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grand chemical laboratory are generally what is lost by the emisfion of light ; at work, act upon them ; we may there. though the manner in which this can be fore admit that in the very extensive brought about should not appear to us. atmosphere of the fun, from causes of Many of the operations of nature are the same nature, similar phænomena will carried on in her great laboratory, which take place ; but with this difference, we cannot comprehend; but now and that the continual and very extensive then we see some of the tools with which decompositions of the elastic fluids of she is at work. We need not wonder the sun, are of a phosphoric nature, and that their construction should be so finattended with lucid appearances, by gular as to induce us to confess our iggiving out light.
norance of the method of employing If it should be objected, that fuch them, but we may rest assured that they violent and unremitting decompositions are not a mere lufus nature. I allude would exhaust the sun, we may recur to the great number of small telescope again to our analogy, which will furnish comets that have been observed ; and to us with the following reflections. The the far greater number still that are proextent of our own atmosphere, we bably much too small for being noticed see, is still preserved, notwithstanding by our most diligent searchers after the copious decompositions of its fluids, them. Thofe fix, for instance, which in clouds and falling rain ; in flashes my sister has discovered, I can from exof lightning, in meteors, and other lu- amination affirm, had not the least apminous phænomena ; because there are pearance of any solid nucleus, and seemfresh fupplies of. elastic vapours, con- ed to be mere collections of vapours tinually ascending to make good the condensed about a centre. waste oceasioned by those decompofi- that I have also observed, were nearly tions. But it may be urged, that the of the fame nature. This throws & case with the decomposition of the elas- mystery over their destination, which tic fluids in the folar atmosphere would seems to place them in the allegorical be very different, since light is emitted, view of tools, probably designed for and does not recorn to the sun, as clouds fome salutary purposes to be wrought by do to the earth when they descend in them; and, whether the restoration of showers of rain. To which I answer, what is lost to the fun by the emission that in the decomposition of phosphoric of light, the poflibility of which we have fluids every other ingredient but light been mentioning above, may not be one may also return to the body of the sun. of these purposes,l shall not presume to And that the emission of light must waste determine. The motion of the comet the sun, is not a difficulty that can be discovered by M. Messier, in June 1770, opposed to our hypothesis. For as it is plainly indicated how much its orbit was an evident fact that the fun does emit liable to be changed, by the perturbalight, the same objection, if it could be tions of the planets; from which, and one, would equally militate against every the little agreement that can be found other assignable way to account for the between the elements of the orbits of phænomenon.
all the comets that have been observed, There are moreover confiderations it appears clearly that they may be dithat may leffen the pressure of this al. rected to carry their falutary influence leged difficulty. We know the exceed- to any part of the heavens. ing subtility of light to be such, that in My hypothesis, however, as before ages of time its emanation from the sun observed, does not lay me under any cannot very sensibly lessen the fize of obligation to explain how the fun can this great body. To this may be add sustain the waste of light, nor to Thew ed, that, very possibly, there may also that it will sustain it for ever ; and I be
ways of restoration to compensate for should also remark that, as in the ana
logy of generating cloulds I merely al- as we see now and then in our atmoslude to their production as owing to a phere, their apparant intensity, when decomposition of fome of the elastic fluids viewed at the diltance of the sun, might of our atmosphere, that analogy, which not be much inferior to that of the lucid firmly rests upon the fact, will not be solar Buid. less to my purpose to whatever cause From the luminous atmosphere of these clouds may owe their origin. It is the fun I proceed to its opaque body, the same with the lucid clouds, if I may which, by calculation from the power so call them, of the sun. They plainly it exerts upon the planets, we know to exist, because we see them ; the man- be of great solidity; and from the phæner of their being generated may remain nomena of the dark spots, many of an hypothesis ; and mine, till a better which, probably on account of their high can be proposed, may stand good ; but, ftuations, have been repeatedly seen, whether it does or not, the consequences and otherwise denote inequalities in I am going to draw from what has been their level, we surmise that its surface said will not be affected by it.
