i ) 6
t
e e n c es c on s e a 10 n , 10
o 11 .

C mpo P i t a s s, f 7 o n s o , 1
-2 0 .

C mpl m
o t y l u 65e en a r co o rs , .

C t ll ti
on s e 8 a o n s, 2 .

C t ll t i
on s e Li t f 5
a o n s, s o ,
1 0 .

B i f u t f3
r e a cc o n o , 0 .

C A u t li (
o ro n a t ll t i ) 5
s ra s cons e a on ,
1 2 .

C B
o ro n a l i ( t ll t i ) 34
o re a s c on s e a on , .

C u ( t ll ti ) 5
o rv s c on s e a on ,
1 1 .

C b N b ul i T u u
ra e a n a r s, 1 2 2 .

C t ra ( t ll t i ) 5
er c on s e a on ,
1 1 .

C ux (
r t ll t i ) 5
c on s e a on ,
1 1 .

Cy g u ( n t ll t i ) 3
s c on s e a on ,
2 .

D .

D l i ti 36
ec na on , .

D lph i u (
e t lll ti ) 34
n s c on s e a on , .

D b ( C y g i) 4
ene a. n , 2 .

Di d o o ru s , I
35 .

D iu lM m t 3
rn a ove en ,
1 .

D ppl o 7 44e r, 2 , 1 .

D d ( t ll t i ) 5
o ra o c on s e a on , 1 1 .

N b ul i e 3 a n, 1 2 . 1 .

D ub l t u (c o n st e ll a t io n )
o 5 65
e s a rs , 1
I nd s 52
.
, 1
D (
ra c o t ll t i ) 3 4
con s e a on ,
2 , 2 .
, .

D p D 4 ra e r, r. , 1 2
J
D um b b N b m H
6
e e a 1 2
7

J a c ob s

L a d d e r, name fo r M ilky
E
W ay , 1 36 .

J ob ix , 9 ci t ed 40 1 02 ; x xx v rn .
E y p t ia n A s t ro n o m y , 40 .

31

2 40 , 1 0 2
, ,

b ul
.
,
E l tI c N e a ,
1 1 5, 1 1 6 .

ri d a n u s (c o n s t ll t i
e a on ) ,
1 51 . K .

Es T E 93
Ke y R H C

"

,
ev . . .
,
1 2 1 .

F
Ki rc h h of
f, 1 38 .

Kl e in H . h is A tl a s re fe rre d to ,
Fi e d x
t
s a rs, 1 2 .
39
,

l ut ( Pi u t li )
.

Fom a h a a
. sc s i A s ra s , Ko n k ol y ,
1 41 .

2 4.
2
5 34 . .

Fon e n e t ll 69 e ,
.

F o rn a x Ch m i ( e ca c on s e t ll ti a on ) ,
1 5o .

Fra n o u h f 37 e r, 1 .

G
l x
G a a y , 49 (s ee M i y W a y ) lk .

Ga ug g
in th e h e a v e n s 47 , .

G e m i n i (c o n s e a io n ) , 33 , 3 5 t ll t .

G e n e s i s x v 5 c i e d , 43 , t .

l ul
G o b a r c s e rs, 1 0 7 lu t .
GE N E R AL I N DE X .

x t ll t
Ly n (c o n s e a io n ) , 1 5 1 .

t ll
Ly ra (c o n s e a t io n ) , 1 5 2 .

u u l t
q a d r p e s a r, e 6 , 60 .
6

ul
A n n a r N e b u l a in , ul 1 1 5 .

M .
6

M ad l e r H 74 ,
.
,
.

M a ge ll a n ic C l o u d s 1 2 7 , .

M a gn itu d e s o f st a rs 2 1 , .

Lis t o t
f s a rs o f t h e rs , 2 4 t .

M a ia (o n e l o f t h e P l e i a d e s) , 1 0 3 .

M a n il iu s t ' '

,
h is d e sc rip tio n o f t h e
M ilk y W a y 1 3 6 , .

M a z z a ro th M e a n i n gg o f, 41 ,
.

M e c h a in 1 0 8 ,
.

M e rid ia n 1 7 3 7 , , .

M e ssie r h is c a t a l ogu u e of
, n eb ull a ,
1 0 8, 1 2 2 .

N o 1 , 1 2 2 , 1 55 . .

N o 5, 1 08 . .

N o 1 1 , 1 1 3, 1 55 . .

N O 1 3, 1 0 6 . .

M e t ro d o ru s , h is id e a o f th e M ilil k y
Way .
I 3S .

M i c ro m e t e r 5 4
,

.
,

M ic ro sc o p iu m (c o n stt e llll a tt io n) 1 5 2 , .

M ilk y W a y i t s c ou rse a m o n gs t t h e ,

t
s a rs 80 , 1 2
9
T he o rie s o f 1 3 4
.

, .

V
a rio s O l d n a m e s o f, 1 6
3 u .

M i e r, ll W
A , 1 39 , 1 40 . . .

lt
M i o n , J , Q o a io n s fro m , 9 7
u t t .
.

ti
M ira (o) C e , 8 4, 1 5 6 .

M (
o n o c e ro s t ll i ) 5 c ons e a t on , 1 1 .

M on sM ( t ll t i ) 5
e n sa con s e a on 1 1
M t
.
,
86
o n a n a ri .

Q u t ti f m 9 9
,
M T
oo re , .
, o a ons ro
M ti t t
.
,

o f th
on s 0
pp e s a rs , a a re n 1 1
i th l i f igh t
.
,
n
46 e ne o s 1
M ult ip l t
.
,

6 e s a rs , 2 .

