This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1856 Excerpt: ... three months, with a mean velocity of 110,000 miles per hour. Owing to his proximity to tho Sun's rays, he is not very frequently seen by the casual observer. Occasionally, however, when he attains his greatest angular distance or elongation eastward or westward, he shines with considerable brilliancy. With good telescopes he may be soon in the day-time, provided a person has the necessary facilities for pointing tho instrument in the proper direction. As shown in the notes to Plate I. Fig. 7, Mercury, as well as Venus, exhibits in the course of his revolution all the phases which the Moon presents to us in her journey round the Earth. He is believed to have a day of nearly equal length to our own--the axial rotation being accomplished in twenty-four hours five minutes, according to observations by the German astronomer Schrbter. So far as wo are aware, this conclusion has not been confirmed by any other observer. The second planet is Venus, the most lustrous of all as viewed from tho Earth. Her digression eastward and westward allows of her being seen in a dark sky, which is never the case with Mercury, though, from the fact of her orbit being included within that of our globe, it is never possible to see her in the opposite quarter of the heavens to that occupied by the Sun at tho time. Still, as an evening or morning star, as the Ilcsperu or Lucifer of the ancients, the planet Venus will sometimes throw so strong a light as to attach faint shadows to terrestrial objects. Her distance from the Sun amounts to 69 millions of miles, and she completes her journey round him in 225 of our days, at a mean rate of 80,000 miles per hour. The time of axial rotation appears to bo less open to uncertainty than that of Mercury; the latest observations assign twentyth...
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