This advantage has enabled them to extend their discoveries much further than our astronomers in Europe; for they have made a catalogue of ten thousand fixed stars
, whereas the largest of ours do not contain above one third part of that number.
And yet what is that compared with the distance of the fixed stars
, some of which, such as Arcturus, are billions of miles distant from us?
Thus, while our own change of positions is known to embrace an orbit of about 200,000,000 of miles, it is nevertheless so trifling as to produce no apparent change of position in thousands of the fixed stars
that are believed to be the suns of other systems.
The largest (of fixed stars
) is spangled, and the seventh (or sun) is brightest; the eighth (or moon) coloured by the reflected light of the seventh; the second and fifth (Saturn and Mercury) are in colour like one another, and yellower than the preceding; the third (Venus) has the whitest light; the fourth (Mars) is reddish; the sixth (Jupiter) is in whiteness second.
Tulliver had said that he was going to send Tom to the Lord Chancellor; for uncle Pullet belonged to that extinct class of British yeoman who, dressed in good broadcloth, paid high rates and taxes, went to church, and ate a particularly good dinner on Sunday, without dreaming that the British constitution in Church and State had a traceable origin any more than the solar system and the fixed stars
He loaded it, and rammed home the loading with his thumb-end; but hardly had he ignited his match across the rough sand-paper of his hand, when Tashtego, his harpooneer, whose eyes had been setting to windward like two fixed stars
, suddenly dropped like light from his erect attitude to his seat, crying out in a quick phrensy of hurry, Down, down all, and give way!
"Sir,--I have read with amusement, not wholly unmixed with some less complimentary emotion, the complacent and wholly fatuous letter of James Wilson MacPhail which has lately appeared in your columns upon the subject of the blurring of Fraunhofer's lines in the spectra both of the planets and of the fixed stars
. He dismisses the matter as of no significance.
It made me hold my breath in expectation of hearing the wilderness burst into a prodigious peal of laughter that would shake the fixed stars
in their places.
My friend would then turn to me, quiet and pale, and would say, 'No, sir; that is impossible: I cannot do it, because it is wrong;' and would become immutable as a fixed star
. Well, you too have power over me, and may injure me: yet I dare not show you where I am vulnerable, lest, faithful and friendly as you are, you should transfix me at once."
hellipThe wisdom of age is like the fixed stars
that shine so unchanged that the sailor may depend upon them to steer his course." True wisdom therefore is unchanging it worked then, and still applies today until tomorrow.
But the planets, the sun and the moon wander through the fixed stars
; in fact, the word "planet" comes from the Greek word for wandering star.
the tenth-century Arabic book, The Book of Fixed Stars
, by Abd al-Rahman