Page:Newton's Principia (1846).djvu/399

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Book III.]

of natural philosophy.


disabled from going onward therein, it would descend to the earth; and that with the same velocity as heavy bodies do actually fall with upon the tops of those very mountains; because of the equality of the forces that oblige them both to descend. And if the force by which that lowest moon would descend were different from gravity, and if that moon were to gravitate towards the earth, as we find terrestrial bodies do upon the tops of mountains, it would then descend with twice the velocity, as being impel led by both these forces conspiring together. Therefore since both these forces, that is, the gravity of heavy bodies, and the centripetal forces of the moons, respect the centre of the earth, and are similar and equal between themselves, they will (by Rule I and II) have one and the same cause. And therefore the force which retains the moon in its orbit is that very force which we commonly call gravity; because otherwise this little moon at the top of a mountain must either be without gravity, or fall twice as swiftly as heavy bodies are wont to do.


That the circumjovial planets gravitate towards Jupiter; the circumsaturnal towards Saturn; the circumsolar towards the sun; and by the forces of their gravity are drawn off from rectilinear motions, and retained in curvilinear orbits.

For the revolutions of the circumjovial planets about Jupiter, of the circumsaturnal about Saturn, and of Mercury and Venus, and the other circumsolar planets, about the sun, are appearances of the same sort with the revolution of the moon about the earth; and therefore, by Rule II, must be owing to the same sort of causes; especially since it has been demonstrated, that the forces upon which those revolutions depend tend to the centres of Jupiter, of Saturn, and of the sun; and that those forces, in receding from Jupiter, from Saturn, and from the sun, decrease in the same proportion, and according to the same law, as the force of gravity does in receding from the earth.

Cor. 1. There is, therefore, a power of gravity tending to all the planets; for, doubtless, Venus, Mercury, and the rest, are bodies of the same sort with Jupiter and Saturn. And since all attraction (by Law III) is mutual, Jupiter will therefore gravitate towards all his own satellites, Saturn towards his, the earth towards the moon, and the sun towards all the primary planets.

Cor. 2. The force of gravity which tends to any one planet is reciprocally as the square of the distance of places from that planet's centre.

Cor. 3. All the planets do mutually gravitate towards one another, by Cor. 1 and 2. And hence it is that Jupiter and Saturn, when near their