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the view of the construction of the starry firmament taken by Sir William Herschel, whose powerful telescope has effected a complete analysis of the wonderful zone, and demonstrated the fact of its entirely consisting of stars."

By the Greeks the Milky Way was termed the Taλagías or Κύκλος γαλακτικός, and by the Romans the Circulus lacteus or Orbis lacteus; from our ancestors it received the names of Jacob's Ladder, the Way to St. James's, Watling Street, &c. The diversity of the ancient names was equalled only by the diversity of opinions that prevailed as to what it was. Metrodorus considered it to be the original course of the Sun, but that it was abandoned by him after the bloody banquet of Thyestes; others, that it pointed out the place of Phaethon's accident; whilst a 3rd class thought that it was caused by the ears of corn dropped by Isis in her flight from Typhon. Aristotle imagined it to be the result of gaseous exhalations from the Earth, being set on fire in the sky. Theophrastus declared it to be the soldering together of 2 hemispheres; and, finally, Diodorus conceived it to be a dense celestial fire, shewing itself through the clefts of the starting and dividing semi-globes.

The speculations of Democritush and Pythagoras were to the effect that the Galaxy was nothing more or less than a vast assemblage of stars. Ovid speaks of it as a high road "whose groundwork is of stars." Manilius uses similar language. It is singular that Ptolemy has in none of his writings expressed any opinion on it. Our own ancestors supported the star theory. In Milton we find mention of that

"broad and ample road,

Whose dust is gold, and pavement, stars."

Thomas Wright, of Durham, (see his Theory of the Universe, London 1751,) first started this idea in 1734. An analysis of this curious work will be

found in the Phil. Mag., vol. xxxii. p. 241.

h Plutarch, De Placit., lib. iii. cap. 1. i De Sphæra, lib. i. cap. 9.



List of those formed by Ptolemy.—Subsequent Additions.—Remarks by Herschel, &c.— Catalogue of the Constellations, with the position of, and Stars in, each.


HAVE already referred to the constellations: in this chapter
I shall catalogue them.

Ptolemy enumerates 48 constellations: 21 northern, 12 zodiacal, and 15 southern, as follows:

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(The former in the northern, the latter in the southern hemisphere.)

In the same year Lalande placed Messier's name in the heavens, by forming a constellation in his honour, near Tarandus.

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And, finally, in Bode's maps we meet with

1. Honores Frederici.

2. Sceptrum Brandenburgicum.

3. Telescopium Herschelii.

4. Globus Aërostaticus.

5. Quadrans Muralis.

6. Lochium Funis.

7. Machina Electrica.

8. Officina Typographica.
9. Felis.

Making in all 109 constellations.

The Honours of Frederick.
The Sceptre of Brandenburg.
Herschel's Telescope.

The Balloon.

The Mural Quadrant.

The Log Line.

The Electrical Machine.

The Printing Press.

The Cat.

This number by no means exhausts the list of those which have been proposed by different persons. A writer in the English Cyclopædia very pertinently remarks: "In fact, half-a-century ago, no astronomer seemed

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