Letter | Published:

The Visibility of Mercury

Naturevolume 13page427 (1876) | Download Citation



PERHAPS some of your readers may, like myself, have been struck with the remarkable brilliance of Mercury to the naked eye on the evening of January 26. I scarcely ever remember to have seen the planet so well deserving the epithet στíλβων Since April, 1858 I have noticed it twenty-one times with the naked eye at its evening apparitions. It seems difficult to reconcile the lament of Copernicus that he would die without seeing Mercury with the accounts of his life. The common reason given is, that it was always enveloped, to him, amid the vapours of the Vistula. But he did not pass all his life in that part of Europe. At one time he went to Bologna and stayed with Dominic Maria, a professor of astronomy in that place. After this he proceeded to Rome, where he was made professor of mathematics, and where we find him actually engaged in making observations about the year 1500.

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  1. Upton Helions Rectory, Crediton



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