Practical Talks by an Astronomer

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TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE

Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within the text and consultation of external sources.

More detail can be found at the end of the book.


PRACTICAL TALKS BY
AN ASTRONOMER



Copyright, 1902, by
CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS


Published, April, 1902

TROW DIRECTORY
PRINTING AND BOOKBINDING COMPANY
NEW YORK


PREFACE

The present volume has not been designed as a systematic treatise on astronomy. There are many excellent books of that kind, suitable for serious students as well as the general reader; but they are necessarily somewhat dry and unattractive, because they must aim at completeness. Completeness means detail, and detail means dryness.

But the science of astronomy contains subjects that admit of detached treatment; and as many of these are precisely the ones of greatest general interest, it has seemed well to select several, and describe them in language free from technicalities. It is hoped that the book will thus prove useful to persons who do not wish to give the time required for a study of astronomy as a whole, but who may take pleasure in devoting a half-hour now and then to a detached essay on some special topic.

Preparation of the book in this form has made it suitable for prior publication in periodicals; and the several essays have in fact all been printed before. But the intention of collecting them into a book was kept in mind from the first; and while no attempt has been made at consecutiveness, it is hoped that nothing of merely ephemeral value has been included.


CONTENTS

PAGE
Navigation at Sea1
The Pleiades10
The Pole-Star18
Nebulæ27
Temporary Stars37
Galileo47
The Planet of 189858
How to Make a Sun-Dial69
Photography in Astronomy81
Time Standards of the World111
Motions of the Earth’s Pole131
Saturn’s Rings140
The Heliometer152
Occultations161
Mounting Great Telescopes170
The Astronomer’s Pole184
The Moon Hoax199
The Sun’s Destination210


ILLUSTRATIONS

The Moon. First Quarter
Photographed by Loewy and Puiseux, February 13, 1894.
Frontispiece
FACING
PAGE  
Spiral Nebula in Constellation Leo
Photographed by Keeler, February 24, 1900.
26
Nebula in Andromeda
Photographed by Barnard, November 21, 1892.
28
The “Dumb-Bell” Nebula
Photographed by Keeler, July 31, 1899.
34
Star-Field in Constellation Monoceros
Photographed by Barnard, February 1, 1894.
84
Solar Corona. Total Eclipse
Photographed by Campbell, January 22, 1898; Jeur, India.
108
Forty-Inch Telescope, Yerkes Observatory170
Yerkes Observatory, University of Chicago176

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