is deversified with mountains and vallies. Before I proceed, I shall only point
What has been said enables us to come out, that according to the above the. to some very important conclusions, by ory, a dark spot in the sun is a place in remarking, that this way of confidering its atmosphere which happens to be free the fun and its atmosphere, removes the from luminous decompositions ; and great diffimilarity we have hitherto been that faculæ are, on the contrary, more used to find between its condition and copious mixtures of such fluids as de- that of the rest of the great bodies of compose each other. The penumbra the solar system, which attends the spots, being general
The fun, viewed in this light, appears ly depressed more or less to about half to be nothing else than a very eminent, way between the solid body of the fun large, and lucid planet, evidently the and the upper part of those regions in first, or, in strictness of speaking, the which luminous decompofitions take only primary one of our fyftem ; all place, must of course be fainter than others being truly secondary to it. Its other parts. No spot favourable for similarity to the other globes of the solar taking measures having lately been on system with regard to its solidity, its the fun, I can only judge, from former atmosphere, and its deversified surface ; appearances, that the regions in which the rotation upon its axis, and the fall the luminous solar clouds are formed, of heavy bodies, leads us on to suppose adding thereto the elevation of the that it is most probably also inhabited, faculæ, cannot be less than 1843, nor like the rest of the planets, by beings much more than 2765 miles in depth. whose organs are adapted to the pecuIt is true that in our atmosphere the liar circumstances of that vast globe. extent of the clouds is limited to a very Whatever fanciful poets might fay, narrow compass ; but we ought rather in making the sun the abode of blessed to compare the folar ones to the lumin- spirits, or angry moralilts devise, in ous decompositions which take place in pointing it out as a fit place for the our aurora borealis, or luminous arches, punishment of the wicked, it does not which extend much farther than the appear that they had any other foundacloudy regions. The density of the tion for their assertions than mere opiluminous solar clouds, though very nion and vague surmise ; but now I great, may not be exceedingly more fo think myself authorised, upon astronomithan that of our aurora borealis. For, cal principles, to propose the fun as an if we consider what would be the bril. inhabitable world, and am persuaded liancy of a space two or three thousand that the foregoing observations, with the miles deep, filled with such corruscacions conclusions I have drawn from them,
4 O 2
are fully sufficient to answer every objec. of an eafy, chemical combination with tion that may be made against it. its rays, their emission would be much
It may, however, not be amiss to re- impeded. move a certain difficulty, which arises Another well knowo fact is, that the from the effect of the sun's rays upon solar focus of the largeft lens, thrown our globe. The heat which is here, at into the air, will occasion no sensible the distance of 95 millions of miles, pro- heat in the place where it has been kept duced by these rays, is so considerable, for a considerable time, although its that it may be objected, that the surface power of exciting combustion, when proof the globe of the fun itself must be per bodies are exposed, should be fufscorched up beyond all conception. ficient to fuse the most refractory sub
This may be very fubftantially an- stances*. fwered by many proofs drawn from na
It will not be necessary to mention tural philosof hy, which shew tha: heat other objections, as I can think of none is produced by the fun's rays only when that may be made, but what a proper they act upon a calorific medium; they consideration of the foregoing obfervaare the cause of the production of heat, tions will easily remove ; such as may by uniting with the matter of fire, which be urged from the diffimilarity between is contained in the substances that are the luminous atmosphere of the sun and heated : as the collision of flint and that of our globe will be touched upon fte: I will inflame a magazine of gun. hereafter, when I consider the objecpowder, by putting all the latent fire it tions that may be affigned against the contained into action. But an instance moon's being an inhabitable satellite. or two of the manner in which the fo I shall now endeavour, by analogical lar rays produce their effe et, will bring reasonings, to support the ideas I have this home to our most common experi. suggested concerning the construction
and purposes of the fun ; in order to On the top of mountains of a fuf- which, it will be deceffary to begin with ficient height, at an altitude where clouds such arguments as the nature of the
