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in the heavens, and its outline at first is somewhat difficult to be traced.
In consequence of the annual precession of the stars, the constellation Pisces has now come to occupy the sign Aries; each constellation having advanced one whole sign in .the order of the Zodiac. The Sun enters the sign Pisces, while the Earth enters that of Virgo, about the 19th of February, but he does not reach the constellation Pisces before the 6th of March. The Fishes, therefore, are now called the "Leaders of the Celestial Hosts."-See Aries.
37. That loose assemblage of small stars directly south of Merach, in the constellation of Andromeda, constitutes the Northern Fish, whose mean length is about 16°, and breadth, 7°. Its mean right ascension is 15°, and its declination 25° N. Consequently, it is on the meridian the 24th of November; and from its breadth, is more than a week in passing over it.
38. The Northern Fish and its ribbon, beginning at Merach, may by a train of small stars, be traced in a S. S. easterly direction, for a distance of 33°, until we come to the star El Rischa, of the 3d magnitude, which is situated in the node, or flexure of the ribbon. This is the principal star in the constellation, and is situated 2° N. of the equinoctial, and 53 minutes east of the meridian.
Seven degrees S. E. of El Rischa, passing by three or four very small stars, we come to Mira, in the whale, a star of about the 3d magnitude, and known as the "Wonderful Star of 1596." El Rischa may be otherwise identified by means of a remarkable cluster of five stars in the form of a pentagon, about 15° E. of it.-See Cetus.
39. From El Rischa the ribbon or cord makes a sudden flexure, doubling back across the ecliptic, where we meet with three stars of the fourth magnitude situated in a row 3 and 4° apart, marked on the map Zeta, Epsilon, Delta. From Delta the ribbon runs north and westerly along the Zodiac, and terminates at Beta, a star of the 4th magnitude, 11° S. of Markab in Pegasus.
This part of the ribbon, including the Western Fish at the end of it, has a mean declination of 5° N., and may be seen throughout the month of November, passing the meridian slowly to the W., near where the sun passes it on the 1st of April.
40. Twelve degrees W. of this Fish, there are four small stars situated in the form of the letter Y. The two Fishes, and the cord between them, make two sides of a large triangle, 30° and 40° in length, the open part of which is towards the N. W. When the Northern Fish is on the meridian, the Western is nearly two hours past it. This constellation is bounded N. by
37. Northern Fish? Length? Dec.? When on the meridian? Northern Fish? To what star? Magnitude? Where situated? From Delta? Mean declination of this part of the ribbon ? this fish? What do the two fishes, &c., make? Boundaries of Pisces ?
38. How trace the 89. From El Rischa? 40. What 12° west of
Andromeda, W. by Andromeda and Pegasus, S. by the Cascade and E. by the Whale, the Ram and the Triangles.
When, to enable the pupil to find any star, its direction from another is given, the latter is always understood to be on the meridian.
After a little experience with the maps, even though unaccompanied by directions, the ingenious youth will be able, of himself, to devise a great many expedients and facilities for tracing the constellations, or selecting out particular stars.
In using a circumpolar map, face the pole, and hold it up in your hands in such a manner that the part which contains the name of the given month shall be uppermost, and you will have a portraiture of the heavens as seen at that time.
The constellations about the Antarctic Pole are not visible in the United States; those about the Arctic or Northern Pole, are always visible.
41. The ancient Greeks, who have some fable to account for the origin of almost every constellation, say, that as Venus and her son Cupid were one day on the banks of the Euphrates, they were greatly alarmed at the appearance of a terrible giant, named Typhon. Throwing themselves into the river, they were changed into fishes, and by this means escaped danger. To commemorate this event, Minerva placed two fishes among the stars.
According to Ovid, Homer, and Virgil, this Typhon was a famous giant. He had a hundred heads, like those of a serpent or dragon. Flames of devouring fire darted from his mouth and eyes. He was no sooner born, than he made war against heaven, and so frightened the gods, that they fled and assumed different shapes. Jupiter became a ram: Mercury, an Ibis; Apollo, a crow; Juno, a cow; Bacchus, a goat; Diana, a cat; Venus, a fish, &c. The father of the gods, at last, put Typhon to flight, and crushed him under Mount Etna.