Mu Au t li (
sc a t ll ti ) s ra s c on s e a on ,
1 51 .

N a k ed ey e , N umb e r o f s a rs v i sib e t l
to, 43 45

N a u t zc a l A l m a n a c re fe rre d t o 1 0
ul
.
,
N eb a ,
1 1 4 .

S p e c t ro s c o p I C O b se rv a ti on s o f,
1 2 9, I 47 '
ll g d t b
a e e o e va r ab e, 1 2 i l 9
m ll t l
.

f or s a e e sc o p e s 1
55
N b ul u t , .

e o s s a rs , 1 2 1
w t
.

e s a rs , 1
4 2 .

N m (
or ll t i
a c o n st e a on ), 1 52
l M j
.

bu ec u a a o r, 1 2
7
l Mi
.

bu ecu a n o r, I 2
7 .

um b f t h t er o e s a rs v is ib l e t o th e Q .

kd y
na e
43 e e, 1 2 , .
Qu a u l t
dr p e s a rs, 60 .
1 5 8 GE N E R AL I N DE X .

C h i n e se ti f o b se rva
d t 4 o n s re e rre o, 1 ,

76 .

Ci i u (
rc n t ll ti ) 5s c ons e a on ,
1 2 .

C lu t f t
s e rs o s a rs , 1 0 1 .

Li t f f m llll t l
s op 55 , or s a e e sc o e s, 1 .

C l S k Th
oa ac
3 . e, 1 I1 .

C l u d t
o o 6 re s a rs , 2 .

C lu m b N
o hi ( t ll t i ) 3 3
a oa c c on s e a on ,
.

C m B
o i a ( t llll tt i ) 6
t e re n c e s c ons e a i on ,
10 .

C mpo P i t f 7
a ss , o n s o , 1 - 2 0 .

C m pl m
o t y l u 65 e en ar co o rs , .

C t ll ti
on s e 8 a o n s, 2 .

C t ll ti
on s e Li t f 5 a o n s, s o ,
1 0 .

B i f u t f3 r e a cco n o ,
0 .

C Au t l i (
o ro n a t ll t i ) 5 s ra s cons e a on , 1 2 .

C B
o ro n a l i ( t ll ti ) 34 o re a s c on s e a on , .

C u ( t ll t i ) 5
o rv s c on s e a on ,
1 1 .

C b N b ul i T u u
ra e a n a r s, 1 2 2 .

C t ra ( t ll t i ) 5
er cons e a on , 1 1 .

C ux (
r t ll t i ) 5 c on s e a on ,
1 1 .

Cy g u ( n t ll ti ) 3s c on s e a on ,
2 .

D .

D l i ti
ec na on , 36 .

D l ph i u
e n (c o n st e ll a t ion ),
s
34 .

De neb (a C y g n i) 2 4
.
,

D io d o ru s , 1 35 .

D iu l M m t 3 rn a ov e en ,
1 .

D p p l 7 44
o e r, 2 , 1 .

D d ( t ll t i )
o ra o cons e a on , 1 51 .

N b ul i 3 e a n, 1 2 . I .

D ub l
o t 5 (5 e s a rs 3
I nd us (Con ste ll a tl o n )
1
1 52
tell ti ) 3
.

D (
ra c o c on s a on ,
2 , 42 .
:

D p D 4
ra e r, r .
,
1 2
J

D u m b b ll N b l - e

e u a 1 2 7

J a c ob s

L a d d e r, na me for M ilky
E
Way , 1 36 .

J ob ix , 9 ci t ed , 40 1 02 ; x xx v u i .
E p t ia n A s tro n o m y , 40 .

31
-
2 , 40 1 02
,

ul
.
,

li p ti c N e b a ,
1 1 5, 1 1 6 .

i
E r d a n s (c o n s e u t ll t i a on ) ,
1 51 .
K .

E S pm T E " 93 '
Ke y R H C
.

,
ev . . .
,
1 2 1 .

K i h h ff 38
rc o , I .

Kl i H J h i
e n, s A tl a s re fe rre d to ,
ix t
.
,
.

F ed s a rs , 1 2

Kg gk ly 4
.

Fo m a h a l ut ( a P isc is A u t li ) s ra s , o , 1 1 .

2 4 5 34
9
2 ~

Fo n e n e e , t ll 69 .
L
F o rn a x C h e m i c a (c o n s te l l a ti0 n ), 1 50 .
L a C a me N L 1 0 8
F ra u n h O fe r: 1 3 7
. , ,

tt ll t
L a c e r a (c o n s e a io n ), 1 5 2 .

t ll t
L e o (c o n s e a io n ) , 33 , 3 5 .

G t ll
L e o M i n o r (c o n s e a t i on ), 1 5 1 .

Ga l xy 49 (
a ,
se e M ilky W a y ) . u ll t
L e p s (c on s t e a i o n ) , 1 5 1 .

Ga ugi g t h
h e a v e n s , 47
n e . t ll t
L ib ra (c o n s e a io n ) , 3 5 .

G e m i n i (c on s e a i on ) , 3 3 , 3 5 t ll t . k J
L o c y e r, N 1 4o

g ll Q u t t
. .

G e n e sis x v , 5 c i e d , 43 t . L o n fe o w , o a i o n fro m , 1 0 0 .

l ul
G o b a r c s e rs , 1 0 7 lu t . u u t ll t
L p s (c on s e a i on ) , 1 5 2 .