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Astronomy for amateurs (1904) (14597339597)

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Astronomy for amateurs (1904) (14597339597)

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Identifier: astronomyforamat00flam (find matches)
Title: Astronomy for amateurs
Year: 1904 (1900s)
Authors: Flammarion, Camille, 1842-1925 Welby, Frances A. (Frances Alice) tr
Subjects: Astronomy
Publisher: New York, D. Appleton and company
Contributing Library: The Library of Congress
Digitizing Sponsor: The Library of Congress



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had been preceded by a multitudeof ill omens! Some expected a great revolution in theprovinces and in Rome, others predicted a new universaldeluge, or, on the other hand, the conflagration of theworld; the most optimistic thought the air would becontaminated. To preserve themselves from so manydangers, and in accordance with the physicians orders,numbers of frightened people shut themselves up intightly closed and perfumed cellars, where they awaitedthe decrees of Fate. The approach of the phenomenonincreased the panic, and it is said that one village cure^being unable to hear the confessions of all his flock,who wanted to discharge their souls of sin before takingflight for a better world, was fain to tell them there wasno hurry, because the eclipse had been put off a fort-night on account of the number of penitents! 268 THE ECLIPSES These fears and terrors are still extant amongignorant peoples. In the night of February 27, 1877,an eclipse of the Moon produced an indescribable panic
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Fig. ^6,—Eclipse of the Moon at Laos (February 27, 1877). among the inhabitants of Laos (Indo-China). In orderto frighten off the Black Dragon, the natives fired shotsat the half-devoured orb, accompanying their volley v^ith 269 ASTRONOMY FOR AMATEURS the most appalling yells. Dr. Harmand has memo-rialized the scene in the lively sketch given on p. 269. During the solar eclipse of March 15, 1877, an an-alogous scene occurred among the Turks, who for themoment forgot their preparations for vs^ar v^ith Russia,in order to shoot at the Sun, and deliver him from thetoils of the Dragon. The lunar eclipse of December 16, 1880, was notunnoticed at Tackhent (Russian Turkestan), where itwas received with a terrific din of saucepans, samovarsand various implements struck together again and againby willing hands that sought to deliver the Moon from-the demon Tchaitan who was devouring her. In China, eclipses are the object of imposing cere-monies, whose object is to reestablish the regularity o

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1904
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Library of Congress
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