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In February, 1830.
To light thy spirit to the skies.
That I may wax again.
The word that said, “Let there be light.”
Unseen, unfelt, unfailing force.
Solar Phenomena. The Sun enters Pisces at 21 m. past 2 in the morning of the 19th of this month; and he rises and sets on certain days during the same period, as in the following
Equation of Time. To find the true or mean time from the apparent, the correction must be used as directed in the following Table of the Equation of Time for every fifth day.
m. s. Monday, Feb. 1st, to the time by the dial, add 13 56 Saturday, .. 6th, Thursday, .. 11th, ...... Tuesday, .. 16th, ..... Sunday, .. Friday,
Eclipse of the Sun. The Sun will be eclipsed on the 23rd of this month, but invisible to the British Isles. The ecliptic conjunction at 36 m. after 4 in the morning, in longitude 11, signs 4° 7' ; Moon's latitude 1° 23' N.
Phases of the Moon.
Moon's Passage over the Meridian. The following times are selected from the Moon's transits this month, as affording suitable opportunities of observation, should the weather prove favorable : February 1st, at 54 m. after 6 in the evening. 2nd,.. 48 ..
4 in the morning.
3 in the afternoon.
28th,..51 ...... 4 PHENOMENA PLANETARUM.
Phases of Venus. The light and dark phases of this beautiful planet bear the following proportions to each other : February 1st.-Illuminated part = 3.0368
Dark part...... = 8.9632 From which it appears that Venus has now a crescent form, and is similar in aspect to the Moon when waning; which beautiful phase of our sister
planet before it melts into the solar rays, and of Venus, previous to her inferior conjuctions, has furnished poets with some of their most exquisitely touching images; the following, by James Montgomery, describes, with a felicity peculiar to himself, the separation of the spirit from the body of a pious young female:
But she was waning to the tomb;
Eclipses of the Satellites of Jupiter. Owing to the proximity of Jupiter to the Sun, and his great southern declination, there will occur only one visible eclipse:
2nd, .. 1 : Taurus ...... 3
Other Phenomena. Mercury will be stationary on the 2nd of this month, and again on the 24th. He will be in his inferior conjunction 30 m. after 11 on the night of the llth. Venus will be stationary on the 14th. Jupiter in conjunction with I v in Sagittarius at 33 m. past 1 in the morning of the 20th; the planet will be only 40" north of the star.
Saturn will be in opposition at 45 m. past midnight of the 4th; this is the most favorable position of a superior planet for observation, being then removed as far as possible from the illumination of the atmosphere of the Earth,-at its nearest to our planet, and its apparent situation in the heavens coinciding with its true place.
THE PLANET SATURN.
(From the Literary Gazette.) The ancient name of Saturn was Chronos, time; so named from the slowness of its motion : it was also called Phænon, shining or appearing, which denomination is rather singular, Saturn not being the most brilliant of the planets. This name may be accounted for from the superstitious feelings of the ancients, who regarded this planet as of evil omen, from its leaden hue and remote situation ; their custom was to propitiate the smiles of fortune, by giving flattering names to those influences they deemed prejudicial. Among the Jews, this planet is supposed to be the one referred to in the sacred writings as Chiun, or “ Remphan, the star of your god." Saturn is also called Remphan in the Persian language; and among the Chinese, Tu, or Tien-earth ; a reference, probably, to its inferior brightness.
The double ring of Saturn constantly presents ample amusement, and affords high gratification; the contemplation of its form, position, and magni
tude, supplying materials for speculation, on the probable purposes for which such a zone of light was ordained to circulate round the central orb.
It is worthy of remark, that this stupendous and singular system of Saturn, (its orb, ring and satellites) had performed a hundred and ninety unostentatious revolutions of 29 years, 174 days, 1 hour, 51 minutes, 11.2 seconds, through the star-gemmed zodiac-and the Earth in its smaller orbit had described 5614 circles round the Sun-before this magnificent apparatus was revealed to the eye of man ;-unknown to the antediluvian astronomers, though some of these had an apportunity of tracing the course of the planet, through upwards of thirty complete revolutions ;-unconceived of by those who cultivated the science in the plains of Chaldea; -equally so by the philosophers of Egypt, Greece, and Rome;-by most of the nations of antiquity, deemed dreary, and uncheering in itself, and baleful and maliguant in its influence on other bodies:it was reserved for recent times to behold and investigate this beneficent display of the Creator's power and wisdom.
Till the invention of telescopes, Saturn held no particular rank in the Heavens, beyond that distinction which the slowness, yet regularity of its motion, and degree of brilliancy rendered remarkable: its singularity of appearance was first observed by Galileo, in the year 1610, who described it as consisting of three globes-one larger, with a smaller one on each side: he veiled his discovery in a Latin sentence, which be transposed, that his observation might remain secret, and yet afford him, at some future time, the opportunity of claiming the honor of the discovery. Huygens completed the discovery, and explained the phenomena of the ring,--that in its course round the Sun, it assumed a variety of oval forms, from its being seen obliquely,