The sentiment implied in the fable of this hideous monster, is evidently this: that there is in the world a description of men whose mouth is so "full of cursing and bitterness,' ," derison and violence, that modest virtue is sometimes forced to disguise itself, or flee from their presence.
In the Hebrew Zodiac, Pisces is allotted to the escutcheon of Simeon.
No sign appears to have been considered of more malignant influence than Pisces. The astrological calendar describes the emblems of this constellation as indicative of violence and death. Both the Syrians and Egyptians abstained from eating fish, out of dread and abhorrence; and when the latter would represent anything as odious, or express hatred by hieroglyphics, they painted a fish.
1. a PISCIUM (El Rischa)—A close double star in the eastern extremity of the ribbon, R. A. 1h. 53m. 46s.; Dec. N. 1° 59' 03". A. 5, pale green; B. 6, blue; a splendid object, and easily found.
2. PISCIUM-A neat double star in the ribbon, about 13° north-west of a, R. A. 1h. 5m. 21s.; Dec. N. 6° 43′ 07′′. A. 6, silvery white; B. 8, pale gray; a fine object.
3. PISCIUM-A close double star in the space between the two fishes, about half-way between 77 Andromeda and Ceti; R. A. 1h. 2m. 31s.; Dec. N. 8° 42'. A. 8, white; B. 14, pale blue.
4. A neat DOUBLE STAR, about 4° south of Algenib, in the wing of Pegasus, R. A. Oh. 1m. 53s.; Dec. N. 10° 14' 06". A. 6, silvery white; B. 13%, pale blue.
5. A FAINT NEBULA in the eye of the western Fish, about 10° south-half-east of Markab, near y Piscium; R. A. 23h. 06m. 36s.; Dec. 3° 39' 7": a very difficult object.
42. Cassiopeia is represented on the celestial map in regal state, seated on a throne or chair, holding in her left hand the branch
41. HISTORY?-Greek account? Ovid's and others? Sentiment or moral? Hebrew Zodiac? Astrology?
TELESCOPIC OBJECTS.-Double stars? Clusters? Nebula? Shown on map, or not? 42. Cassiopeia? How represented? Head?
of a palm tree. Her head and body are seen in the Milky Way. Her foot rests upon the Arctic Circle, upon which her chair is placed. She is surrounded by the chief personages of her royal family. The king, her husband, is on her right hand-Perseus, her son-in-law, on her left-and Andromeda, her daughter, just above her.
43. This constellation is situated 26° N. of Andromeda, and midway between it and the North Polar Star. It may be seen from our latitude, at all hours of the night, and may be traced out at almost any season of the year. Its mean declination is 60o N. and its right ascension 12°. It is on our meridian the 22d of November, but does not sensibly change its position for several days; for it should be remembered that the apparen motion of the stars becomes slower and slower, as they approximate the poles.
44. Cassiopeia is a beautiful constellation, containing 55 stars that are visible to the naked eye; of which four are of the 3d magnitude, and so situated as to form, with one or two smaller ones, the figure of an inverted chair.
"Wide her stars
Dispersed, nor shine with mutual aid improved;
45. Caph, in the garland of the chair, is almost exactly in the equinoctial colure, 30° N.of Alpheratz, with which, and the Polar Star, it forms a straight line. Caph is therefore on the meridian the 10th of November, and one hour past it on the 24th. It is the westernmost star of the bright cluster. Shedir, in the breast, is the uppermost star of the five bright ones, and is 5° S. E. of Caph: the other three bright ones, forming the chair, are easily distinguished, as they meet the eye at the first glance.
There is an importance attached to the position of Caph that concerns the mariner and the surveyor. It is used, in connection with observations on the Polar Star, for determining the latitude of places, and for discovering the magnetic variation of the needle.
