Page:Newton's Principia (1846).djvu/519

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513
the system of the world.

creased, that it would describe an arc of 1, 2, 5, 10, 100, 1000 miles before it arrived at the earth, till at last, exceeding the limits of the earth, it should pass quite by without touching it.

Let AFB represent the surface of the earth, C its centre, VD, VE, VF, the curve lines which a body would describe, if projected in an horizontal direction from the top of an high mountain successively with more and

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more velocity (p. 400); and, because the celestial motions are scarcely retarded by the little or no resistance of the spaces in which they are performed, to keep up the parity of cases, let us suppose either that there is no air about the earth, or at least that it is endowed with little or no power of resisting; and for the same reason that the body projected with a less velocity describes the lesser arc VD, and with a greater velocity the greater arc VE, and, augmenting the velocity, it goes farther and farther to F and G, if the velocity was still more and more augmented, it would reach at last quite beyond the circumference of the earth, and return to the mountain from which it was projected.

And since the areas which by this motion it describes by a radius drawn to the centre of the earth are (by Prop. 1, Book 1, Princip. Math.) proportional to the times in which they are described, its velocity, when it returns to the mountain, will be no less than it was at first; and, retaining the velocity, it will describe the same curve over and over, by the same law.