Star-Gazer's Hand-Book : A Brief Guide for Amateur Students of Astronomy
Overview - Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: STAR GAZER'S HAND-BOOK CHAPTER I THE SOLAR SYSTEM The Sun.The most glorious object ever beheld by human eyes is the sun. Read more...
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More About Star-Gazer's Hand-Book by Henry William Elson
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: STAR GAZER'S HAND-BOOK CHAPTER I THE SOLAR SYSTEM The Sun.The most glorious object ever beheld by human eyes is the sun. The sun is a globe of fire, in a molten state, and it radiates light and heat in all directions. A portion of this light and heat reaches us, and without it there could be no life upon the earth. The heat of the sun is so great that any substance known to us, if thrown into that cauldron, would instantly be reduced to vapor. The diameter of the sun is 866,400 miles, and if he were a hollow globe and the earth were placed at his center, the moon could still hold her course in her orbit, and there would yet be nearly 200,000 miles beyond the moon's orbit to the surface of the sun's shell. The volume of the sun is 1,300,000 times that of the earth. The density of the sun, however, is but one-fourth that of the earth, and his actual mass but 330,000 times the mass of the earth, and 750 times the mass or weight of all the planets combined. The visible surface of the sun, called the photosphere, is composed of white-hot gaseous and semi-liquid matter, which, in its furious boiling, throws out jets reaching to the height of 60,000 miles. The heat is supposed to be generated by a contraction of the sun upon itself, at the rate of about six feet per century. If this be true, the time must come, many million years hence, when the process can go on no longer and the sun willbecome a dark and cold body. The sun revolves on his axis in twenty-five and one-fourth days. He holds the planets in their orbits by the great Newtonion law of gravitation by which every body in the universe attracts every other body in proportion directly to the mass of each and inversely to the square of the distance between them. So great is the sun's attraction that a man of ordinar...