On the Direction and Velocity of the Motion of the Sun, and the Solar System. Read May 16, 1805.

(London, W. Bulmer and Co., 1805). 4to. No wrappers as extracted from "Philosophical Transactions" 1805 - Part II. Pp. 233-256 a. 1 engraved plate, folded. Clean and fine.

First printing of an importent paper in cosmology in which Herschel's by analyzing a large number of stars, believed that he could explain the regularities he observed by assuming that the sun itself was moving toward a point in the consellation of Hercules. "Just as Copernicus had detroned the earth as the motionless center of the universe, so Herschel detroned the sun."(Asimov). - In this paper he tries to estimate the speed of the sun's motion.

In a memoir published in 1783 Herschel had been occupied with the possibility that the sun was moving relative to the stars. "More than 20 years later (1805, in the paper offered) Herschel took up the question again, using six of the brightest stars in a collection of the proper motions of 36 published by Maskelyne in 1790, which were much more reliable than any earlier ones, and employing more elaborate processes of calculation; again the apex was placed in the constellation of Hercules, though at a distance of nearly 30 degr. from the position given in 1783. Herschel's results were avowedly to a large extent speculative and were received by contemporary astronomers with a large measure of distrust; but a number of far more elaborate modern investigations of the same subject have confirmed the general correctness of his work."(Berry "A Short History of Astronomy", p. 346.).

Order-nr.: 45882

DKK 2.500,00