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And lest the supplicating brute might reach
How did she fear to lodge in woods alone,
And haunt the fields and meadows, once her own!
Whilst from her hounds the frighted hunters flew."-Ovid's Met.
Some suppose that her son Arcas, otherwise called Bootes, was changed into Ursa Minor, or the Little Bear. It is well known, that the ancients represented both these constellations under the figure of a wagon drawn by a team of horses; hence the appellation of Charles' Wain, or wagon. This is alluded to in the Phenomena of Aratus, a Greek poem, from which St. Paul quotes in his address to the Athenians:
"The one call'd Helix, soon as day retires,
But more adapted for the sailor's guide,
Whene'er, by night, he tempts the briny tide."
In the Egyptian planispheres of remote antiquity, these two constellations are represented by the figures of bears, instead of wagons; and the Greeks, who derived most of their astronomical symbols from the Egyptians, though they usually altered them to emblems of their own history or superstition, have, nevertheless, retained the original form of the two bears, It is said by Aratus, that the Phoenician navigators made use of Ursa Minor in directing their voyages:
"Observing this, Phoenicians plough the main:"
while the Greeks confined their observations to Ursa Major.
Some imagine that the ancient Egyptians arranged the stars near the North Pole, within the outlines of a bear, because the polar regions are the haunts of this animal, and also because it makes neither extensive journeys nor rapid marches.
At what period men began to sail by the stars, or who were the first people that did so, is not clear; but the honor is usually given to the Phoenicians. That it was practiced by the Greeks, as early as the time of the Trojan war, that is, about 1200 years B. C., we learn from Homer; for he says of Ulysses, when sailing on his raft, that
"Placed at the helm he sate, and mark'd the skies,
It is rational to suppose that the stars were first used as a guide to travellers by land, for we can scarcely imagine that men would venture themselves upon the sea by night, before they had first learned some safe and sure method of directing their course by land. And we find, according to Diodorus Siculus, that travellers in the sandy plains of Arabia were accustomed to direct their course by the Bears.
That people travelled in these vast deserts at night by observing the stars, is directly proved by this passage of the Koran:-" God has given you the stars, to be guided in the dark, both by land and by sea."
1. a URSA MAJORIS (Dubhe, one of the pointers)-A fine star with a distant companion; R. A. 10h. 53m. 48s.; Dec. N. 62° 36' 8". A 1%, yellow; B 8, yellow..
2. BURSA MAJORIS (Merak)-A bright star with a distant companion; R. A. 10h. 52m. 08"; -Dec. N. 57° 14′ 2′′. A 2, greenish white; B 11, pale grey-other stars in field.
3. YURSA MAJORIS (Phad)-A star with a distant companion; R. A. 11h. 45m. 23s.; Dec. N. 54° 35' 1". A 2, topaz yellow; B 9, ashy paleness, with a fine group of stars in the field.
4. URSA MAJORIS (Megrez)—A fine star, suspected of variability, with a distant companion; R. A. 12h. 07m. 28s.; Dec. N. 57° 55' 3". A 8, pale yellow; B9, ash colored, with other stars in field.
5. URSA MAJORIS (Mizar.)—A splendid double star in the middle of the tail; R. A. 18h. 17m. 28s.; Dec. N. 55° 45' 8". A 8, brilliant white; B 5, pale emerald. Alcor and other stars in the field. Map VIII. Fig. 7.
TELESCOPIC OBJECTS.-Alpha? Beta? What nebula? Which shown on the map?
Gamma? Delta? Zeta? Eta? Iota? Nu
6. 7 URSA MAJORIS (Benetnasch)—A DOUBLE STAR in the tip of the tail; R. A. 18h. 41m. 14s.; Dec. N. 50° 06′ 5′′. A 2%, brilliant white; B 9, dusky.
URSA MAJORIS (Al Kaphrah)—A DOUBLE STAR in the right fore paw; R. A. 8h. 48m. 14s.; Dec. N. 48° 39′ 9′′. A 3%, topaz yellow; B 13, purple. Sir J. Herschel supposed A might be a satellite, shining only by reflection.
8. v URSA MAJORIS-A delicate DOUBLE STAR in the left hind foot, just above or El Acola; R. A. 11h. 09m. 49s.; Dec. N. 30° 58′0'. A 4, orange tint; B 12, cornelian blue; a close but elegant object.
9. A beautiful PLANETARY NEBULA, just south of B; R. A. 10h. 28m. 45s.; Dec. N. 54° 20′ 4′′. A small, well defined object, bluish white, and brightens towards the center.
10. A BRIGHT NEBULA in the right fore leg; R. A. 9h. 10m. 54s.; Dec. N. 51° 40' 5". Of a pale creamy whiteness, with several bright stars in the northern part of the field. Nebula large, elliptical and nucleated.
