The progress of astronomy during the last hundred years has been rapidand extraordinary. In its distinctive features, moreover, the nature ofthat progress has been such as to lend itself with facility tountechnical treatment. To this circumstance the present volume owes itsorigin. It embodies an attempt to enable the ordinary reader to follow,with intelligent interest, the course of modern astronomical inquiries,and to realize (so far as it can at present be realized) the full effectof the comprehensive change in the whole aspect, purposes, and methodsof celestial science introduced by the momentous discovery of spectrumanalysis.
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