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Astronomy with an Opera-glass A Popular Introduction to the Study of the Starry Heavens with the Simplest of Optical Instruments   By: (1851-1929)

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ASTRONOMY

WITH AN OPERA GLASS

A POPULAR INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF THE STARRY HEAVENS WITH THE SIMPLEST OF OPTICAL INSTRUMENTS

WITH MAPS AND DIRECTIONS TO FACILITATE THE RECOGNITION OF THE CONSTELLATIONS AND THE PRINCIPAL STARS VISIBLE TO THE NAKED EYE

BY

GARRETT P. SERVISS

"Known are their laws; in harmony unroll The nineteen orbed cycles of the Moon. And all the signs through which Night whirls her car From belted Orion back to Orion and his dauntless Hound, And all Poseidon's, all high Zeus' stars Bear on their beams true messages to man." POSTE'S ARATUS.

THIRD EDITION

NEW YORK D. APPLETON AND COMPANY LONDON: CAXTON HOUSE, PATERNOSTER SQUARE 1890

COPYRIGHT, 1888, BY D APPLETON AND COMPANY.

TO THE READER

In the pages that follow, the author has endeavored to encourage the study of the heavenly bodies by pointing out some of the interesting and marvelous phenomena of the universe that are visible with little or no assistance from optical instruments, and indicating means of becoming acquainted with the constellations and the planets. Knowing that an opera glass is capable of revealing some of the most beautiful sights in the starry dome, and believing that many persons would be glad to learn the fact, he set to work with such an instrument and surveyed all the constellations visible in the latitude of New York, carefully noting everything that it seemed might interest amateur star gazers. All the objects thus observed have not been included in this book, lest the multiplicity of details should deter or discourage the very readers for whom it was specially written. On the other hand, there is nothing described as visible with an opera glass or a field glass which the author has not seen with an instrument of that description, and which any person possessing eye sight of average quality and a competent glass should not be able to discern.

But, in order to lend due interest to the subject, and place it before the reader in a proper light and true perspective, many facts have been stated concerning the objects described, the ascertainment of which has required the aid of powerful telescopes, and to observers with such instruments is reserved the noble pleasure of confirming with their own eyes those wonderful discoveries which the looker with an opera glass can not hope to behold unless, happily, he should be spurred on to the possession of a telescope. Yet even to glimpse dimly these distant wonders, knowing what a closer view would reveal, is a source of no mean satisfaction, while the celestial phenomena that lie easily within reach of an opera glass are sufficient to furnish delight and instruction for many an evening.

It should be said that the division of the stars used in this book into the "Stars of Spring," "Stars of Summer," "Stars of Autumn," and "Stars of Winter," is purely arbitrary, and intended only to indicate the seasons when certain constellations are best situated for observation or most conspicuous.

The greater part of the matter composing this volume appeared originally in a series of articles contributed by the author to "The Popular Science Monthly" in 1887 '88. The reception that those articles met with encouraged him to revise and enlarge them for publication in the more permanent form of a book.

G. P. S.

BROOKLYN, N. Y., September, 1888.

CONTENTS.

PAGE INTRODUCTION 1

Popular interest in the phenomena of the heavens.

The opera glass as an instrument of observation for beginners in star study.

Testing an opera glass.

CHAPTER I.

THE STARS OF SPRING 7

Description of the Constellations Auriga, the Charioteer; Berenice's Hair; Cancer, the Crab [the Manger]; Canis Minor, the Lesser Dog; Corvus, the Crow; Crateris, the Cup; Gemini, the Twins; Hydra, the Water Serpent; Leo, the Lion; Ursa Major, the Greater Bear [the Great Dipper]; Ursa Minor, the Lesser Bear [the Pole Star]... Continue reading book >>




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