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From hence, how large, how strong the Sun's bright
[ball! But seen from thence, how languid and how small
Farthest and last, with pallid, feeble light,
The GEORGIAN planet* takes his distant flight,
thousand and forty-eight :-and the distance between them is five thousand, eight hundred and fifty-fiue miles.
Saturn has, also, seven moons.-The distances and periodic times of which are as follow :
The first and second of these satellites were not observed till within a few years. The quantum of light which this planet (thus assisted) possesses, is estimated at five hundred times the light of our moon.
* This planet was discovered by HERSCHEL, an English astronomer, in March, 1781. By calculation it is found to be
Cheerless to all would be his darksome tour,
Did not six moons illume his midnight hour.
When the keen north with all its fury blows,
Congeals the floods, and forms the fleecy snows,
thirty-five thousand, one hundred and nine miles in diameter ;-one thousand eight hundred millions of miles distant from the sun; and that it will take eighty-three years, one hundred and forty days, and seventeen hours to accomplish its annual circnit, at the rate of seven hundred miles an hour :-He is ninety times greater than the earth.
The synodical periods (or compleat lunations) of Georgian's moons are as follow :
21 hours 25 minutes.
12 5 38
The light of this planet is found equal to two hundred and fortycight of our full moons.
By the foregoing notes, it may be perceived that the solar system, to which we belong, is, in diameter, three thousand six 'Tis heat intense to what can there be known:
Warmer our frigid, than its burning zone.
Who there inhabit, must have other pow'rs,
Juices, and veins, and sense, and life, than our’s.
One moment's cold, like their's, would pierce the
[bone, Freeze the heart-blood, and turn us all to stone.
hundred millions of miles ; and that it comprizes thirty worlds or globes of matter, (saying nothing of a multitude of comets,) the probable habitations of myriads of intellectual creatures :-Yet all this widely extended system is but a very small portion of the whole universe ;-and were the whole of this solar system to be annihilated, it would be no more missed by an eye which could (were it possible) take in the whole creation, than a grain of sand on the sea shore.
Would man thus think of the immensity of God's works, where would he rest arrogant claim to superiority over all other created beings !--Let the thought rather excite an humble, and awful, yet grateful sense of that goodness, which, besides the inestimable mercies of revelation, has, in the midst of such multifarious-such sublime arrangements of mere nature, provided so impartially--for every want of every created existence.
Strange and amazing must the diff'rence be,
"Twixt this dull planet and bright Mercury :*
Yet reason says, nor can we doubt at all,
Millions of beings dwell on either ball,
With constitutions fitted for that spot,
Where Providence, all-wise, hạs fix'd their lot.
Wond'rous art thou, O God, in all thy ways!?
Their eyes to thee let all thy creatures raise ;
Adore thy grandeur, and thy goodness praise.
Ye sons of men! with satisfaction know,
God's own right-hand dispenses all below :
Nor good nor evil does by chance befall;
He reigns supreme, and He directs it all.
* The note given in page 23, respecting the light and heat of. planetary bodies, will apply here also.
At his command, affrighting human-kind,
COMETS* drag on their blazing lengths behind :
* Comets appear but seldom, and their continuance within our view is but of short duration; consequently the ohservations made on them have been but few and transient. Enough, how, ever, has been observed of them to determine that they are erratic planets belonging to our system, wandering in orbits extremely elliptical; subject to similar laws of nature as the other planets are; and, in the opinion of LAMBERT and others, are habitable worlds.
Of these extraordinary globes there are about five hundred; but as their appearance, in the early ages of astronomy, excited alarm rather than veneration, we have only about one hundred, on which proper observations have been made, from whence their elements could have been computed : A table of which may be seen in IIUTTON's Philosophical Dictionary.
The last which has appeared to us was in the months of September, October, and November of the present year, 1807.From observations made thereon, the head or nucleus was of a dusky, yellow colour, and apparently of the size of a star of the first or second magnitude.—Its motion in its orbit was at the rate of some hundred thousands of miles in an hour:--and its coma, or tail, little less than ten millions of miles in length.