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as by night; but on account of the superior splendor of the sun, we cannot see them.

110. Sirius is situated nearly S. of Alhena, in the feet of the Twins, and about as far S. of the equinoctial as Alhena is N. of it. It is about 10° E. of the Hare, and 26° S. of Betelguese in Orion, with which it forms a large equilateral triangle. It also forms a similar triangle with Phaet in the Dove, and Naos in the Ship. These two triangles being joined at their vertex in Sirius, present the figure of an enormous X, called by some, the EGYPTIAN X. Sirius is also pointed out by the direction of the Three Stars in the belt of Orion. Its distance from them is about 23°. It comes to the meridian at 9 o'clock on the 11th of February.

111. Mirzam, in the foot of the Dog, is a star of the 2d magnitude, 5° W. of Sirius. A little above, and 4° or 5° to the left, there are three stars of the 3d and 4th magnitudes, forming a triangular figure somewhat resembling a dog's head. The brightest of them, on the left, is called Muliphen. It entirely disappeared in 1670, and was not seen again for more than 20 years. Since that time it has maintained a steady lustre.

112. Wesen is a star of between the 2d and 3d magnitudes, in the back, 11° S. S. E. of Sirius, with which, and Mirzam in the paw, it makes an elongated triangle. The two hinder feet are marked by Naos and Lambda, stars of the 3d and 4th magnitudes, situated about 3° apart, and 12° directly S. of the fore foot. This constellation contains 31 visible stars, including one of the 1st magnitude, four of the 2d, and two of the 3d; all of which are easily traced out by the aid of the map.


Manilius, a Latin poet who flourished in the Augustan age, wrote an admirable poem, in five books, upon the fixed stars, in which he thus speaks of this constellation:

"All others he excels; no fairer light

Ascends the skies, none sets so clear and bright."

But EUDOSIA best describes it

"Next shines the Dog with sixty-four distinct;
Famed for pre-eminence in envied song,
Theme of Homeric and Virgilian lays;

His fierce mouth flames with dreaded Sirius;
Three of his stars retire with feeble beams."

According to some mythologists, this constellation represents one of Orion's hounds, which was placed in the sky, near this celebrated huntsman. Others say it received its name in honor of the dog given by Aurora to Cephalus, which surpassed in speed all the

110. Situation of Sirius? What triangles? 111. Position and size of Mirzam? Other stars? Muliphen? 112. Wesen? What other stars? Whole number? What different accounts of its

HISTORY.-What classical description of Canis Major?


animals of his species. Cephalus, it is said, attempted to prove this by running him against a fox, which, at that time, was thought to be the fleetest of all animals. After they had run together a long time, without either of them obtaining the victory, it is said that Jupiter was so much gratified at the fleetness of the dog, that he assigned him a place in the heavens.

But the name and form of this constellation are, no doubt, derived from the Egyptians, who carefully watched its rising, and by it judged of the swelling of the Nile, which they called Siris, and, in their hieroglyphical manner of writing, since it was, as it were, the sentinel and watch of the year, represented it under the figure of a dog. They observed that when Sirius became visible in the east, just before the morning dawn, the overflowing of the Nile immediately followed. Thus it warned them, like a faithful dog, to escape from the region of the inundation.


1, a CANIS MAJORIS-A brilliant star, with a distant companion; R. A. Ch. 38m. 06s.; Dec. S. 16° 30' 1. A 1, brilliant white; B 10, deep yellow, other distant small stars in the field.

2. CANIS MAJORIS-A star with a distant companion in the loins; R. A. 7h. 01m. 53s.; Dec, S. 26° 08' 6". A 3%, light yellow; B 7%, very pale. Other small stars in the field, A line from Betelguese through Sirius intercepts it 12° below the latter star.

3. & CANIS MAJORIS (Adhara)-A star with a distant companion in the belly; R. A 6h. 52m. 20s. Dec. S. 28° 45' 5". A 2%, pale orange: B 7, violet. Found by running a line from the middle of Orion's belt through ẞ just west of Sirius, to about 14° beyond the latter star.

4. A CLUSTER in the back of the head; R. A. 6h. 52m. 10s.; Dec. S. 13° 29' 2". Tolerably compressed; stars of the 8th to 11th magnitudes, of which the four principal form the letter Y.

5. A CLUSTER between Sirius and Monoceros; R. A. 7h. 10m. 35s.; Dec. S. 15° 21′ 4′′. Stars principally of the 10th magnitude. Discovered by Miss Herschel in 1785.





113. THIS Constellation occupies a large space in the southern hemisphere, though but a small part of it can be seen in the United States. It is situated S. E. of Canis Major, and may be known by the stars in the prow and deck of the ship.

114. If a straight line joining Betelguese and Sirius, be produced 18° to the southeast, it will point out Naos, a star of the 2d magnitude, in the rowlock of the ship. This star is in the S. E. corner of the Egyptian X, and of the large equilateral triangle made by itself with Sirius and the Dove. When on the meridian, it is seen from this latitude about 8° above the south

TELESCOPIC OBJECTS.--Alpha? Delta? Epsilon? What clusters?

