IN every age since the birth of science the profoundest philosophic minds have endeavored to solve the problem of the sun, yet, hitherto, all efforts have proved fruitless, and to-day the riddle of the sun remains unread. It has ever been the popular idea that the sun is actually a vast and dazzling ball of fire placed in the heavens to heat and light the earth, and the present scientific theory is not found in advance of this popular notion. The highest conception which scientists now entertain in regard to the essential nature and constitution of the sun is that it is a vast mass of incandescent vapors or gases; and science still continues to account for all the sun's phenomena upon this fireball hypothesis. Among the opinions recently expressed by some of the most eminent investigators of solar phenomena are found the following.. Secchi, the late distinguished head of the Roman Observatory, fays: “For me, as for every one else, the sun is an incandescent body raised to an enormous temperature.” Mr. Lockyer, of the Royal Society of England, an authority distinguished in this field, says: “We are enabled to state as a proved fact that the light of the sun proceeds from particles in a state of incandescence or glowing heat.” The distinguished German authorities, Kirchhoff and Angstrom, imagined the sun and every star in the heavens to be liquid. The late Mr. Proctor, of London, says: “The planet Mercury, 37,000,000 miles from the sun, in an incandescent, molten mass. Venus, 64,000,000 •miles distant, is more favorably situated; yet, undoubtedly, it will be millions of years before it will be cool enough for habitation.” Mr. Langley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. O, says: “All observation and all legitimate inference go to show that the sun is gaseous throughout.” Professor 0. A. Young says: “The central portion of the sun is probably for the most part a mass of intensely heated gases. The outflow of solar heat is at least seven or eight times as intense as that of any furnace known to art.” Mr. Neweomb, the' distinguished astronomer of the Washington Observatory, says: “The best sustained theory of the interior of the sun is the startling one that it is neither solid nor liquid, but gaseous; so that our great luminary is nothing more than an immense bubble.” Another eminent scientist says: “There can be no doubt that if the sun were to come as near us as the moon, the solid earth would melt like wax.” All the authorities thus quoted are authors of recent and standard works in this field. As these expressions of scientific opinion are strictly in accordance with the sentiment of scientific bodies, both at home and abroad, they must stand as statements of current scientific opinion on this subject. Science is thus fully committed to the so-called fireball philosophy of the sun. Hitherto it has asserted no other, and to-day it makes no pretense of offering any other. Indeed, scientists of the present time are pleased to represent that stupendous body, the sun, as being merely a mechanical contrivance for supplying only the earth with requisite heat and light. The incompetency of this philosophy is strikingly manifest in the utter failure to provide for the necessities of the whole solar family besides. Mercury and Venus, according to its own representation, are too near the sun, and, consequently, too hot for sustaining life, while the outer and grander planets, Jupiter, Saturn, etc., are too cold for habitation. It is a fatal defect in the system that it makes no general provision for heating and lighting allthe planets alike. And, moreover, that such a sun, a million and a quarter times larger than the earth, should be set as a furnace specially to heat this little earth, and as a lamp for giving it light, is such a disproportion of means to an end that it implies a reflection upon the great architect of the universe foremploying so vast a means for the accomplishment of so comparatively insignificant a purpose. Still more strikingly apparent becomes the fallacy of the present fireball philosophy when it teaches, as it does, that the earth is the only member of our solar family—the sun itself included—which is capable of sustaining life in any of its varied forms. The sun and earth are stars which differ only in magnitude. It is therefore the most unwarranted assumption to claim that of these two stars the comparatively insignificant earth alone is the abode of life, intelligence, and beauty. Such an assumption is as absurd as it is irrational. Since science thus unequivocally asserts, as a great cosmical principle, that the sun is incandescent and of dazzling brilliancy, and that it “radiates “actual heat and light in all directions and to all dit-ttinees into space, it should be capable of sustaining such conclusions by exact and satisfactory data. Nothing less than I positive demonstration will satisfy the demands upon a theory so vast in its import and so fundamental in its character. But science has utterly and totally failed to demonstrate its theories to be true. It