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F. J. HUNTINGTON & Co. have recently published, in one small volume 16mo., suitable for children just entering upon the study of Astronomy, and introductory to the "Geography of the Heavens," ASTRONOMY FOR BEGINNERS,
with a Map and 27 Engravings. By Francis Fellowes, A. M.
This is one of the most successful attempts to simplify sublime science to the comprehension of children. The author has employed an arrangement and style entirely new, with a clear and luminous pen, and in the happiest manner. 1 cordially commend to parents, to teachers, an children, this result of his labours."-Mrs. Sigourney.
according to Act of Congress, in the year 1833, by
un the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Connecticut.
In presenting a new edition of this work to the public, it is proper to point out several very important improvements which have been made.
Dr. Dick of Scotland, so well known both in Europe and in this country, as the author of the Christian Philosopher, and other scientific and popular works, has prepared, expressly for the work, an Introduction on the Advantages of the Study of Astronomy. So far as authority and name can go to give currency to the work, and to establish the confidence of teachers in it as a proper text book, this simple fact, the publisher flatters himself, furnishes every testimonial which can be desired: beside which, the contributions of Professor Olmsted, of Yale College, cannot but be read with extreme interest.
The work has been thoroughly revised, and the errors of former editions corrected: subsequent to which, it has undergone a thorough examination from one of our most eminent mathematicians and astronomers. It will be observed that several new Chapters, on the important subjects of Planetary Motion, The Phenomena of Day and Night, The Seasons, The Tides, The Obliquity of the Ecliptic, The Precession of the Equinoxes, &c., have been added.
It is only necessary to observe the Atlas, to discover that the Plates have been engraved entirely anew, upon steel, and in a very superior and beautiful style. The figures of the Constellations are far more natural and spirited than those of the former Atlas. Especially, the characters which represent the stars are distinct, so that the pupil can discern, at once, to what class they belong. One new plate has been introduced, illustrating to the eye, the Relative Magnitudes, Distances, and Positions of the different bodies which compose the Solar System. This plate the teacher will find to be of very important service, and to aid him much in his verbal explanations. The arrangement of the Plates in the present Atlas, is such, that the teacher and pupil can easily place them, in mind, so as to have a distinct view of the entire surface of the visible Heavens.
Such are the principal improvements which have been made in the work. They speak for themselves. The publisher knows not what could express his satisfaction with the past, or his hopes for the future success of the work, better than such improv ments.
1 HAVE long felt the wart of a Class Book, which should be to the starry heavens, what Geography is to the earth; a work that should exhibit, by means of appropriate delineations, the scenery of the heavens. the various constellations arranged in their order, point out and classify the principal stars, according to their magnitudes and places, and be accompanied, at the same time, with such familiar exercises and illustrations, adapted to recitation, as should bring it within the pale of popular instruction, and the scope of juvenile understandings.
Such a work I have attempted to supply. I have endeavoured to make the descriptions of the stars so familiar, and the instructions for finding them so plain, that the most inexperienced should no fail to understand them. In accomplishing this, I have relied but little upon globes and maps, or books. I very early discovered that it was an easy matter to sit down by a celestial globe, and, by means of an approved catalogue, and the help of a little graduated slip of brass, make out, in detail, a minute description of the stars, and discourse quite familiarly of their position, magnitude and ar rangement, and that when all this was done, I had indeed giver. the pupil a few additional facilities for finding those stars upon the artificial globe, but which left him, after all, about as ignorant o' their apparent situation in the heavens, as before. I came, at length to the conclusion, that any description of the stars, to be practically useful, must be made from a careful observation of the stars them selves, and made at the time of observation.
To be convinced of this, let any person sit down to a celestia globe or map, and from this alone, make out a set of instructions in regard to some favourite constellation, and then desire his pupi to trace out in the firmament, by means of it, the various stars whic he has thus described. The pupil will find it little better than a fancy sketch. The bearings and distances, and especially, the com parative brightness, and relative positions, will rarely be exhibiter with such accuracy that the young observer will be inspired with much confidence in his guide.
I have demonstrated to myself, at least, that the most judicious in structions to put on paper for the guide of the young in this study, are those which I have used most successfully, while in a clear eve ning, without any chart but the firmament above, I have pointed out, with my finger, to a group of listeners, the various stars which compose this and that constellation.
In this way, the teacher will describe the st. as they actually appear to the pupil-taking advantage of those vious and more striking features that serve to identify and to disguish them from all others. Now if these verbal instructions be committed to wri