« PreviousContinue »
Hydra, that he had no sooner invested himself with it, than it began to penetrate his bones, and to boil through all his veins. He attempted to pull it off, but it was too late.
"As the red iron hisses in the flood,
So boils the venom in his curdling blood.
The crackling nerves, burnt up, are burst in twain,
As the distemper was incurable, he implored the protection of Jupiter, gave his bow and arrows to Philoctetes, and erected a large burning pile on the top of Mount Eta. He spread on the pile the skin of the Nemæan lion, and laid himself down upon it, as on a bed, leaning his head upon his club. Philoctetes set fire to the pile, and the hero saw himself, on a sudden, surrounded by the most appalling flames; yet he did not betray any marks of fear or astonishment. Jupiter saw him from heaven, and told the surrounding gods, who would have drenched the pile with tears, while they entreated that he would raise to the skies the immortal part of a hero who had cleared the earth from so many monsters and tyrants; and thus the thunderer spake :
"Be all your fears forborne :
The Etean fines do thou, great hero, scorn.
Who vanquish'd all things shall subdue the flame
That, when he's dead, I'll raise to realms above;-
Ovid's Met. lib. ix.
Accordingly, after the mortal part of Hercules was consumed, as the ancient poets say, he was carried up to heaven in a chariot drawn by four horses.
"Quem pater omnipotens inter cava nubila raptum,
1. a HERCULIS (Ras Algethi)—A beautiful DOUBLE STAR in the head of Hercules; R. A. 17h. 07m. 21s.; Dec. N. 14° 34' 05". A 3%, orange; B 5%, greenish. Map VIII., Fig. 13. 2. B HERCULIS (Rutilicus)—A fine DOUBLE STAR in a barren field, on the hero's left shoulder; R. A. 16h. 23m. 21s.; Dec. N. 21° 50′ 6′′. A 2%, pale yellow; B 11, lilac tint. 3. Y HERCULIS-An open DOUBLE STAR in a dark field, on the left arm; R. A. 16h. 14m. 53s.; Dec. N. 19° 32′ 0′′. A 3%, silvery white; B 10, lilac. About half-way from Ras Algethi, in the head, to Alphacca in the Northern Crown.
4. HERCULIS-A BINARY STAR on the right shoulder, and about 11° due north of a; R. A. 17h. 08m. 28s.; Dec. N. 25° 01' 9". A 4, greenish white; B 8%, grape red. It forms an equilateral triangle with a and B.
5. HERCULIS-A close BINARY STAR Over the middle of the body; R. A. 16h. 35m. 15s., Dec. N. 31° 58' 7". A 3, yellowish white; B 6, orange tint. A "wonderous object"— one star being sometimes occulted by the other.
6. 7 HERCULIS-A bright star with a distant companion on the left thigh; R. A. 16h. 87m. 25s.; Dec. N. 39° 18' 8". A 3, pale yellow; B 10, dusky.
7. A LARGE CLUSTER on the left thigh, between and 7, 8 southwesterly of the latter; R. A. 16h. 35m. 58s.; Dec. N. 36° 45' 8". A superb object, blazing up in the center, with numerous outlayers. Map IX., Fig. 53. May be seen by the naked eye in the absence of the moon.
8. A GLOBULAR CLUSTER of minute stars 1° north by east of 7; R. A. 17h. 12m. 14s.; Dec. N. 43° 18' 4". Large, bright, and resolvable, with a luminous centre. Several other stars in the field. Map IX., Fig. 54.
TELESCOPIC OBJECTS.-Alpha? Point out on the map Beta? Eta? What clusters? Point out on the map. What Nebula ?
Gamma Delta? Zeta?
9. A small PLANETARY NEBULA between the hero's shoulders; R. A. 16h. 87m. 46s.; Dec. 24° 05' 8". A curious object, with a disc 8" in diameter. Look northeast of y and B in the left arm, to a point forming an equilateral triangle with these two stars.
10. A fine PLANETARY NEBULA near the right knee of Hercules; R. A. 16h. 43m. 28s.. Dec. N. 46° 47' 0". About 4° east by north from T. It is large, round, and of a lucid pale blue hue. A 6th magnitude star near it somewhat eclipses its brightness.
SERPENTARIUS, VEL OPHIUCHUS (THE SERPENT BEARER).MAP V.
206. THE SERPENT-BEARER is also called Esculapius, or the god of medicine. He is represented as a man with a venerable beard, having both hands clenched in the folds of a prodigious serpent, which is writhing in his grasp.
The constellation occupies a considerable space in the midheaven, directly south of Hercules, and west of Taurus Poniatowski. Its center is very nearly over the equator, opposite to Orion, and comes to the meridian the 26th of July. It contains seventy-four stars, including one of the 2d magnitude, five of the 3d, and ten of the 4th.
207 The principal star in Serpentarius is called Ras Alhague. It is of the 2d magnitude, and situated in the head, about 5° E. S. E. of Ras Algethi, in the head of Hercules. Ras Alhague is nearly 13° N. of the equinoctial, while Rho, in the southern foot, is about 25° south of the equinoctial. These two stars serve to point out the extent of the constellation from north to south. Ras Alhague comes to the meridian on the 28th of July, about 21 minutes after Ras Algethi.