113. Size and situation of Argo Navis? How known? 114. How find Naos, and where situated? How high when on the meridian?

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ern horizon. It comes to the meridian on the 3d of March, about half an hour after Procyon, and continues visible but a few hours.

115. Gamma, in the middle of the ship, is a star of the 2d magnitude, about 7° S. of Naos, and just skims above the southern horizon for a few minutes, and then sinks beneath it. The principal star in this constellation is called, after one of the pilots, Canopus; it is of the 1st magnitude, 36° nearly S. of Sirius, and comes to the meridian 17 minutes after it; but having about 53° of S. declination, it cannot be seen in the United States. The same is true of Miaplacidus, a star of the 1st magnitude in the oars of the ship, about 25° E. of Canopus, and 61° S. of Alphard, in the heart of Hydra.

An observer in the northern hemisphere, can see the stars as many degrees south of the equinoctial in the southern hemisphere, as his own latitude lacks of 90°, and no


116. Markeb, is a star of the 4th magnitude, in the prow of the ship, and may be seen from this latitude 16° S. E. of Sirius, and about 10° E. of Wesen, in the back of the Dog. This star may be known by its forming a small triangle with two others of the same magnitude, situated a little above it, on the E., 3° and 4° apart.

117. This constellation contains 64 stars, of which two are of the 1st magnitude, four of the 2d, and nine of the 3d. Most of these are too low down to be seen in the United States.


This constellation is intended to perpetuate the memory of the famous ship which carried Jason and his 54 companions to Colchis, when they resolved upon the perilous expedition of recovering the golden fleece. The derivation of the word Argo has been often disputed. Some derive it from Argos, supposing that this was the name of the person who first proposed the expedition, and built the ship. Others maintain that it was built at Argos, whence its name. Cicero calls it Argo, because it carried Grecians, commonly called Argives. Diodorus derives the word from apyòs, which signifies swift. Ptolemy says, but not truly, that Hercules built the ship, and called it Argo, after a son of Jason, who bore the same name. This ship had fifty oars, and being thus propelled must have fallen far short of the bulk of the smallest ship craft used by moderns. It is even said that the crew were able to carry it on their backs from the Danube to the Adriatic.

According to many authors, she had a beam on her prow, cut in the forest of Dodona by Minerva, which had the power of giving oracles to the Argonauts. This ship was the first, it is said, that ever ventured on the sea. After the expedition was finished, and Jason had returned in triumph, he ordered her to be drawn ashore at the isthmus of Corinth, and consecrated to Neptune, the god of the sea.

Sir Isaac Newton endeavors to settle the period of this expedition at about 30 years

115. Size and situation of Gamma? Name the principal star in this constellation? Its magnitude? Is it ever seen in the U. S.? What said of Miaplacidus? Remark in fine print? 116. What said of Markeb? How known? 117. Number of stars in Argo Navis? Magnitudes?

HISTORY.-Design of this constellation? Import of the term Argo? Size and structure of the ship? What myth respecting this ship? What remark respecting Si Isaac Newton? Dr. Bryant's opinion?

before the destruction of Troy, and 43 years after the death of Solomon. Dr. Bryant however, rejects the history of the Argonautic expedition as a mere fiction of the Greeks, and supposes that this group of stars, which the poets denominate Argo Navis, refers to Noah's ark and the deluge, and that the fable of the Argonautic expedition is founded on certain Egyptian traditions that related to the preservation of Noah and his family during the flood.


1. ARGO NAVIS-A star with a distant companion; R. A. Sh. 00m. 44s.; Dec. S. 23° 50' 8". A 3%, pale yellow; B 10, greyish. Other small stars in the field.

2. A SMALL GALAXY CLUSTER; R. A. 7h. 37m. 44s; Dec. S. 28° 29' 1".

3. A neat DOUBLE STAR Over the ship's stern; R. A. 7h. 38m. 08s.; Dec. S. 14° 18′ 8′′. A 7, silvery white; B 7%, pale white.

4. A close DOUBLE STAR over the Argo's stern; R. A. 7h. 40m. 27s.; Dec. S. 11° 48' 3". A 7%, pale yellow; B 9, light blue.

5. A bright PLANETARY NEBULA; R. A. 7h. 34m. 46s.; Dec. S. 17° 50' 2". A fine object, pale bluish white, and may be identified by several small stars in its vicinity. See Map VIII., Fig. 37.

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118. Cancer is now the fifth constellation and fourth sign of the Zodiac. It is situated in the ecliptic, between Leo on the E. and Gemini on the W. It contains 83 stars, of which one is of the 3d, and seven of the 4th magnitude. Some place the firstmentioned star in the same class with the other seven, and consider none larger than the 4th magnitude.

119. Beta is a star of the 3d or 4th magnitude, in the southwestern claw, 10° N. E. of Procyon, and may be known from the fact that it stands alone, or at least has no star of the same magnitude near it. It is midway between Procyon and Acubens.

120. Acubens, is a star of similar brightness, in the southeastern claw, 10° N. E. of Beta, and nearly in a straight line with it and Procyon. An imaginary line drawn from Capella through Pollux, will point out Acubens, at the distance of 24° from Pollux. It may be otherwise distinguished by its standing between two very small stars close by it in the same claw.

