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Light Science For Leisure Hours | by Richard A. Proctor



Familiar Essays On Scientific Subjects, Natural Phenomena, Etc. With A Sketch Of The Life Of Mary Somerville.

TitleLight Science For Leisure Hours
AuthorRichard A. Proctor
PublisherLongmans, Green, And Co.
Year1873
Copyright1873, Longmans, Green, And Co.
AmazonLight Science for Leisure Hours, Second Series

Second Series.

By Richard A. Proctor, B.A. Camb., Honorary Secretary Of The Royal Astronomical Society; Author Of The Sun 'other Worlds' 'saturn' 'essays On Astronomy' 'the Orbs Around Us' Etc.

Truths Of Science Waiting To Be Caught.-Tennyson.

-Preface
The First Series of Light Science Essays met with a success so far beyond my expectations, that I should have found in that circumstance alone a reason for adding the present volume to the series. But...
-List Of Illustrations
PAGE Chart of The North Atlantic on an Equal-surface Projection, SHOWING THE GULF STREAM, &C.....217 Chart of the Northern Hemisphere, showing the Curves of Equal Mean Annual Temperature and Equal M...
-Mrs. Mary Somerville
Mary Somerville (nee Fairfax) was born at Jedburgh on December 26,1780, and died on November 30, 1872, at Naples, aged nearly ninety-two years. In considering her education, we have not to mention imp...
-Mrs. Mary Somerville. Part 2
It will be well, in weighing the value of the book, to consider it first with reference to the purpose of its author, though a judgment based on that consideration alone would not be a fair one. These...
-Mrs. Mary Somerville. Part 3
If however I were asked to point out the feature of this work which, in my opinion, most strikingly indicated the powers of Mrs Somerville's mind, I should unhesitatingly select the preliminary disser...
-The Coming Transit Of Venus, And British Preparations For Observing It
By far the most important of all the phenomena which astronomers are now expecting is the transit of Venus, which will take place on December 8, 1874. Even the eclipses of the last few years, though t...
-The Coming Transit Of Venus, And British Preparations For Observing It. Part 2
If the stars which really bestrew the heavens beyond the sun could be seen, the case would be different, for they would serve as index points, by means of which to estimate the sun's displacement. But...
-The Coming Transit Of Venus, And British Preparations For Observing It. Part 3
And as our illustrative case explains the nature of Delisle's method, so also it illustrates the rationale of the method. Of course, the two cases are not exactly similar; but they are sufficiently so...
-The Coming Transit Of Venus, And British Preparations For Observing It. Part 4
Now it happened that early in 1869 I was attracted to the examination of the subject of the coming transits, by the circumstance that the investigation applied to the matter by the Astronomer Royal ha...
-The Coming Transit Of Venus, And British Preparations For Observing It. Part 5
On this point all doubts should have been very quickly removed. For, almost simultaneously with able for applying Halley's method as the transit of 1874. So the Astronomer Royal concluded. He did not ...
-The Coming Transit Of Venus, And British Preparations For Observing It. Part 6
To show how completely the application of Halley's method has been neglected in the choice of stations for English observing parties, let the following considerations be noticed: At northern stations...
-The Coming Transit Of Venus, And British Preparations For Observing It. Part 7
While there is still a possibility of retrieving matters, I would earnestly appeal to all who can assist in bringing about such a result to spare no pains in the endeavour. I believe the scientific cr...
-The Ever-Widening World Of Stars
As the science of astronomy has advanced, the ideas men have formed respecting the extent of the universe have gradually become more and more enlarged. In far-off times, when astronomers were content ...
-The Ever-Widening World Of Stars. Part 2
Then Herschel extended his researches to those strange objects called the nebulae. He showed that where astronomers had reckoned tens of these objects there were in reality thousands. And he found tha...
-The Ever-Widening World Of Stars. Part 3
When we add that in the southern skies the Milky Way presents the most fantastic configuration, here expanding into fan-shaped masses, there winding about in a multitude of strange convolutions, here ...
-Movements In The Star-Depths
Among the many striking contrasts between the seeming and the real suggested by the study of astronomy, there is none more startling than the contrast which exists between the apparent repose of the h...
-Movements In The Star-Depths. Part 2
It had long been felt, however, that there was an unfortunate gap in the evidence respecting stellar motions. The astronomer could tell how much or how little the stars were shifting on the heavens, b...