has drawn its conclusions from sources which are purely hypothetical and mythical, sources, too, which are demonstrably as baseless as the fabric of a dream. These sources consist mainly of ancient traditions, superficial appearances, total eclipses, the so-called sun spots, and th.: nebular hypothesis. Old traditional dogmas which are confessed worthless as data in science have had a controlling influence in moulding men's minds in this as well as in other great fields of thought. So firmly have philosophers and scientists been held by old fossilized traditions and superficial appearances, that they have ever ignored and disregarded some of the most exact teachings of nature, reason, analogy, and the fitness of things. One of the first great object lessons in science which nature taught to man was through the mountain tops clad in everlasting snows. This fact is positive demonstration that the further we go in the direction of the sun (at least to the height of our atmosphere), the more intense becomes the cold, and inferentially it is proof that all space is inconceivably cold. The temperature of space is variously estimated by advanced scientists at from hundreds to millions of degrees below zero. Between the sun and earth there are about 93,000,000 miles of such inconceivable cold-nesR. In view of such a temperature of the great interstellar space, it would be regarded, in a court of justice, as an evidence of downright lunacy to affirm that heat passes, as heat, through so vast a distance and so cold a medium. Yet this is precisely what science affirms, and what is taught in our schools and universities to-day. Brilliant and dazzling though the sun really appears, its brightness, like its heat, is but seeming. The same process which develops sunheat also develops sunlight. The source and mode of development of each being the same, consequently the law by which they are governed must be the same. Thus, it is now well known that light diminishes in the direction of the sun, in the same ratio that heat diminishes. Captain Abney, of the Royal Society, London, found, upon measurement, that at the elevation of simply one and one half miles the light of the atmosphere was only from one tenth to one twentieth as great as on the surface of the earth. At a little over three miles the sun appears no brighter than the moon, and at four miles the sun's rays are no longer capable of producing the rainbow colors of the solar spectrum. At that elevation the spectroscope shows only the yellow, and that too without lines. Notwithstanding the foregoing facts, possess a most vital significance, yet they are almost entirely ignored and disregarded by scientists to-day. Brilliancy is not a quality inherent in the sun. The dazzling brilliancy of the sunlight, so far from being located at the sun itself, as is both the popular and scientific conception, is actually confined to the earth's very surface. Thus, the so-called sunheat and sunlight, so far as the sun itself is concerned, are but superficial appearances—mere optical illusions. Is it not passing strange that the educators of today, who know full well the foregoing facts, should be compelled to teach this fireball philosophy of the sun ? Yet this is what our educators are constrained to teach at the dictation of so-called science. To teach otherwise would be at their peril. This old misguiding and obstructive theory of the sun being stripped of its deceptive guises, the way is now open for broader, higher, grander, and withal simpler views and explanations. In fact, nothing short of an entire new philosophy of the sun and of the universe can meet all reasonable requirements in this field. Such a new philosophy must accord to the sun all that royalty to which it is entitled both by reason of its commanding position among the celestial host and its marvelous works. It must be capable of explaining all physical phenomena upon the clearest and most exact cosmical principles, and be found in harmony with every law of matter, motion, or force. Such a philosophy is not difficult to frame. Aristotle is justly termed the Father of Science. From his standpoint of 2,300 years ago he could discern the coming philosophy, and he then commenced its foundation. He held the conception that but a single force exists in nature, that every form and manifestation of force is simply a transmutation of the one great universal force. This unity or identity of all force, then intuitively perceived and boldly advanced, has waited until the present century for its demonstration and acceptance. Knowing full well that force is not self-existent entity, that it must, therefore, have its source in some pre-existent, ever-active cause, he therefore sought for a source adequate to every requirement in every field of activity. As the sum of his conclusions in this study he tells us: “All changes in the physical world may be reduced to motion. All terrestrial phenomena, every conceivable form of force, must be referable to the impulse of the motions of the heavenly spheres.” In no other