11. A bright-class ROUND NEBULA above the Bear's ear; R. A. 9h. 34m. 32s.; Dec. N. 78° 01' 2". Several stars in field, of 9th to 12th magnitude.
12. A FINE OVAL NEBULA in the ear; R. A. 9h. 42m. 10s.; Dec. N. 69° 51′ 8′′.
13. A LARGE MILK-WHITE NEBULA on the body, about 1° south of ẞ or Merak; R. A. 11h. 02m. 02s.; Dec. N. 56° 31' 8".
14. A LARGE PLANETARY NEBULA on the flank, with several stars in the field, one of which is pretty close; R. A. 11h. 05m. 24s.; Dec. N. 55° 52′ 9 About 2° to the S. E. of B, and just south of a line from ẞ to y; a singular object, circular, uniform, and seemingly of the size of Jupiter. W. Herschel assigned this object to the 980th order of distance. Map VIII., Fig. 42.
15. A BRIGHT-CLASS NEBULA in a poor field, behind the left hind leg, one-third the distance from d towards Denebola; R. A. 11h. 58m. 51s.; Dec. N. 43° 57′ 3′′. Of a lucid white, various and elongated. Map VIII., Fig. 43.
16. A LARGE WHITE NEBULA near the haunches; R. A. 12h. 11m. 04s.; Dec. N. 48° 11′ 1′′. A noble-sized oval, with a bright nucleus, the lateral edges better defined than the ends. Found by running a diagonal line across the square, from a through y, and about 7%* beyond, into the S. E.
--- COMA BERENICES (BERENICE'S HAIR).—MAP IV.
152. This is a beautiful cluster of small stars, situated about 5° E. of the equinoctial colure, and midway between Cor Caroli on the northeast, and Denebola on the southwest. If a straight line be drawn from Benetnasch through Cor Caroli, and produced to Denebola, it will pass through it.
153. The principal stars are of between the 4th and 5th magnitudes. According to Flamsted, there are thirteen of the 4th magnitude, and according to others there are seven; but the student will find agreeably to his map, that there is apparently but one star in this group, entitled to that rank, and this is situated about 7° S. E. of the main cluster.
Although it is not easy to mistake this group for any other in the same region of the skies, yet the stars which compose it are all so small as to be rarely distinguished in the full presence of the moon. The confused lustre of this assemblage of small stars somewhat resembles that of the Milky Way.
152. Describe Coma Berenices? How find it? &c.? What remark in fine print?
158. Its principal stars, their number
154. The whole number of stars in this constellation is 43; its mean right ascension is 185°. It consequently is on the meridian the 13th of May.
Berenice was of royal descent, and a lady of great beauty, who married Ptolemy Soter, or Evergetes, one of the kings of Egypt, her own brother, whom she loved with much tenderness. When he was going on a dangerous expedition against the Assyrians, she vowed to dedicate her hair to the goddess of beauty, if he returned in safety. Some time after the victorious return of her husband, Evergetes, the locks, which, agreeably to her oath, she had deposited in the temple of Venus, disappeared. The king expressed great regret at the loss of what he so much prized; whereupon Conon, his astronomer, publicly reported that Jupiter had taken away the queen's locks from the temple and placed them among the stars.
"There Berenice's locks first rose so bright,
The heavens bespangling with dishevelled light."
Conon being sent for by the king, pointed out this constellation, saying, "There behold the locks of the queen." This group being among the unformed stars until that time, and not known as a constellation, the king was satisfied with the declaration of the astronomer, and the queen became reconciled to the partiality of the gods.
Callimachus, a historian and poet, who flourished long before the Christian era, has these lines as translated by Tytler:
"Immortal Conon, blest with skill divine,
1. A TRIPLE STAR, between the tresses and Virgo's northern wing; R. A. 12h. 45m. 25s., Dec. N. 22° 07' 0". A 5, pale yellow; B, indistinct; C 10, cobalt blue. About 7° southeast of a Berenices, and 20° west of Arcturus.
2. A GLOBULAR CLUSTER, between the tresses and the Virgin's left hand, with a coarse pair and one single star in the field; R. A. 11h. 05m. 03s.; Dec. N. 19° 01' 3". A brilliant mass of minute stars from the 11th to the 15th May; compressed at center. A line through and ε Virginis, northward, meeting another from Arcturus over 7 Bootes, falls upon this magnificent object.
8. A CONSPICUOUS NEBULA between the tresses and the virgin's left arm; R. A. 12h. 48m. 52s.; Dec. N. 22° 33′ 2′′. A magnificent object, both in size and brightness, with several small stars in the field. Elongated, compressed in the centre, and was likened by Sir Charles Blagdon to a "black eye." Map VIII., Fig. 44.
CORVUS (THE CROW).-MAP IV.
