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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/303

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.

 

JANUARY, 1895.


 

PLEASURES OF THE TELESCOPE.
By GARRETT P. SERVISS.
II.—IN THE STARRY HEAVENS.

LET us imagine ourselves the happy possessors of three properly mounted telescopes of five, four, and three inches aperture, respectively. A fine midwinter evening has come along, the air is clear, cool, and steady, and the heavens, of that almost invisible violet which is reserved for the lovers of celestial scenery, are spangled with stars that hardly twinkle. We need not disturb our minds about a few thin clouds here and there floating lazily in the high air; they announce a change of weather, but they will not trouble us to-night.

Which way shall we turn? Our eyes will answer the question for us. However we may direct them, they instinctively return to the south, and are lifted to behold Orion in his glory, now near the meridian and midway to the zenith, with Taurus shaking the glittering Pleiades before him, and Canis Major with the flaming Dog Star following at his heels.

Not only is Orion the most brilliant of all constellations to the casual star-gazer, but it contains the richest mines that the delver for telescopic treasures can anywhere discover. We could not have made a better beginning, for here within a space of a few square degrees we have a wonderful variety of double stars and multiple stars, so close and delicate as to test the powers of the best telescopes, besides a profusion of star-clusters and nebulae, including one of the supreme marvels of space, the Great Nebula in the Sword.

Our star map No. 1 will serve as a guide to the objects which