conceivable source may the universal force originate. These conceptions of Aristotle are clear, rational, and philosophical, and, to the thoughtful scientific mind, they should have all the weight of self-evidence; yet, in all the succeeding ages they have never been fully comprehended and practically applied. Only to-day are they found capable of entire and satisfactory explanation. The great problem in science is, therefore, how can the motions of the sun and stars be-transmuted into every form of motion, or force, both of worlds and atoms 1 A star moving in vacuous space can have, of itself, no power over another star; neither the sun over the earth. The gravitative force which holds the sun and earth in their orbital relations may be supposed to be something stupendous, yet the sun, in and of itself alone, possesses not a feather's weight of this power. The law of conservation of force is supreme and unquestioned. This law teaches that the gravitative force and all other so-called sun forces are due to retroactions shared in by both sun and earth, each in the ratio of its mass. This law also teaches, and, too, quite as forcibly, that the sun is as dependent upon its satellites for its own indispensable supply of heat, light, and gravitative force, as they upon it. The question arises, through what power or agency do these celestial retroactions take place ? There is a power already well known which is capable of meeting every requirement in this field. A concise history of such a power may be given. Twenty-five hundred years ago a spirit, or soul, a vital essence, was revealed unto mankind, the like of which had never been distinctively known. This wonderful creation came unheralded, and first disclosed its presence in an obscure and mysterious manner. A something reached out of a piece of senseless mineral and seized upon objects and drew them unto itself— without visible agency, Tb^ superstitious, an.cl aj$g* nished beholders called this newly discovered something the “amber soul.” This amber soul was not destined then and there to die. Heaven guided its advent and controls its destiny. Most significantly and fittingly the pen which first recorded its birth on the page of science was guided by a master hand, viz., that of the wisest man of the most learned and cultured nation of antiquity —Thales of Miletus, the wisest of the seven wise men of Greece. Though thus originating in such an humble and obscure source, this mysterious creation, this wonderful something, is, to-day, the very soul of the universe. It is now recognized as the vital agent which pervades and controls all matter—it holds all celestial spheres in their orbits, and the atoms of which those spheres are constituted, in their proper relations to each other. Thus the “amber soul” of the period of Thales of Miletus has become the great one-force of Aristotle of 2,300 years ago, and the universal force of to-day. We call this all-pervasive entity, this marvel of force, electricity. Electricity, therefore, is the sole power, or agency, through which all inter or retro actions take place between the starry hosts. What is this heaven-born creation, this soul of the universe ? No man knows what it is essentially; it can be judged only by what it does. During the past half century our knowledge of electricity has made great advancement. On the scale of the laboratory and in tfhe field, where it possesses such vast commercial value, its development has been phenomenal. In its grandest field, however, the field of the universe, we can to-day clearly discern its most wonderful promise, its highest triumphs. Electricity is not a self-existent entity/it cannot exist without a cause. Whether developed on the scale of the universe, or of the atom, it must be the product of the same causes and subject to the same laws. Generi-cally, it includes magnetism, and so far as experiment can show, electricity and magnetism are identical. The earth is a vast magnet, and the atmosphere is more magnetic than any known substance except iron, nickel, and cobalt. This terrestrial magnetic ball is thus filled to repletion with this stupendous force. If the strength of a magnet may be judged by its dimensions, what must be the amount of power contained in the earth, the sun, and all the starry dynamo magnets ? When we contemplate this power we;become astounded, staggered 1 Not less significant is the power due to the mass and velocities of the celestial spheres. The power embodied in a mass in motion is estimated by multiplying its velocity in feet per minute by its weight in pounds. The earth contains 250,000,000,000 cubic miles of matter moving with the velocity of one thousand miles per hour on its axis and one thousand miles per minute in its orbit. Thus the whole universe is made up of inconceivable magnetic force, inconceivable masses, inconceivable velocities, incomprehensible powers ! It is reasonable to suppose that the 50,000,000 and more of celestial dynamo magnets are endued with such stupendous powers for actual use. As those powers cannot