155. This small constellation is situated on the eastern part of Hydra, 15° E of the Cup, and is on the same meridian with
154. What number of stars?
HISTORY.-Who was Berenice? Story of the loss of her hair, &c.?
Point out on the Map.
Coma Berenices, but as far S. of the equinoctial as Coma Berenices is N. of it. It therefore culminates at the same time, on the 12th of May. It contains nine visible stars, including three of the 3d magnitude, and two of the 4th.
156. This constellation is readily distinguished by means of three stars of the 3d magnitude and one of the 4th, forming a trapezium or irregular square, the two upper ones being about 34° apart, and the two lower ones 6° apart.
157. The brightest of the two upper stars, on the left, is called Algorab, and is situated in the E. wing of the Crow; it has nearly the same declination S. that the Dog Star has, and is on the meridian about the 13th of May. It is 214° E. of Alkes in the Cup, 141° S. W. of Spica Virginis, a brilliant star of the 1st magnitude, to be described in the next chapter.
158. Beta, on the back of Hydra, and in the foot of the Crow, is a star of the 3d magnitude, nearly 7° S. of Algorab. It is the brightest of the two lower stars, and on the left. The righthand lower one is a star of the 4th magnitude, situated in the neck, marked Epsilon, about 6° W. of Beta, and may be known by a star of the same magnitude situated 2° below it, in the eye, and called Al Chiba. Epsilon is 213° S. of the vernal equinox, and if a meridian should be drawn from the pole through Megrez, and produced to Epsilon Corvi, it would mark the equinoctial colure.
159. Gamma, in the W. wing, is a star of the 3d magnitude, 31° W. of Algorab, and is the upper right-hand one in the square. It is but 1° E. of the equinoctial colure.
10° E. of Beta is a star of the 3d magnitude, in the tail of Hydra, marked Gamma; these two, with Algorab, form nearly a right-angled triangle, the right angle being at Beta.
The Crow, it is said, was once of the purest white, but was changed for tale-bearing to its present color. A fit punishment for such a fault.
"The raven once in snowy plumes was drest,
Soft as the Swan; a large and lovely fowl;
His tongue, his prating tongue, had changed him quite,
To sooty blackness from the purest white."
According to Greek fable the Crow was made a constellation by Apollo. This god being jealous of Coronis (whom he tenderly loved), the daughter of Phlegyas and
156. How is it found? 157. What said of Algorab? Al Chiba? What said of the Pole, Megrez, and Epsilon?
158. Of Beta? Epsilon? 159. Of Gamma? What
HISTORY.-Story of the original color of Corvus ? Greek fable of the origin of the constellation? What other account?
mother of Esculapius, sent a crow to watch her behavior; the bird perceived her criminal partiality for Ischys the Thessalian, and immediately acquainted Apollo with her conduct, which so fired his indignation that he lodged an arrow in her breast, and killed her instantly.
"The god was wroth; the color left his look,
To reward the crow, he placed her among the constellations. Others say that this constellation takes its name from the daughter of Coronæus, king of Phocis, who was transformed into a crow by Minerva, to rescue the maid from the pursuit of Neptune. The following, from an eminent Latin poet of the Augustan age, is her own account of the metamorphosis as translated into English verse by Mr. Addison:
1. ẞ CORVI-A fine bright star nearly midway between two distant companions. A 2%, ruddy yellow; B7, greenish yellow; C8, dull grey. B is actually the lucida, or brightest star of the constellation.
2. & CORVI-A DOUBLE STAR in the right wing; R. A. 12h. 21m. 35s.; Dec. S. 15° 37′ 04′′. A 8, pale yellow; B 8%, purple.
VIRGO (THE VIRGIN).-MAP IV.
160. This is the sixth sign, and seventh constellation in the ecliptic. It is situated next east of Leo, and about midway between Coma Berenices on the N. and Corvus on the S. It occupies a considerable space in the heavens, and contains, according to Flamsted, one hundred and ten stars, including one of the 1st, six of the 3d, and ten of the 4th magnitudes. Its mean declination is 5° N., and its mean right ascension is 195°. Its center is therefore on the meridian about the 23d of May.
The sun enters the sign Virgo, on the 23d of August, but does not enter the constellation before the 15th of September. When the sun is in this sign, the earth is in Pisces; and vice versa.
161. Alpha, or Spica Virginis, in the ear of corn which the virgin holds in her left hand, is the most brilliant star in this constellation, and situated nearly 15° E. N. E. of Algorab in the Crow, about 35° S. E. of Denebola, and nearly as far S. S.
TELESCOPIC OBJECTS.-Beta? Delta?
160. Order and position of Virgo? Extent? declination of Virgo? Remark in fine print?
Number of stars? Magnitudes? Mean 161. What said of Alpha, or Spica Vir