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just passed the meridian, numbering several con- east of Antares, the bright star of Scorpio spicuous stars. The whole of the constellation

Libra has now risen in the south-east, and still



The meridian line is very clearly marked out the meridian low down near the northern horizon. at this time by the great constellation Boötes. In the north-west all trace of Taurus has which stretches southwards from been completely lost, and little remains of the Twins but the two head stars, Castor and Pollux. In the east Lyra and the Swan

are now high, and the third bird cf

flight, Aquila, like Cygnus

on the Milky Way, has




posing them so conspicuous as in the case of Cygnus, and the part

and 20 Libræ, the three brightest stars of the latter constellation. To the north the meridian

is marked out by Ursa Minor, the two principal stars of which, a and B, are almost precisely on the line, the former below, the latter above the Pole; whilst the compact stream of stars which makes up the constellation Perseus is now passing

of the constellation which attracts the eye most readily are three stars, y, a, and B, close together in a short row, and the centre star and Aquila or Altair being much the brightest of the three.

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The constellation on the southern horizon the equator_as to seriously interfere with its is Sagittarius, the details of which are not easy study by English observers. It is also in to make out in these latitudes on

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its most favourable position during the short summer nights, being in opposition on the 5th


Way, however,


of July. This should not, however, deter observers from taking every possible opportunity, as from the relative positions of the

indicates its position clearly enough, for this
bright roadway of the stars passing from Auriga
on the north, through Perseus, Cassiopeia, |
Cepheus and Cygnus, and only a little below
the zenith towards the east, stretches
down through Aquila straight

to the south point of the
horizon in Sagittarius.

The meridian is also

marked out by the constellations

the Eagle and

the Lyre,

Vega, the brilliant star of the

earth and the planet the ring is now at its greatest apparent width, and this beautiful appendage, in many ways the most wonderful object which the heavens present to us, is therefore nearly in its best position for


examination. Theory has shown that the ring, solid and continuous

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as it

usually appears, must really be composed of an infinite number of small separate particles closely follow

latter having passed it by less than half-an-hour. Of the planets, Jupiter and Saturn are conspicuous objects low down in the southern sky. Saturn is not particularly well placed during 1902 for telescopic observation; it is so far south of

ing each other. Under such a presentation as it now offers, a good telescope and keen sight may the outer portion of the ring, which give visual enable the observer to detect gaps and notches in evidence of the correctness of Clerke Maxwell's mathematical analysis.


The midnight sky presents to us now only Jupiter | opposite side from Equuleus, we find Sagitta and Saturn very low down in the south-west. Mer--the Arrow. Delphinus and Sagitta are decury and Venus from their nearness

to the Sun are never to be seen

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scribed to us in the poem of Aratus

a poem which, itself dating from 250 years before the Christian era, describes without doubt the ar



north-east to the south-west and passing right | first described to us by Claudius Ptolemy, some through the zenith. The constellation occupying the latter point is now that of the Swan, which is consequently now seen to best advantage, South of it we find the meridian occupied by two small constellations, which, with a third close at hand, are

400 years later than Aratus. It is difficult to explain why such small groups of stars, and so devoid of any striking characteristic, should have been formed into constellations at so early an epoch, and should have been retained in popular phraseology for so long. a time, when richer portions of the sky were left unmapped. Below Equuleus the

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passes through


three is Delphinus, some seven 4th and 5th magnitude stars in a pretty compact cluster. Close to it, but slightly to the south and east, is Equuleus-the Little Horse-an even smaller constellation and not so easily recognised, as the stars are fewer and the grouping less characteristic. Touching Delphinus, but on the

a portion of Aquarius, a large and straggling constellation more fully presented to us a month later and through Capricornus, principally noticeable to the eye as possessing in its head a star double to ordinary vision. The planets Jupiter and Saturn will be seen low down, Jupiter due south and Saturn more west, nearer the horizon.

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