About 10° S. W. of Ras Alhague are two small stars of the 4th magnitude, scarcely more than a degree apart. They distinguish the left or west shoulder. The northern one is marked Iota and the other Kappa.
Eleven or twelve degrees S. S. E. of Ras Alhague are two other stars of the 3d magnitude, in the east shoulder, and about 2° apart. The upper one is called Cheleb, and the lower one Gamma. These stars in the head and shoulders of Serpentarius, form a triangle, with the vertex in Ras Alhague, and pointing toward the northeast.
208. About 4° E. of Gamma, is a remarkable cluster of four or five stars, in the form of the letter V, with the open part to the north. It very much resembles the Hyades. This beautiful little group mark the face of TAURUS PONIATOWSKI. The solstitial colure passes through the equinoctial about 2° E. of the
206. What other name has the Serpent Bearer? How represented? Situation and extent? Number and size of its principal stars? 207. Name of its principal star? Magnitude and situation? Rho, and its situation? Use of these two stars? What said of Iota and Kappa? Of Cheleb and Gamma? 208. What remarkable cluster? For
lower star in the vertex of the V. The letter name of this star is k.
There is something remarkable in its central position. It is situated almost exactly in the mid-heavens, being nearly equidistant from the poles, and midway between the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. It is, however, about one and a third degrees nearer the north than the south pole, and about two degrees nearer the autumnal than the vernal equinox, being about two degrees west of the solstitial colure.
Directly south of the V, at the distance of about 12°, are two very small stars, about 2 apart, situated in the right hand, where it grasps the serpent. About half-way between, and nearly in a line with, the two in the hand and the two in the shoulder, is another star of the 3d magnitude, marked Zeta, situated in the Serpent, opposite the right elbow. It may be known by means of a minute star just under it.
Marsic, in the left arm, is a star of the 4th magnitude, about 10° S. W. of Iota and Kappa. About 7° farther in the same direction are two stars of the 8d magnitude, situated in the hand, and a little more than a degree apart. The upper one of the two, which is about 16° N. of Graffias in Scorpio, is called Yed; the other is marked Epsilon. These two stars mark the other point in the folds of the monster where it is grasped by Serpentarius.
The left arm of Serpentarius may be easily traced by means of the two stars in the shoulder, the one (Marsic) near the elbow, and the two in the hand; all lying nearly in a line N. N. E. and S. S. W. In the same manner may the right arm be traced, by stars very similarly situated; that is to say, first by the two in the east shoulder, just west of the V, thence 8° in a southerly direction inclining a little to the east, by Zeta, (known by a little star right under it,) and then by the two small ones in the right hand, situated about 6° below Zeta.
About 12° from Antares, in an easterly direction, are two stars in the right foot, about 2 apart. The largest and lower of the two, is on the left hand. It is of between the 8d and 4th magnitudes, and marked Rho. There are several other stars in this constellation of the 3d and 4th magnitudes. They may be traced out from the maps.
"Thee, Serpentarius, we behold distinct,
With seventy-four refulgent stars; and one
The Serpent, in thy hand grasp'd, winds his spire
Immense; fewer by ten his figure trace;
One of the second rank; ten shun the sight;
And seven, he who bears the monster hides."-Eudosia.
This constellation was known to the ancients twelve hundred years before the Christian era. Homer mentions it. It is thus referred to in the Astronomicon of Manilius:
"Next, Ophiuchus strides the mighty snake,
Esculapius was the son of Apollo, by Coronis, and was educated by Chiron the Centaur in the art of medicine, in which he became so skilful, that he was considered the inventor and god of medicine. At the birth of Esculapius, the inspired daughter of Chiron uttered, "in sounding verse," this prophetic strain.
"Hail, great physician of the world, all hail!
and resemblance? Marks what? What said of the lower star in the V.? What stars south of it? What of Marsic? Of Yed and Epsilon? How trace the left arm? HISTORY.-Antiquity of this constellation? Proof? Who was Esculapius? of his great skill? His metamorphosis? Remarkable fact respecting Socrates and Plato?
He accompanied the Argonauts to Colchis, in the capacity of physician. He is said to have restored many to life, insomuch that Pluto complained to Jupiter, that his dark dominion was in danger of being depopulated by his art.
Esculapius was worshiped at Epidaurus, a city of Peloponnesus, and hence he is styled by Milton "the god in Epidaurus." Being sent for to Rome in the time of a plague, he assumed the form of a serpent and accompanied the ambassadors, but though thus changed, he was Esculapius still, in serpente deus-the deity in a serpent-and under that form he continued to be worshiped at Rome. The cock and the serpent were sacred to him, especially the latter. The ancient physicians used them in their prescriptions. One of the last acts of Socrates, who is accounted the wisest and best man of Pagan antiquity, was to offer a cock to Esculapius. He and Plato were both idolaters; they conformed, and advised others to conform, to the religion of their country; to gross idolatry and absurd superstition. If the wisest and most learned were so blind, what must the foolish and ignorant have been?