-Movements In The Star-Depths. Part 3
But the importance of the inquiry (as well as of those other spectroscopic researches in which Dr. Huggins had been so successful) was manifest to our scientific societies; and accordingly a large sum...
-Movements In The Star-Depths. Part 4
1 In passing, however, I would venture to touch on this question of central suns, or of central but opaque orbs round which the stars may revolve, in order to remove a very prevalent misconception. It...
-Movements In The Star-Depths. Part 5
Now to such a problem as this - a problem whose grandeur cannot but be recognised even by those who reject the conclusions adopted by Madler - the new method of research is applicable with peculiar fo...
-The Great Nebula In Orion
During the first four months of the year, the constellation Orion is very favourably situated for observation in the evening. This magnificent asterism is more easily recognised than the Great Bear, C...
-The Great Nebula In Orion. Part 2
The man of science himself is fonder of glory, and vain-An eye well practised in nature, a spirit bounded and poor. That Hevelius, 'the star-cataloguer,' should have failed to detect the Orion nebula...
-The Great Nebula In Orion. Part 3
But it was felt that the strongest part of Herschel's case lay in his reference to the great nebula of Orion. He pointed out that amongst all the nebulae which might be reasonably assumed to be star-s...
-The Great Nebula In Orion. Part 4
Before long Lord Rosse, after regrinding the great mirror, obtained better views of the mysterious nebula. Even now, however, he could use but half the power of the telescope, yet at length the doubts...
-The Sun's True Atmosphere
So much attention was directed to the solar corona during the discussions which preceded and followed the late eclipse, that a discovery of extreme importance-but not at all associated with the corona...
-The Sun's True Atmosphere. Part 2
But observations made by Fr. Secchi at Rome pointed to a view so different from Mr. Lockyer's, as to lead to a controversy which filled many pages of the Comptes Rendus, of the Philosopical Magazine, ...
-The Sun's True Atmosphere. Part 3
Now we cannot tell what proportion holds in the case of the sun's disc, because we do not know how much light has been absorbed where we look at the middle of the disc. All we know is that whatever re...
-The Sun's True Atmosphere. Part 4
If during any total eclipse of the sun, the moon just concealed the whole of the sun's disc (as may well happen), and if our satellite were only complaisant enough to stay still for a few minutes in s...
-The Sun's True Atmosphere. Part 5
In the above estimate, I have supposed the measurement to be made from the sun's visible surface. But it is very unlikely that that surface is the true lower limit of the atmosphere. It seems far more...
-The Sun's True Atmosphere. Part 6
Again, as respects the corona, all the evidence we have is opposed to the conception that the phenomenon is atmospheric. It shows two regions, which, though not separated by well-defined limits from e...
-Something Wrong With The Sun
When we consider the intense heat which has prevailed in Europe during July, and the circumstance that in America also the heat has been excessive, insomuch that in New York the number of deaths durin...
-News From Herschel's Planet
Saturn - the altissimus planeta of the ancientsre-mains still the most distant planet respecting whose physical condition astronomers can obtain satisfactory information. The most powerful telescopes ...
-News From Herschel's Planet. Part 2
1 It is, after all, at least as likely that Rahu - assuming there really was a planet known under this name - might have been Vesta, the brightest of the small planets which circle between Mars and Ju...
-News From Herschel's Planet. Part 3
1 There is a certain incongruity, accordingly, among the symbols of the primary planets. Mercury is symbolised by his caduceus, Venus by her looking-glass (I suppose), Mars by his spear and shield, Ju...
-News From Herschel's Planet. Part 4
When we add to this circumstance the extreme faintness of Uranus, we cannot wonder that Herschel should have been unable to speak very confidently on many points of interest. His measures of the plane...
-News From Herschel's Planet. Part 5
Uranus to be represented by a very large wooden hoop floating on a sheet of water; then, if a small wooden hoop were so weighted as to float almost upright, with one half out of the water, the positio...
-News From Herschel's Planet. Part 6
As seen by the aid of this fine telescope the spectrum of Uranus is found to be complete, 'no part being wanting, so far as the feebleness of its light permits it to be traced.' But there are six dark...
-The Two Comets Of The Year 1868. Part I. Brorsen's Comet
Ten years ago, all that astronomers could hope to do with comets was to note their appearance and changes of appearance when viewed with high telescopic powers. There was one instrument, indeed, the p...