feldom reach, to shelter them case will admit, to thew that our moon from the direct rays of the fun, we al- is probably inhabited. This satellite is ways find regions of ice and snow. Now of all the heavenly bodies the nearest, if the solar rays themselves conveyed all and therefore moft within the reach of the heat we find on this globe, it ought our telescopes. Accordingly we find, to be hotest where their course is least by repeated inspection, that we can, interrupted. Again, our aëronauts all with perfect confidence, give the folconfirm the coldness of the upper re- lowing account of it. gions of the atmosphere ; and since,
It is a fecondary planet, of a conftherefore, even on our earth the heat of derable size; the surface of which is die any situation depends upon the aptness verfified, like that of the earth, bi of the medium to yield to the impression mountains and vallies. Its situation, of the solar rays, we have only to ad- with respect to the sun, is much like mit, that on the fiin itself
, the elastic that of the earth; and, by a rotation Auids composing it atmosphere, and the on its axis, it enjoys an agreeable va matter on its surface, are of such a na riety of seasons, and of day and night. ture as not to be capable of any
excerfive affection from its own rays; and, * The subject of light and heat has beer indeed, this seems to be proved by the very ably discussed by M. de Luc, in his ercopious emission of them; for if the cellent work, Idées sur la Météorologie, Tom. elastic fluids of the atmosphere, or the 1, part a, chap. 2, section 2, De la Nature di matter contained on the surface of the Des Rapports de la Lumiảre avec la Chaleur
Fen; and Tome II, part 3, chap. 6, fection 2. fun, were of such a nature as to admit dans l'Atmosphère.
To the moon, our globe will appear that our earth is inliabited, were to give to be a very capital satellite ; undergo- it as his opinion, that the use of that ing the same regular changes of iiluni- great body, which he sees in his neighnation as the moon does to the earth. bourhood, is to carry about his little The sun, the planets, and the starry glove, that it may be properly exposed constellations of the beavens, will rise to the ligi.t of the fun, so as to enjoy and let there as they do here ; and hea- an agreeable and useful variety of illuvy bodies will tall on the moon as they mination, as well as to give it light by do on the earth. There seems only to reflection from the sun, when direct daybe wanting, in order to complete the light cannot be had. Suppose also that analogy, that it should be inhabited like the inhabitants of the fatellites of Jupithe earth.
ter, Saturn, and the Georgian planet, To this it may be objected, that we look
upon the primary ones, to perceive no large feas in the moon; which they belong, as mere attractive that its atmosphere (the existence of centres, to keep together their orbits, which has even been doubted by many) to direct their revolution rourd the sun, is extremely rare, and unfit for the pur and to supply them with silected light poses of animal ties that iis chunatis, in the abience of direct illumination, its feasons, and the length of its days, Ought we put to condemn their igngtotally differ from ours ; that without rance, as proceeding from want of atdinte clouds (which the moon has not tontion and proper
reflection. It is very there can be no rain; perhaps no rivers, true that the earth, and.those other piano lakes. In thert, thai, now thila da nets that have satellites about them, pering the similarity viich has been punt- fonn all the offices that have been nan). ed out, thert frems to be a decide difu Elis for the inhabitants of these little ference in the two piatts we have con- globes; but to us, who live upon one pared.
of these planets, their reasonings cannot My answer to this will be, that that but appear very defective, when wc ice very difference which is a use obj éted, what a magnificent dwelling place the will rather strengthen the tuice of my earth affords to numberless intelligent argument than leffin its value: we fiui, beings. even upon our globe, that there is te These considerations ought to make molt striking difference in the situation the inhabitants of the plan is wiser than of the creatures that live upon it. While we have supposed those of their fatelman walks up n the ground, the birds lites to be. We surely ought not, like fly in the air, and fishes swins in water; then, to say “ the fun (that ini mense we can certainly not object to the con- globe, whofe body would much more veniencies afforded by the moon, if those than fill the whole orbit of the moon) that are to inhabit its regions are fitted is merely an attractive centre to us.” to their conditions as well as we on this From experience we can affirm, that globe are to ours. An absolute, or to the performance of the most falutary ofial famcaess, fucins rather to denote im- fices to inferior planets, is not inconperfections, such as nature never cx- liftent with the dignity of superior purposes to our view; and, on this ac- poses; and, in consequence of such acount, I believe the analogies that have nalogical reasonings, affifted by telescobeen mentioned fully fuficient to esta- pic view's, which plainly favour the blish the high probability of the moon's fame opinion, we need not hesitate to being inhabited like the earth.