46. It is generally supposed that the North Polar Star, so called, is the real immovable pole of the heavens; but this is a mistake. It is so near the true pole that it has obtained the
44. Number of
43. Situation? How seen? R. A. and Dec.? When on meridian? stars? Magnitudes? Figure? Character of this constellation? 45. Caph? How When on meridian? Shedir? Importance attached to Caph? 46. Pole Is it the true pole? What variation? How pole star situated with reference to
appellation of the North Polar Star; but it is, in reality, more than a degree and a half distant from it, and revolves about the true pole every 24 hours, in a circle whose radius is 1° 31'. It will consequently, in 24 hours, be twice on the meridian, once above, and once below the pole; and twice at its greatest elongation E. and W.
The Polar Star not being exactly in the N. pole of the heavens, but one degree and 31 minutes on that side of it which is towards Caph, the position of the latter becomes important, as it always shows on which side of the true pole the polar star is.
There is another important fact in relation to the position of this star. It is equidistant from the pole, and exactly opposite another remarkable star in the square of the Great Bear, on the other side of the pole. [See Megrez.] It also serves to mark a spot in the starry heavens, rendered memorable as being the place of a lost star. Two hundred and fifty years ago, a bright star shone 5° N. N. E. of Caph, where now is a dark void!
On the 8th of November, 1572, Tycho Brahe and Cornelius Gemma saw a star in the constellation of Cassiopeia, which became, all at once, so brilliant, that it surpassed the splendor of the brightest planets, and might be seen even at noonday. Gradually, this great brilliancy diminished, until the 15th of March, 1573, when, without moving from its place, it became utterly extinct.
Its color, during this time, exhibited all the phenomena of a prodigious flame-first, it was of a dazzling white, then of a reddish yellow, and lastly of an ashy paleness, in which its light expired. It is impossible, says Mrs. Somerville, to imagine anything more tremendous than a conflagration that could be visible at such a distance. It was seen for sixteen months. Some astronomers imagined that it would reappear again after 150 years; but it has never been discovered since. This phenomenon alarmed all the astronomers of the age, who beheld it; and many of them wrote dissertations concerning it.
Rev. Professor Vince, one of the most learned and pious astronomers of the age, has this remark:-"The disappearance of some stars may be the destruction of that system at the time appointed by the Deity for the probation of its inhabitants; and the appearance of new stars may be the formation of new systems for new races of beings then called into existence to adore the works of their Creator."
Thus, we may conceive the Deity to have been employed from all eternity, and thus he may continue to be employed for endless ages; forming new systems of beings to adore him; and transplanting beings already formed into happier regions, who will continue to rise higher and higher in their enjoyments, and go on to contemplate system after system through the boundless universe.
LA PLACE says:-As to those stars which suddenly shine forth with a very vivid light, and then immediately disappear, it is extremely probable that great conflagrations, produced by extraordinary causes, take place on their surface. This conjecture, continues he, is confirmed by their change of color, which is analogous to that presented to us on the earth by those bodies which are set on fire, and then gradually extinguished.
The late eminent Dr. Good also observes that-Worlds, and systems of worlds, are not only perpetually creating, but also perpetually disappearing. It is an extraordinary fact, that within the period of the last century, not less than thirteen stars, in different constellations, seem to have totally perished, and ten new ones to have been created. many instances it is unquestionable, that the stars themselves, the supposed habitation of other kinds or orders of intelligent beings, together with the different planets by which it is probable they were surrounded, have utterly vanished, and the spots which they occupied in the heavens have become blanks! What has befallen other systems will assuredly befall our own. Of the time and the manner we know nothing, but the fact is incontrovertible; it is foretold by revelation; it is inscribed in the heavens; it is felt through the earth. Such is the awful and daily text; what then ought to be the comment?
The great and good Beza, falling in with the superstition of his age, attempted to prove that this was a comet, or the same luminous appearance which conducted the magi, or wise men of the East, into Palestine, at the birth of our Saviour, and that it now appeared to announce his second coming.
Caph? What other important fact in relation to the position of Caph? What remarkable fact stated? By whom attested? Describe phenomenon? Mrs. Somerville's remark? Other astronomers'? Professor Vince's remarks? The author's? Place's? Dr. Good's? Beza's?
