Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

GOD IN EVERYTHING. The world is not a vessel which is suffered to drift about, without a pilot, mast, or sail ; but one in which an Almighty hand guides the helm. The human race is not an unbridled, ungoverncd mass,-but an immense flock, fed by an all-satisfying Shepherd. History is not a web of human will and blind chaos,- but a work of art, for which He, who orders all things, twists the thread of all human doings and undertakings. And if it does not everywhere manifest itself as such a work of art, we must bear in mind that it is still only a fragment; and that our eyes are obscured, with regard to the ways of God. Wait till the Lord Almighty reaches the end of his great designs, and till eternity res moves every veil, and sharpens the eye and the understanding. Oh, how shall we then sink down in adoring astonishment before the feet of the Eternal, when we perceive how everything, even that which was the most opposed and inimical to His holy will, was obliged to submit,-become subservient to and even promote, under His all-powerful hand, the exalted plans of His rule and government! How rich the consolation which already springs forth from the consciousness that high above the tumalts here below, the throne of the Ruler of the universe rests in eternal glory; and that all that takes place on the earth is guided, as by leading-strings, the ends of which run together into His all-powerful hands!

Krummacher.

RECENT DEATH. DIED, of pulmonary consumption, at Penpont, in the Camelford, Wadebridge, and Bodmin Circuit, William Fletcher, second son of William and Barbara Grose, aged fifteen years. Many were the prayers offered up for him, by his afflicted parents, and many young friends in the neighbourhood: and through abounding mercy he obtained salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ preceded by sincere repentance. On Sunday afternoon, June 8th, 1856, he breathed his last, at half-past five o'clock. Just before his exit, he said, “Papa, I am going: good-byegood-bye :"—then added, " Come Lord, come Lord !And after exhorting his elder brother and sister to be very prayerful, the grim monster entered his chamber, though surrounded by his weeping friends, and snapped the silver eord asunder!

H. G.

[graphic]

This Woodeui ought to be placed 6 or 8 feet from the eye to obtain a correct idea of the appearance of Jupiter when seen through a pretty powerful telescope.]

V. JUPITER.

[graphic]

DURING the present month (August) a very bright obeet may be seen rising in the East soon after sunset : it is the planet Jupiter.

Jupiter is the largest of all the planets. If thirteen hundred balls the size of the Earth on which we live were rolled into one, it would be of the same bulk as Jupiter. A thousand balls the size of Jupiter would make a globe about equal to the Sun. The Sun is so large a body that even this illustration only conveys a very imperfect idea of its immense size, so we will try some other method after having visited all our smaller celestial neighbours.

Jupiter is nearly as bright as Venus; and when seen in the East shortly before sunrise, is sometimes called the Morning Star ; and in the evening, when seen near the Western horizon, the Evening Star. These names have only been applied to Jupiter and Venus, and are now fast falling into disuse. In the days of Astrology, when Jupiter for Jove) was said to be the god of thunder, and when

people believed that the affairs of this Earth were influenced in some unknown way by the Sun and planets, that planet which appeared to be in attendance on the Sun was looked up to with considerable respect. These silly notions have now nearly all disappeared. There are still, however, a few ignorant people, both old and young-but particularly young maids in want of lovers, who hunt out certain old wise women that generally live in the garrets of our large towns, and are understood to tell fortunes by the Stars!

Jupiter moves round the Sun at the distance of 485 millions of miles; is about 87 thousand miles in diameter; and performs his journey round the Sun in 4332 | days (nearly 12 of our years). Although Jupiter is 1300 times larger than the Earth, it is not 1300 times heavier. The weight of our globe is nearly as great as if it were made of cast iron ; while the average weight of the materials with which Jupiter is constructed is little more than the weight of coal. About 300 balls the weight of our Earth would balance the great planet Jupiter in a pair of scales. We cannot stay at present to show how such strange particulars as these are determined by astronomers, but we may perhaps return to it at some future time. The Sun, Moon, all the larger planets, and also their satellites, have been in the scales of the astronomer, and weighed so carefully that our readers may safely rely on the results. Sir Isaac Newton began the task of weighing them, nearly two hundred years ago, and his

followers have laboured at the work ever since with con|| tinually increasing energy.

