A Field Book of the Stars/Milky Way
THE MILKY WAY.
THE Milky Way, or Galaxy as it is sometimes called, is a great band of light that stretches across the heavens. Certain portions of it are worthy of being viewed with an opera-glass, which separates this seemingly confused and hazy stream into numberless points of light, emanating from myriads of suns.
This wonderful feature of the heavens is seen to best advantage during the months of July, August, September, and October. Beginning near the head of Cepheus, about thirty degrees from the North Pole, it passes through Cassiopeia, Perseus, Auriga, part of Orion, and the feet of Gemini, where it crosses the Ecliptic, and thence continues into the southern hemisphere, beyond our ken in these latitudes.
It reappears in two branches in the region of Ophiuchus, one running through the tail of Scorpio, the bow of Sagittarius, Aquila, Delphinus, and Cygnus; the other above and almost parallel to it, uniting with the first branch in Cygnus, and passing to Cepheus, the place of beginning.
The student should note especially the strange gap between (α), (γ), and (ε) Cygni. This dark space has been called the "Coal Sack."
The Milky Way in the vicinity of Cassiopeia is particularly rich, and well repays a search with an opera-glass.
"The Galaxy covers more than one tenth of the visible heavens, contains nine-tenths of the visible stars, and seems a vast zone-shaped nebula, nearly a great circle of the sphere, the poles being at Coma and Cetus."