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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/458

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not imagine that such an intensely black object would be visible when off the disk, and waited with some impatience to see the emersion, but were disappointed by fog, which came on just at the critical time." Another observer, using a telescope only two inches in aperture, saw the satellite when off the disk, so that manifestly the blackness was merely an effect of contrast.

In considering this remarkable phenomenon, we must not forget that the other satellites do not look black (though some of them look dark) when crossing Jupiter's disk, so that we have to deal with a circumstance peculiar to the fourth or outermost satellite. Nevertheless, we seem precluded from supposing that any other difference exists between this satellite and the others than a certain inferiority of light-reflecting power. I might indeed find an argument for the view which I have suggested as not improbable, that Jupiter is a heat-sun to his satellites, since the three innermost would be in that case much better warmed than the outermost, and therefore would be much more likely to be cloud-encompassed, and so would reflect more light. But I place no great reliance on reasoning so ingenious, which stands much as a pyramid would stand (theoretically) on its apex. The broad fact that a body like the fourth satellite, probably comparable to our moon in light-reflecting power, looks perfectly black when on the middle of Jupiter's disk, is that on which I place reliance. This manifestly indicates a remarkable difference between the brightness of Jupiter and the satellite; and it is clear that the excess of Jupiter's brightness is in accordance with the theory that he shines in part with native light, or, in other words, is intensely heated.

This completes the statement of the evidence obtained during the recent opposition of Jupiter in favor of a theory which already had the great advantage of according with all known facts, and accounting for some which had hitherto seemed inexplicable. If this theory removes Jupiter from the position assigned to him by Brewster as the noblest of inhabited worlds, it indicates for him a higher position as a subordinate sun, nourishing with his heat, as he sways by his attractive energy, the scheme of worlds which circles round him. The theory removes also the difficulty suggested by the apparent uselessness of the Jovian satellites in the scheme of creation. When, instead of considering their small power of supplying Jupiter with light, we consider the power which, owing to his great size and proximity, he must possess of illuminating them with reflected light, and warming them with his native heat, we find a harmony and beauty in the Jovian system which before had been wanting; nor, when we consider the office which the sun subserves toward the members of his family, need we reject this view on account of the supposition—

"That bodies bright and greater should not serve

The less not bright."

—Popular Science Review,