-The Two Comets Of The Year 1868. Part I. Brorsen's Comet. Part 2
The tremendous heat to which many comets are subjected during perihelion passage is an important point for consideration, in attempting to form an opinion of the physical structure of comets. Newton c...
-The Two Comets Of The Year 1868. Part I. Brorsen's Comet. Part 3
' It appears in the telescope as a nearly round nebulosity, in which the light increases rapidly towards the centre, where, on some occasions, I detected, I believe, a small stellar nucleus. Generally...
-The Two Comets Of The Year 1868. Part I. Brorsen's Comet. Part 4
Now it appears clear that this flight of cosmical bodies may be looked upon as constituting an extension of the comet - an invisible train as it were. But for the accident that the comet's track inter...
-Part II. - Winnecke's Comet
In the preceding pages I have described the principal features presented by comets as they approach and pass away from the neighbourhood of the sun. The various hypotheses which have been put forward ...
-Part II. - Winnecke's Comet. Part 2
There are few phenomena which have given rise to more speculation than those presented by the tails of comets. Astronomers who, in dealing with other matters, have exhibited the soundest judgment, and...
-Part II. - Winnecke's Comet. Part 3
Now the breadth of the spectrum seen by Dr. Huggins, corresponded with the breadth of the coma so far as the widest parts of the tongue-shaped bands were concerned. But the narrower parts were about t...
-Part II. - Winnecke's Comet. Part 4
Nor does the rarity of the atmosphere in which the comet was moving serve to help us in our difficulty. Doubtless we are little familiar with the effects which terrestrial elements would experience if...
-Comets Of Short Period
It is related by Apollonius the Myndian, that the Chaldean astronomers held comets to be bodies which travel in extended orbits around the solar system. 'The Chaldeans spoke of comets,' he says, 'as o...
-Comets Of Short Period. Part 2
We may look upon Lexell's as the first discovered comet of short period; for although it was never seen after its first visit, yet nothing can be more certain than that it did actually return once, an...
-Comets Of Short Period. Part 3
Returning to Encke's comet, we have to notice yet another important discovery which was effected by its means. The comet passed so near to Mercury in 1835 as to enable astronomers to form a much more ...
-Comets Of Short Period. Part 4
Chambers's Journal, July 1868. Major rennell was the first, I believe, to whom we owe the comparison of ocean-currents to rivers. He spoke of them as ocean-rivers, and pointed out how enormously thei...
-Comets Of Short Period. Part 5
1 For the sake of completeness, and also that the present essay may fairly represent my views when it was written, I leave the account of the map and of the course of the Gulf Stream unchanged here. B...
-Comets Of Short Period. Part 6
Sir John Herschel is the principal exponent of the first theory, which assigns to the trade-winds the principalalmost the sole-agency in the generation of the Atlantic current-system. He refuses indee...
-Comets Of Short Period. Part 7
He then points to a fact which 'militates strongly against the vast current-begetting power that has been given by theory to the gentle trade-winds. In both oceans, the Sargasso seas lie partly within...
-Oceanic Circulation
There are some questions, seemingly innocent enough, which yet appear fated to rouse to unusual warmth all who take part in their discussion. One cannot, for instance, find anything obviously tending ...
-Oceanic Circulation. Part 2
Of the water carried westwards by the great equatorial movement, the most important portion after reaching Brazil is carried northwards towards the West Indies. The reason of this is obviously to be f...
-Oceanic Circulation. Part 3
Now here we approach a critical part of our subject. It is admitted by all that off Newfoundland the Gulf Stream loses its special characteristics. As Dr. Hayes remarks, 'its strength diminishes; the ...
-Oceanic Circulation. Part 4
As if to remove all question as to his real opinion the reviewer immediately adds that he fully accepts, not only the great body of facts so ' industriously correlated by Dr. Petermann, but the infere...
-Oceanic Circulation. Part 5
Now, the study of the submarine currents has of late years thrown considerable light on the whole question of oceanic circulation, and has supplied the solution of some problems which had formerly app...
-Oceanic Circulation. Part 6
Thus, there can be no possible question that the depths of the Atlantic are occupied by a vast current much colder than the deep sea temperature due to the latitude, and, therefore necessarily flowing...
