The starry heavens.
Whoever was abroad last evening, about seven o'clock, and had an uninterrupted view of the celestial vault before him, and did not turn his eyes heavenward, must be of the earth, earthy.
At a single glance, the eye embraced the most gorgeous jewelry of heaven.
All the principal planets and all the brilliant stars and clusters, the most wondrous of all the nebulæ, could be seen at once in the great dome over us.
Low down in the Western
horizon, solitary and alone, brilliant and sparkling, was that rare adorner of our evening sky, the planet Mercury, the innermost member of the planetary system.
Rarely does it emerge so far from the dazzling brilliancy of the solar rays, and rarely does it appear so prominent an object in the Western
With a velocity of more than one hundred thousand miles per hour, it sweeps round the sun in eighty-eight days, affording to its inhabitants, if any, the vicissitudes of seasons, seed time and harvest, summer
At a quarter-past seven it sank below the horizon.
A few degrees above Mercury, in altitude, and beyond the ken of the eye, was the planet Neptune
, the outermost member of the planetary system, and forever memorable in the annals of science, for being first discovered by the naked eye of human reason alone.
Its optical discovery, immediately after, confirmed one of the greatest predictions of the age, and vindicated the supremacy of the intellect of man. The planet rolls slowly along its vast orbit, completing an entire revolution in one hundred and sixty-four of our years. --This apparent meeting of bodies forming the extremities of the planetary system, seems at first sight impossible.
Not far from the meridian, and near the Hyades, is the planet Uranus
, plainly visible to the naked eye, and the next interior to Neptune
Farther eastward of the meridian is the imperial Jupiter
, shining with a steady, burning lustre, which rivals in brilliancy even Sirius in the southwest.
A line drawn from Jupiter
, and continued as far eastward, will point at Saturn
, always easily recognized by its pale, steady lustre.-- These two great planets will continue to adorn our evening sky for some months to come.--Mars
only are wanting to make this planetary spectacle complete.
The splendid constellation Orion
, in the meridian, presents sufficient starry attractions for one night; but Procyon and Sirius of the Hyades and Pleiades, will ever be present to divide its glory and share its homage.
The beautiful star Capella
looks meekly down from the zenith, on all these; and the great, brilliant circumpolar constellations, Cassiopeia, the Great Bear, and the contortious Draco
, outwatch them all in the north.
and the Presepe, in the Crab, are at a higher altitude than Jupiter
, eastward of the meridian.-- Boston Courier, Feb. 26th.