Telescopic appearance of Jupiter.-Jupiter is the favourite of the young astronomer who is only possessed of a small telescope. Saturn is by far the prettiest object, but it requires an instrument of considerable power to reveal its beauties. A pocket telescope is capable of showing that Jupiter is accompanied by four satellites, or moons, or secondary planets as they are most properly called. They were first discovered by Galileo in 1610, and the discovery may be considered one of the first-fruits of the telescope.

Jupiter's four attendants appear like small stars and of nearly equal size. The satellites are continually changing their places : sometimes they are all seen on one side of the planet; frequently three on one side and one on the other; and often two on each side, as shown in the woodcut. Sometimes only two or three are seen : the others are then either immediately in front of the planet, or behind, il when they are said to be eclipsed.

In size, Jupiter's Moons are nearly the same as our Moon: one is a little smaller, and the other three a little larger. The first (that nearest the planet) is 2508 miles, the second 2068 miles, the third 3377 miles, and the fourth 2890 miles in diameter.

Their distances from the planet are as follows:- the first 260,000 miles, the second 420,000 miles, the third 670,000 miles, and the fourth 1,180,000 miles.

In performing their revolutions round Jupiter these Moons move at an amazing rate. The first satellite, which is about the same distance from Jupiter as our Moon is from this Earth, whisks round the planet in only 42 hours; the second, in 3 days, 13 hours; the third, in 7 days, 4 hours ; and the fourth, in about 16 days. (The reader will find it interesting to compare these figures with the size, distance, and period of revolution of our Moon as given in the Hive for October, 1855). The inhabitants of Jupiter will have months of four different lengths; and eclipses of the Sun, and eclipses of their Moons, in great abundance-several hundreds every year. When a satellite passes between the Sun and Jupiter, the black shadow of the satellite can be easily seen on the planet with a good telescope. Those parts of the planet over which the shadow moves, will experience a total eclipse of the Sun. When the little Moon passes behind the planet it is then unable to receive light from the Sun-appears suddenly darkened, and is said to be eclipsed an eclipse of the Moon.

Jupiter's Belts.—When Jupiter is seen with a magnifying power of 60 or 70 times, it appears as large as our Moon when seen by the naked eye ; but it does not appear

so distinct, simply because the surface of Jupiter is covered with a thick atmosphere and clouds, which give its surface a hazy, ill-defined appearance. At first glance, with a powerful telescope, the planet appears covered with dark bands, or belts. These belts have been observed to change their appearance very suddenly ; and we have never seen them alike two years in succession. They are always in the same direction—that is, in the direction in which the planet moves on its axis; and this supplies the key to a pretty easy explanation of their probable nature. The very rapid rotation of so large a ball on its axis, together with the effect of the Sun's rays, is supposed to cause a constant breeze in Jupiter's atmosphere, similar to the trade-winds, with which mariners are well acquainted on our own globe, and which always blow in nearly the same direction; the effect of this appears to be, to cause the clouds and vapours to arrange themselves in parallel lines. The dark belts are supposed to be the body of the planet seen through the openings of the clouds; and on these belts spots are sometimes seen, which are, no doubt, indications of mountains or seas.

The rapid rotation of Jupiter has also caused it to assume a form different from a perfectly round ball. The parts midway between the poles-or the equatorial regions, as they are called-are considerably bulged out like the head of a mop when rapidly whirled. Measured across at the equator, the diameter of Jupiter is 7000 miles more than its diameter from pole to pole. If our readers will examine the difference between an 8000 miles globe turning on its axis in 24 hours, (as is the case with our world) and at 87,000 miles globe turning round in only 10 hours, the explanation just advanced will be more easily understood. The bulging out, or oval form, here alluded to, can easily be detected when the planet is seen through a powerful telescope.

Is Jupiter inhabited ? What shall we say in reply to this question ? Like Mars, Jupiter also appears to be covered with a thick atmosphere, and seems very well adapted for the reception of inhabitants little different

« AnteriorContinuar »