-Oceanic Circulation. Part 7
Dr. Carpenter illustrated this theory, or rather the combined action of polar cold and equatorial heat, by an experiment, the plan of which had occurred also to myself, and been described by me in con...
-Oceanic Circulation. Part 8
It is necessary to mention, however, that the principle itself of the experiment has been objected to, on the ground that the gradation of temperature must always be much more rapid in such an experim...
-Addendum
It is impossible but that on a subject so difficult and complicated as that of oceanic circulation, different views should be entertained by students of science. And it is clear that in the present st...
-Addendum. Part 2
This brings me to Dr. Carpenter's second objection, that if the removal of equatorial water draws in polar water from the bottom, the whole intermediate stratum should first rise towards the surface. ...
-Addendum. Part 3
1 In passing I may notice that I did not suppose Sir J. Herschel to be humorous in reference to the intensity of the polar action, but in his use of the word 'emphasis.' I should not have touched on t...
-Addendum. Part 4
I need hardly say that I do not agree with Captain Maury, whose theory of oceanic circulation appears to me to be wholly untenable. Nor do I for a moment assert that the winds play no part in producin...
-The Climate Of Great Britain
If there is one feature in the material relations of a country which may be considered as characteristic-as of itself sufficient to define the qualities of the inhabitants, and the position they are f...
-The Climate Of Great Britain. Part 2
Fig. 2. Northern hemisphere on an equal-surface projection, showing curves of mean annual and midsummer temperature through London. Returning to our subject, let us consider the all-important ques...
-The Climate Of Great Britain. Part 3
1 It is noteworthy that the minimum distance of the isotheral from the North Pole here attained is exactly equal to the minimum distance of the isochimenal from the equator. 2 Here an important advan...
-The Climate Of Great Britain. Part 4
Now the climate of England is remarkably humid both in winter and summer. And this humidity is shown, not so much by the quantity of rain which falls, 1 Gilbert White noticed long ago-apparently with...
-The Climate Of Great Britain. Part 5
1 Reference is not made here to the August shooting-star shower, which takes place a week later than the epoch alluaed to. There are, however, terrestrial causes to which the irregularities of our cu...
-The Low Barometer Of The Antarctic Temperate Zone
The great difficulty presented by the science of meteorology lies in the intricate combination of causes producing atmospheric variations, and the impossibility of determining by experiment the relati...
-The Low Barometer Of The Antarctic Temperate Zone. Part 2
Such a peculiarity as this may almost deserve to be spoken of in the terms applied by Sir J. Herschel to the distribution of land and water upon our earth, it is 'massive enough to call for mention as...
-The Low Barometer Of The Antarctic Temperate Zone. Part 3
Passing over this theory as neither consistent with the known laws regulating the motions of elastic fluids, nor sufficient even if the consideration of those laws were neglected, we come to the theor...
-The Low Barometer Of The Antarctic Temperate Zone. Part 4
Despite the apparent force of these arguments, and others that might be adduced, it will not be difficult, I think, to show that neither is Maury's theory consistent with known physical laws, nor (pas...
-The Low Barometer Of The Antarctic Temperate Zone. Part 5
So far as I am aware, the theory I am about to present in explanation of the phenomenon of a low antarctic barometer is original. It is sufficiently simple; -perhaps, if we remember how very seldom ph...
-The Low Barometer Of The Antarctic Temperate Zone. Part 6
Assuming my theory to be correct, we have a means - rough, it may be, but not uninstructive - of determining the displacement of the centre of gravity of the earth's solid mass from the centre of figu...
-Books
General List Of Works Published By Messrs. Longmans, Green, and Co. Arts, Manufactures, etc. . . . 25 Astronomy & Meteorology . . 17 Chemistry & Physiology ... 23 Dictionaries & other Books of R...
-History, Politics, Historical Memoirs, Etc
Journal of the Reigns of King George IV. and King William IV. By the late Charles C. F. Greville, Esq. Clerk of . the Council to those Sovereigns. Edited by Henry Reeve, Registrar of the Privy Counc...
-Biographical Works
Autobiography. By John Stuart Mill. 8vo. 7s. 6d. Life and Correspondence of Richard Whately, D.D. late Archbishop of Dublin. By E. Jane Whately. New Edition in 1 vol. Crown 8vo. Life and Letters ...
