The Meteoritic Hypothesis: A Statement of the Results of a Spectroscopic Inquiry Into the Origin of Cosmical Systems

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Macmillan, 1890 - 560 pages
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Page 266 - If this matter is self-luminous, it seems more fit to produce a star by its condensation than to depend on the star for its existence.
Page 114 - Towards the morning of the 13th of November, 1799, we witnessed a most extraordinary scene of shooting meteors. Thousands of bodies and falling stars succeeded each other during four hours. Their direction was very regular from north to south. From the beginning of the phenomenon there was not a space in the firmament equal in extent to three diameters of the moon which was not filled every instant with bodies or falling stars. All the meteors left luminous traces or phosphorescent bands behind them,...
Page 261 - I was in the situation of a natural philosopher who follows the various species of animals and insects from the height of their perfection down to the lowest ebb of life; when, arriving at the vegetable kingdom, he can scarcely point out to us the precise boundary where the animal ceases and the plant begins; and may even go so far as to suspect them not to be essentially different. But recollecting himself, he compares, for instance, one of the human species to a tree, and all doubt upon the subject...
Page 341 - Pegasi. These are all reddish or golden stars. The second group, of which Sirius is the type, presents spectra wholly unlike that of the sun, and are white stars. The third group, comprising a Virginis, Rigel, etc., are also white stars, but show no lines ; perhaps they contain no mineral substance or are incandescent without flame.
Page 265 - I can adopt no other sentiment than the latter, since the probability is certainly not for the existence of so enormous a body as would be required to shine like a star of the eighth magnitude, at a distance sufficiently great to cause a vast system of stars to put on the appearance of a very diluted, milky nebulosity.
Page 284 - I have not found the line at X 3730, of which he speaks, though I have other lines which he does not appear to have photographed. This may be due to the fact that he had placed his slit on a different region of the nebula...
Page 261 - I arrived at last to spots in which no trace of a star was to be discerned. But then the gradations to these latter were by such well-connected steps as left no room for doubt but that all these phaenomena were equally occasioned by stars, variously dispersed in the immense expanse of the universe.
Page 265 - More extensive views may be derived from this proof of the existence of a shining matter. Perhaps it has been too hastily surmised that all milky nebulosity, of which there is so much in the heavens, is owing to starlight only.
Page 266 - ... for, as we have already observed, reflected light could never reach us at the great distance we are from such objects. Besides, how impenetrable would be an atmosphere of a sufficient density to reflect so great a quantity of light! And yet we observe, that the outward parts of the chevelure are nearly as bright as those that are close...
Page 263 - March, 1786, that there was within this cluster a round, resolvable nebula, of about two minutes in diameter, and nearly of an equal degree of light throughout. Here, considering that the cluster was free from nebulosity in other parts, and that many such clusters, as well as many such nebulae, exist in divers parts of the heavens, it appeared to me very probable, that the nebula was unconnected with the cluster; and that a similar reason would as easily account for this appearance as it had resolved...

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