1. a OPHIUCHI (Ras Alhague)—A bright star with a minute companion, in the head of the figure; R. A. 17h. 27m. 80s.; Dec. N. 12° 40' 08". A 2, sapphire; B 9, pale grey. A coarse triplet of small stars near them.
2. SOPHIUCHI (Yed)-A star with a distant companion, in the right hand; R. A. 16h. 05m. 58s.; Dec. S. 8° 16′ 07′′. A 3, deep yellow; B 10, pale lilac; a third minute star in
3. 7 OPHIUCHI-A brilliant star with a distant companion, on the left knee; on the margin of the milky way; R. A. 17h. 01m. 13s.; Dec. N. 15° 31' 03". A 2%, pale yellow; B 13, blue.
4. T OPHIUCHI-A close BINARY STAR on the left hand, 15° northeast of the bright star 7, just described, towards Altair; R. A. 17h. 54m. 22s.; Dec. S. 8° 10' 04". A 5, and B 6, both pale white; C 10, light blue; two other stars in the field. Out of place on the map, or R. A. wrong in the tables, as given above.
5. A TRIPLE or rather MULTIPLE STAR, between the left foot of Ophiuchus, and the root of the tail of Scorpio; R. A. 17h. 05m. 29s.; Dec. S. 26° 21' 05". It is about 10° due east of Antares. A 4%, ruddy; B 6%, pale yellow; C 7%, greyish. The latter is double, a minute companion appearing at a distance, though not seen through ordinary instruments. For relative position, &c., see Map VIII., Fig. 14.
6. A fine GLOBULAR CLUSTER, between the right hip and elbow; R. A, 16h. 38m 56s.; Dec. S. 1° 40' 03". A rich cluster, condensed towards the center, with many straggling outlayers. About 8° from ɛ Ophiuchi, towards ẞ.
7. A RICH CLUSTER of compressed stars, in the right hip; R. A. 16h. 48m. 45s.; Dec. 8. 8° 51′ 08′′. About 8° east of & Ophiuchi; or half-way between ẞ Libræ, and a Aquilæ. A beautiful round cluster, and may be seen with a telescope three feet in length.
8. A ROUND CLUSTER on the left leg; R. A. 17h. 09m. 42s.; Dec. S. 18° 20′ 07′′. It lies about 3° southeast of ɛ, and rather more than the distance on a line from Antares tc Altair. A fine object-myriads of stars clustering to a blaze in the center.
9. A LARGE GLOBULAR CLUSTER in the left arm; R. A. 17h. 29m. 13s.; Dec. S. 8° 09′ 01′′. It lies 16° south of Ras Alhague, or about half way from 6 Scorpii to & Aquila. 6 southby-west of y Ophiuchi. A fine object, of a lucid white, and may be seen with small instruments. Several stars in the field. Map IX., Fig. 55.
TELESCOPIC OBJECTS.-Alpha? Delta? Eta? What multiple star? Point out on the What clusters? Which shown on the map?
CONSTELLATIONS ON THE MERIDIAN IN AUGUST.
DRACO (THE DRAGON).-MAP VI.
209. THIS Constellation, which compasses a large circuit in the polar regions by its ample folds and contortions, contains many stars which may be easily traced. From the head of the monster, which is under the foot of Hercules, there is a complete coil tending eastwardly, about 17° N. of Lyra; thence he winds down northerly about 14° to the second coil, where he reaches almost to the girdle of Cepheus; then he loops down somewhat in the shape of the letter U, and makes a third coil about 15° below the first. From the third coil he holds a westerly course for about 13°, then goes directly down, passing between the head of the Lesser and the tail of the Greater Bear.
210. Draco contains eighty stars, including two of the 2d magnitude, three of the 3d, and sixteen of the 4th.
"The Dragon next, winds like a mighty stream:
Four of the second order. Far he waves
The head of the Dragon is readily distinguished by means of four stars, 3°, 4°, and 5° apart, so situated as to form an irregular square; the two upper ones being the brightest, and both of the 2d magnitude. The right-hand upper one, called Etanin, has been rendered very noted in modern astronomy from its connection with the discovery of a new law in physical science, called the Aberration of Light.
The letter name of this star is Gamma, or Gamma Draconis; and by this appellation it is most frequently called. The other bright star, about 4° from it on the left, is Rastaben.
211. About 4° W. of Rastaben, a small star may, with close attention, be discerned in the nose of the Dragon, which, with the irregular square before mentioned, makes a figure somewhat resembling an Italic V, with the point toward the west, and the open part toward the east. The small star in the nose, is called Er Rakis.
209. Describe Draco-its situation and extent. 210. Number and size of its principal stars? How may the head of Draco be distinguished? What said of Etanin? Its letter name? What of Rastaben? 211. Of Er Rakis? Further of Rastaben? Of Etanin? Of Grumium? Of Omicron? How may the second coil be recognized? What of Zeta? Of Eta, Theta, and Asich? Of Thuban, Kappa, and Giansar?