-Mental And Political Philosophy
The System of Positive Polity, or Treatise upon Sociology, of Auguste Comte, Author of the System of Positive Philosophy. Translated from the Paris Edition of 1851-1854, and furnished with Analytica...
-Dictionaries And Other Books Of Reference
A Dictionary of the English Language. By R. G. Latham, M.A. M.D. F.R.S. Founded on the Dictionary of Dr. S. Johnson, as edited by the Rev. H. J. Todd, with numerous Emenda-tions and Additions, 4 vo...
-Astronomy And Meteorology
The Universe and the Corning Transits; Researches into and New Views respecting the Con-stitution of the Heavens. By R. A. Proctor, B.A. With 22 Charts and 22 Diagrams. 8vo. 16s. The Transits of Ve...
-Natural History And Physical Science
The Correlation of Physical Forces. By the Hon. Sir W. R. Grove, F.R.S. etc. with Edition, with other Contributions to Professor Helmholtz Popular Lectures on Scientific Subjects. Translated by E....
-Chemistry And Physiology
Miller s Elements of Chemistry, Theoretical and Practical. Re-edited, with Additions, by H. Macleod, F.C.S. 3 vols. 8vo. 3. Part I. Chemical Physics, 15s. Part II. Inorganic Chemistry, 21s. Part ...
-The Fine Arts And Illustrated Editions
Albert Durer, his Life and Works ; including Autobiographical Papers and Complete Catalogues. By William B. Scott. With 6 Etchings by the Author and other Illustrations, 8vo. 16s. In Fairyland; Pict...
-Religious And Moral Works
An Exposition of the 39 Articles, Historical and Doctrinal. By E. H. Browne, D.D. Bishop of Winchester. An Introduction to the Theology of the Church of England, in an Exposition of the 39 Article...
-Travels, Voyages, Etc
The Valleys of Tirol; their Traditions and Customs, and How to Visit them. By Miss R. H. Busk, Author of 'The Folk-Lore of Rome' etc. With Frontispiece and 3 Maps. Crown 8vo. 12s. 6d. tight Years i...
-Works Of Fiction
Whispers from Fairyland. By the Rt. Hon. E. H. Knatchbull - Hugessen, M.P. Author of ' Stories for my Children Moonshine', ' Queer Folk etc. 1th 9 Illustrations from Original Designs engraved on Wo...
-Poetry And The Drama
Ballads and Lyrics of Old France; with other Poems. By A. Lang. Square fcp. 8vo. 5s. Moore' s LalI a Rookh, Tenniel's Edition, with 68 Wood Engravings. Fcp. 4 to. 21s. Moore's Irish Melodies, ...
-Rural Sports, Horse And Cattle Management, Etc
down the Road; or, Reminiscences of a Gentleman Coachman. By C. T. S. Birch Rey-nardson. With Twelve Chromolithographic Illustrations from Original Paintings by H. Alken. Medium 8vo. [Nearly ready. ...
-Works Of Utility And General Information
Maunder s Treasury of Knowledge and Library of Reference; comprising an English Dictionary and Grammar, Universal Gazetteer, Classical Dictionary', Chronology, Law Dictionary, Synopsis of the Peerage...
-Knowledge For The Young
The Stepping-Stone to Knowledge; or upwards of 700 Questions and Answers on Miscellaneous Subjects, adapted to the capacity of Infant minds. 18mo. 1s. Second Series of the Stepping-Stone to Knowledge...
-Knowledge For The Young. Part 2
---------Guide to the Eastern Alps............ 38 Becker's Charicles andGallus.................. 34 Black's Treatise on Brewing .................. 39 Blackley's German-English Dictionary...... 15 ...
-Knowledge For The Young. Part 3
Kenyon's (Lord) Life.............................. 7 Kerl's Metallurgy, by Crookes and Rohrig. 27 Kirby and Spence s Entomology ............ 21 Kn a tchbu 11 - Hugessen 's Whi spers from Fairy-Lan...
-Knowledge For The Young. Part 4
-------History of England ..................... 2 Melville's Digby Grand ........................ 39 -------------General Bounce..................... 39 -------------Gladiators .......................
-Knowledge For The Young. Part 5
Watson's Geometry.............................. 20 Watts's Dictionary of Chemistry ............ 2^ Webb's Objects for Common Telescopes ... xS Weinhola's Experimental Physics............ 19 Wellin...









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