Cassiopeia was the wife of Cepheus, King of Ethiopia, and mother of Andromeda. She was a queen of matchless beauty, and seemed to be sensible of it; for she even boasted herself fairer than Juno, the sister of Jupiter, or the Nereides-a name given to the seanymphs. This so provoked the ladies of the sea, that they complained to Neptune of the insult, who sent a frightful monster to ravage her coast, as a punishment for her insolence. But the anger of Neptune and the jealousy of the nymphs were not thus appeased. They demanded, and it was finally ordained that Cassiopeia should chain her daughter Andromeda, whom she tenderly loved, to a desert rock on the beach, and leave her exposed to the fury of this monster. She was thus left, and the monster approached; but just as he was going to devour her, Perseus killed him.
"The saviour youth the royal pair confess.
And with heav'd hands, their daughter's bridegroom bless."
1. α CASSIOPEE (Shedir)—A bright star, with a companion in the bosom of the figure; R. A. Oh. 31m 29s.; Dec. 65° 39′ 05′′. A 8, pale rose tint; B 10%, small blue. and Herschell note Shedir as variable.
2. B CASSIOPEE (Caph)-A bright star on the left side, with a minute companion; R. A. Oh. Om. 42s.; Dec. N. 58° 16′ 03′′. A 2%, whitish; B 11%, dusky. Look directly opposite Megris, in the great dipper, through the pole star, and about as far beyond.
3. Y CASSIOPE-A bright star with a distant companion on the right side of the figure; R. A. Oh. 47m. 05s.; Dec. N. 59° 50′ 08′′. A 3, brilliant white; B 18, blue. Many small stars in the field.
4. 7 CASSIOPEE A BINARY STAR, about 4° from a towards Polaris; R. A. Oh. 39m. 278.; Dec. N. 56° 57' 09". A. 4, pale white; B. 7%, purple. Estimated period 700 years.
5. CASSIOPEE-A coarse TRIPLE STAR in the right elbow; R. A. 0h. 57m. 23s.; Dec. N. 54° 08′ 01′′. A 5%, deep yellow; B 14, pale blue; C 11, bluish. Several small stars in the field.
6. σ CASSIOPEX-A beautiful double star in the left elbow; R. A. 23h. 50m. 55s.; Dec. N. 54° 51′ 08′′. A 6, flushed white; B 8, smalt blue; the colors clear and distinct.
7. A coarse QUADRUPLE STAR, just south of Cepheus' right hand; or about 27° southsouth-west of Polaris, on a line drawn over y Cephei. R. A. 23h. 17m. 45s.; Dec. N. 64° 24′ 03′′. A 5, pale yellow; B 9, yellowish; C 11, and D, 13, both blue.
8. A LARGE AND STRAGGLING CLUSTER, between the footstool of Cassiopeia and the head of Cepheus; R. A. Oh. 18m. 10s.; Dec. N. 70° 30′ 08". A line from y Cassiopeæ, % the distance to y Cephei, will fall upon this object. A coarse double star in the field.
9. A RICH, BUT SOMEWHAT STRAGGLING CLUSTER; R. A. Oh. 24m. 5s.; Dec. N. 62° 23′ 09′′. Vicinity splendidly strewed with stars-a double star in the centre. Look near the star K.
10. A LOOSE CLUSTER, including a small double star; R. A. Oh. 34m. 15s.; Dec. N. 60° 54' 07". A 8%, B 11, both pale. Situated just half way between and K. Y
11. A LOOSE CLUSTER of small stars; R. A. Oh. 58m. 19s.; Dec. N. 60° 44'. On a line from towards ε, about the distance.
12. A CLUSTER and neat double star on a line from a through S, and about 21⁄2° beyond. In an elegant field of large and small stars.
13. A FINE GALAXY CLUSTER of minute stars, about 8° south-west of B, and about the same distance west of a. R. A. 23h. 49m. 07s.: Dec. N. 55° 49' 06". A glorious assemblage, both in extent and richness. Resembles a crab, having spangled rays of stars, spreading over many fields. Map VIII., Fig. 23.
47. Cepheus is represented on the map as a king, in his royal robe, with a sceptre in his left hand, and a crown of stars upon
HISTORY?-Who was Cassiopeia? Personal appearance? Sad consequences? Rescue ? TELESCOPIC OBJECTS.-Double and multiple stars? Clusters? What shown on map? 47. How is Cepheus represented? Where situated?