121. The southern Asellus, marked Delta, is situated in the line of the ecliptic, and, in connection with Wasat and Tejat, marks the course of the earth's orbit for a space of 36° from the solstitial colure.

A few degrees S. of Cancer, and about 17° E. of Procyon, are four stars of the 4th magnitude, 3° or 4° apart, which mark the head of Hydra. The rest of this constellation is delineated on Map IV.

TELESCOPIC OBJECTS.-Iota? What cluster? Double stars? Nebula? Point out on the map?

118. Place of Cancer in the Zodiac? In other respects? Number and size of its stars? 119. Beta? How known? 120. Acubens? How found? 121. Situation of Delta? Remarks respecting Hydra? Respecting the sign Cancer?

The beginning of the sign Cancer (not the constellation) is called the Tropic of Cancer, and when the sun arrives at this point, it has reached its utmost limit of north declination, where it seems to remain stationary a few days before it begins to decline again to the south. This stationary attitude of the sun is called the summer solstice; from two Latin words signifying the sun's standing still. The distance from the first point of Cancer to the equinoctial, which, at present, is 23° 27', is called the obliquity of the ecliptic. It is a remarkable and well ascertained fact, that this is continually growing less and less. The tropics are slowly and steadily approaching the equinoctial, at the rate of about half a second every year; so that the sun does not now come so far north of the equator in summer, nor decline so far south in winter, as it must have done at the creation, by nearly a degree.


In the Zodiacs of Esne and Dendera, and in most of the astrological remains of Egypt, a Scarabæus, or Beetle, is used as the symbol of this sign; but in Sir William Jones' Oriental Zodiac, and in some others found in India, we meet with the figure of a crab. As the Hindoos, in all probability, derived their knowledge of the stars from the Chaldeans, it is supposed that the figure of the crab, in this place, is more ancient than the Beetle.

In some eastern representations of this sign, two animals, like asses, are found in this division of the Zodiac; and as the Chaldaic name for the ass may be translated muddiness, it is supposed to allude to the discoloring of the Nile, which river was rising when the sun entered Cancer. The Greeks, in copying this sign, have placed two asses as the appropriate symbol of it, which still remain. They explain their reason, however, for adopting this figure, by saying that these are the animals that assisted Jupiter in his victory over the giants.

Dopuis accounts for the origin of the asses in the following words:-"Le Cancer ou sont les étoiles appellées les ânes, forme l'empreinte du pavillon d' Issachar que Jacob assimile à l'âne."

Mythologists give different accounts of the origin of this constellation. The prevailing opinion is, that while Hercules was engaged in his famous contest with the dreadful Lernæan monster, Juno, envious of the fame of his achievements, sent a sea-crab to bite and annoy the hero's feet, but the crab being soon dispatched, the goddess, to reward its services, placed it among the constellations.

"The Scorpion's claws here clasp a wide extent,
And here the Crab's in lesser clasps are bent."


1. & CANCRI-A very delicate DOUBLE STAR, under the Crab's mouth; R. A. 8h. 35m. 85s.; Dec. N. 18° 44' 04". A 4%, straw color; B 15 blue, only seen by glimpses.

2. & CANCRI-A star with a distant companion, on the Crab's body; R. A. 8h. 31m. 16s.; Dec. N. 20° 06′ 02′′. A 6%, and B 7, both pale white; and a third star in the field of nearly the same magnitude.


CANCRI-A fine TRIPLE STAR, just below the after claws of the Crab; R. A. 8h. 03m. 02s.; Dec. N. 18° 07′ 05′′. A 6, yellow; B 7, orange tinge; C 7%, yellowish. Supposed to be a Ternary system.

4. About 7° northeasterly from Tegmine, is a nebulous cluster of very minute stars, in the crest of Cancer, sufficiently luminous to be seen by the naked eye. It is situated in a triangular position with regard to the head of the Twins and the Little Dog. It is about 20° W. of each. It may otherwise be discovered by means of two conspicuous stars of the 4th magnitude, lying one on either side of it, at the distance of about 2°, called the northern and southern Aselli. By some of the Orientalists, this cluster was denominated Prosepe, the Manger, a contrivance which their fancy filled up for the accommodation of the Aselli or Asses; and it is so called by modern astronomers. The appearance of this group to the unassisted eye, is not unlike the nucleus of a comet, and it was repeatedly mistaken for the comet of 1832, which, in the month of November, passed in its neighborhood. Map VIII., Fig. 38.

5. A RICH BUT LOOSE CLUSTER in the Crab's southern claw, where a line from Rigel through Procyon, into the east-northeast, will find it about 5° north of & in the Hyades; R. A. Sh. 42m. 26s.; Dec. N. 12° 23' 06". Stars mostly of the 9th and 10th magnitudes. See Map VIII., Fig. 39.

HISTORY.-What other figures for Cancer? Egyptian? Hindoo?

Greek? Origin of

this constellation?

TELESCOPIC OBJECTS.-Delta? Epsilon? Zeta? What Clusters? Point out on the Map

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