be exercised upon the empty space in which they move, therefore they mus% reach out to and include in their operations all their celestial neighbors. The existence of such an intimate relationship between the starry host—a veritable unity of worlds—is now capable of the simplest and clearest demonstration. Though the sun and earth are separated by the distance of 93,000,000 miles, yet electrical currents traverse that immensity of space with as perfect facility as if those bodies stood side by side. The instantaneous and incessant action between sun, earth, and all the starry host is one of the most vital and fundamental principles in physical science. It may be regarded as the very key to all physical philosophy, since it opens up clear and enlarged views of the whole subject. Yet notwithstanding the fact that this principle has been repeatedly demonstrated and publicly announced, and, in fact, is a fundamental principle in gravity, it has been utterly ignored and disregarded as an element in the great cosmical problem. If proof of such intimate relationship between the heavenly spheres were needed, it may be found in the following facts: In 1859, observers from widely different standpoints saw two bright spots simultaneously appear upon the surface of the sun; and simultaneously with their appearing, violent electrical effects were observed at the earth. In Norway a telegraph operator was stunned and his instrument set on fire; and operators were stunned in many other places. A train of fire followed Bain's electric pen in Boston, and self-regulating magnetic machines were disturbed over both continents. This is proof of actual and instantaneous electrical intercommunication. In the northern regions, where the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere was far below zero, Dr. Scoresby converged the sun's rays to a focus by means of a lens made of ice, and set fire to combustibles, exploded gun powder, and melted lead. To prove that these sun rays are electrical, we have only to state the fact that by rendering electrical rays parallel, and sending them through a lens of ice, we produce the identical effects obtained by Dr. Scoresby with the rays of the sun. The distinguished scientists Zantedeschi and Bar-locci demonstrated that magnets both acquire and lose strength as their poles are relatively exposed to the direct rays of the sun; gaining strength, even more than doubling it, when the north pole is exposed and losing strength when the south pole is exposed. These effects were intensified by the use of a lens. To produce these effects it is clear that the sun's rays must be electrical, or magnetic, as thesun could neither add to nor take from the power of the magnet except its rays were of a like character. These experiments are invaluable to science as rare and exact data. They were misinterpreted by their authors when they attributed their re ults to the action of the sun's light, instead of its electrical currents. The foregoing facts must he accepted as actual demonstration that there are incessant; interactions between the sun and earth, and infere^tiajly between all celestial spheres, and that such interactions are electrical, of electrical origin, and governed by electrica} laws. Distance as between the celestial spheres is thus practically annihilated, and consequently sunheat, sunlight, gravity, and chemical action must be developed, and act, precisely the same at Neptune, nearly 3,000, 000,000 miles distant from the gun, ft8 at the earth, only 99,000,000 miles distant, That grand old master in science, Aristotle, has told us: “All terrestrial phenomena, every conceivable form of force, must be referable to the impulse of the motions of the heavenly spheres;” and a more recent and also a distinguished authority in this field, Wm. H. Preece, F.R, S., London's electrician, tells us: “All physical phenomena, without a single exception, may be traced to the mere transformation of the electrical energy.'' Most fortunately for science, both of these assertions are now abundantly demonstrable. Since space and distance are practically annihilated, and electrical currents play freely to and fro between sun and earth and all celestial spheres, therefore these missing links, these fundamental factors in the problem of the universe, being supplied, its solution becomes simplified. It is merely a matter of the practical application of well established electrical principles. The questions now arise: How can the motions of the sun and stars be transmuted into every form of motion, or force, both of worlds: and atoms 1 and whence the source of the electrical supply for all demands of the universe ? The electrical laws which hold here on this earthly platform hold also throughout the universal domain. Our study of practical electricity has been the study in miniature of the grand operations of celestial spheres. It is a fundamental principle in electrical science that the rotation of bodies opposite to magnets induces circulating electric currents. Upon this principle is constructed the