Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 095.djvu/262

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Dr. Herschel on the Direction of the

above mentioned Table of well ascertained proper motions will also enable us to enter rigorously into the necessary calculations for ascertaining its direction, and discovering its velocity. When these points are established, we shall be prepared to draw some consequences from them that will account for many phenomena which otherwise cannot be explained.

The scope of this Paper, wherein it is intended to assign not only the direction, but also the velocity of the solar motion, embraces an extensive field of observation and calculation; but as to give the whole of it would exceed the compass of the present sheets, I shall reserve the velocity of the solar motion for an early future opportunity, and proceed now to a disquisition of the first part of my subject, which is the direction of the motion of the sun and solar system.


Reasons for admitting a solar Motion.

It may appear singular that, after having already long ago pointed out a solar, motion, and even fixed upon a star towards which I supposed it to be directed, I should again think it necessary to show that we have many substantial reasons for admitting such a motion at all. What has induced me to enter into this inquiry is, that some of the consequences hereafter to be drawn from a solar motion when established, seem to condradict the very intention for which it is to be introduced. The chief object in view, when a solar motion was proposed to be deduced from observations of the proper motionis of stars, was to take away many of these motions by investing the sun with a contrary one. But the solar motion, when its existence has been proved, will reveal so many concealed real motions, that we shall have a greater sum of them than it would be necessary