The Planet Saturn

Abstract

IN these days, when the telescope is in more or less common use, and so many have opportunities of observing the heavenly bodies, it is interesting to look back on the past and survey in a general manner the thoughts and ideas of those who in the earlier period of observational astronomy were not so well equipped. To take the case of the great Florentian astronomer, who practically had the whole Cosmos, so to speak, at the end of his telescope, since he was the first who surveyed the objects in the sky with something in addition to the naked eye—one can picture him sweeping with his “optik tube” or small telescope the starry heavens, and suddenly coming across the planet which we have under consideration. Here he had an object which was quite unique, and which, with his small power of magnification, must have puzzled him considerably.

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