Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 096.djvu/221

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IX. On the Quantity and Velocity of the Solar Motion, By William Herschel, LL.D. F.R.S.

Read February 27, 1806.


The direction of the solar motion having been sufficiently ascertained in the first part of this paper,[1] we shall now resume the subject, and proceed to an inquiry about its velocity.

The proper motions, when reduced to one direction, have been called quantities, to distinguish them from the velocities required in the moving stars to produce those motions. It will be necessary to keep up the same distinction with respect to the velocity of the solar motion; for till we are better acquainted with the parallax of the earth's orbit, we can only come to a knowledge of the extent of the arch which this motion would be seen to describe in a given time, when seen from a star of the first magnitude placed at right angles to the motion. There is, however, a considerable difference between the velocity of the solar motion and that of a star; for at a given distance, when the quantity of the solar motion is known its velocity will also be known, and every approximation towards a knowledge of the distance of a star of the first magnitude will be an approximation towards the knowledge of the real solar velocity; but with a star it will be otherwise; for though the situation of the plane in which it moves is

  1. Phil. Trans, for 1805, page 231.