admit that the sun is richly stored with To proceed, we will now suppose an inhabitants. inhabitant of the moon, who has not This way of considering the sun is properly considered such analogical rea- of the utmoít importance in its conselonings as might induce him to furmise quences. That itars are funs can hard
ly admit of a doubt. Their immense very close together, that, notwithstanddistance would perfectly exclude them ing the great distance at which we from our view, if the light they send may suppose the cluster itself to be, it us were not of the folar kind. Besides, will hardly be poslible to assign any sufthe analogy may be traced much farther. ficient mutual distance to the stars comThe fun turns on its axis. So does the posing the cluster, to leave room for star Algol. So do the stars B Lyrą, à crowding in those planets, for, whose Cephei, Antinoi, o Ceti, and many support these stars have been, or might more; most probably all. From what be, fupposed to exist. It should seem, other cause can we lo probably account therefore, highly probable that they exfor their periodical changes? Again, ist for themselves; and are, in fact, onour fun bas spots on its surface. So has ly very capital, lucid, primary planets, the star Algol; and so have the stars connected together in one great system already named; and probably every star of mutual support. in the heavens. On our sun these spots As in this argument I do not proare changeable. So they are on the ceed upon conjectures, but have actual star o Ceti, as evidently appears from observations in view, I shall mention an the irregularity of its changeable lustre, instance in the clusters, No 26, 28, and which is often broken in upon by acci: 35, VI. class, of my catalogue of nedental changes, while the general pe-, bulæ, and clusters of stars. (See Phil. riod continues unaltered. The fame Trans. Vol. LXXIX. Part II. page little deviations have been observed in 251.) The stars in them are so crowdother periodical stars, and ought to be ed, that I cannot conjecture them to be ascribed to the same cause. But if the at a greater apparent distance from each stars are sups, and suns are inhabitable, other than five seconds ; even after a we fee at once what an extensive field proper allowance for such stars, as on for animation opens itself to our view. a supposition of a globular form of the
It is true that analogy may induce us cluster, will interfere with one another, to conclude, that since stars appear to has been made. Now, if we would leave be suns, and suns, according to the as much room between each of these common opinion, are bodies that serve stars as there is between the sun and to enlighten, warm, and sustain a sys- Sirius, we must place these clusters tem of planets, we may have an idea of 42,104 times as far from us as that star numberless globes that serve for the ha. is from the sun. But, in order to bring bitation of living creatures. But if these down the lustre of Sirius to that of an funs themselves are primary planets, we equal star placed at such a distance, I may see some thoulands of them with ought to reduce the aperture of my our own eyes, and millions by the help twenty feet telescope to less than the of telescopes ; when, at the same time, two-and-twenty hundredth part of an the same analogical reasoning till re- inch; when certainly I could no longer mains in full force, with regard to the expect to see any
star all. planets which these suns may support. The same remark may be made, with In this place I may, however, take regard to the number of very
close notice that, from other confiderations, double stars, whose apparent diameters the idea of suns or stars being merely being alike, and not very small, do not the supporters of systems of planets, is indicate any very great mutual distance. not absolutely to be admitted as a gene. From which, however, must be deduct.
Among the great number of ed all those where the different distanvery compressed clusters of stars, I have ces may be compensated by the real given in my catalogues, there are some difference in their respective magnitudes. which open a different view of the hea To what has been said may be ad
The stars in them are so ded, that in some parts of the milky
vens to us.