dynamo-electric machine, with which we are now so familiar and which gives to us our electric light, heat, and power. This machine is constituted essentially of two parts— viz., 1st, a revolving armature; and 2d, stationary magnets. An armature consists simply of a piece of soft iron wound around with very many turns of covered wire. This armature revolving with great velocity near to, but not touching, the magnets, develops electricity ready to be carried from the machine by wires, on its mission of light production and other work. Gruerieke and Volta experimentally demonstrated that “every movement of one body near another disturbs and puts in motion the electric current in both bodies.” Extending this law from the lesser, or terrestrial, to the grander, or celestial, field, the inference becomes legitimate that the heavenly spheres, whirling with inconceivable velocity in space, evolve between them electrical currents in great cosmical circuits—that the sun and earth (which stand practically “near to, but not touching, each other''), revolving with such inconceivable velocity, thus become actually vast dynamo-electric machines or batteries, through the action of which currents incessantly pass to and fro between those bodies. Inferentially this process is universal. Thus is verified that grand conception of Aristotle, viz., that the universal force has its source in the motions of the celestial spheres. An important element in electro-dynamics is resistance. Heat, light, and power are developed through the agency of resistance to the passage of the electric current. The current developed by the dynamo-electric machine shows no evidence of its existence while its passage remains unobstructed. The machine itself and the conducting wires are dark and cold, but' through the resistance offered by the “carbon point” and “platinum coil,” its unseen powers are brought into manifestation. The electric currents incessantly coming from the sun, through the darkness and cold of space, find their first resistance in our atmosphere. This magnetic atmospheric mass thereby becomes awakened into heat, light, and power. The sun's current, like the current of the little dynamo machine, is invisible; gives no manifestation; passes through a space like electricity through wires. Without being itself hot, it develops heat in our atmosphere, and without being itself luminous, it develops light therein. In this process is therefore demonstrably shown both the SOURCE AND MODE OF DEVELOPMENT OP SUNHEAT AND SUNLIGHT. Thus, sunheat and sunlight are the results of an electric system which differs from the Edison and Brush patents only in the stupendousness of its scale. We may no longer claim that the vast power of the sun resides in itself alone—that heat and light proceed forth from it in all directions, and to all distances, as from a great center. These questions are now virtually settled, and forever, through the law of conservation of force. This law stands as a demonstration of the fact that neither power nor influence can go out from the sun in any direction, through the instrumentality of force inherent in itself. It follows, therefore, that, so far as the sun alone is concerned, neither heat, light, nor gravity has even an existence. According to this law, allcelestial bodies hold to one another the relation of interdependence. If, for example, sun heat is developed at a planet, both sun and planet must necessarily share in its production, each in the ratio of its mass. So also of light, gravity, etc. The terms “radiation” and “emission,” now so constantly employed by scientists as signifying the sending or throwing out of heat and light by an inherent propulsive power resident in the sun itself,are baseless, and therefore wholly misleading. The wastefulness implied in the current theory of universal radiation is altogether beyond computation, involving as it does the most prodigious and inconceivable squandering that science permits us to contemplate; even the complete destruction of cosmical equilibrium. Any cosmical theory which involves waste stands already self-condemned, and should not for a moment be tolerated, yet, strangely enough, actual dissipation, or waste, is a fundamental element in every system of physical philosophy hitherto advanced. Conservation is the very essence or soul of the electrical law. Electricity cannot move from atom to atom, or from world to world, except a return current of equal magnitude and power quickly follows. It cannot move except in a circuit. Herein is a perfect exemplification of the law of conservation. The electrical theory herein advanced is the only great cosmical theory which involves no waste. This theory will be found in entire harmony with every demonstrated law, or principle, or fact now known to science; efgoi the, electrical theory is the only rational theory of the universe. According to this theory, the sun may heat and light the earth, and still he a dark, cool, habitable body.
This article was originally published with the title "Sunheat and Sunlight"