Page:Newton's Principia (1846).djvu/529

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
the system of the world.

density of the light in any place P, will, by my computation, be as the line FG, and therefore at the centre infinite, but near the circumference very small. And the whole light within the small circle PQ is to the without as the area of the quadrilateral figure CAKP to the triangle


PKB. And we are to understand the small circle PQ to be there terminated, where FG, the density of the light, begins to be less than what is required to move the sense.

Hence it was, that, at the distance of 191382 feet, a fire of 3 feet in diameter, through a telescope of 3 feet, appeared to Mr. Picart of 8" in breadth, when it should have appeared only of 3" 14"'; and hence it is that the brighter fixed stars appear through the telescope as of 5" or 6" in diameter, and that with a good full light; but with a fainter light they appear to run out to a greater breadth. Hence, likewise, it was that Hevelius, by diminishing the aperture of the telescope, did cut off a great part of the light towards the circumference, and brought the disk of the star to be more distinctly defined, which, though hereby diminished, did yet appear as of 5" or 6" in diameter. But Mr. Huygens, only by clouding the eye-glass with a little smoke, did so effectually extinguish this scattered light, that the fixed stars appeared as mere points, void of all sensible breadth. Hence also it was that Mr. Huygens, from the breadth of bodies interposed to intercept the whole light of the planets, reckoned their diameters greater than others have measured them by the micrometer; for the