IN THE revolutions of the planets around the sun, and .f the satellites around their primaries, there exists an apparent law of conformity to that general direction which is followed by our sun in its rotation on its axis. But the fact that this conformity, though followed by a large portion of· our discovered system, is not invariable, is emphasized by its contradiction in the retrograde motions of the ninth satellite of Saturn and of all the satellites .f Uranus and Neptune. These apparent contradictions in planetary revolution have naturally given rise to much inquiry and speculation regarding the evolution of the solar system. The four known satellites of Uranus, which revolve in a ,plane which is nearly perpendicular to that of the ecliptic, appear at their vast distance from us to have diameters varying between 500 and 1,000 miles. The illustrations given in this article are for the purpose of emphasizing an example of departure from the general law of motion. The moons .f Uranus, in contrast to their primary, revolve in a retrograde or backward direction-their orbital plane being just past the critical position of perpendicularity. Notwithstanding the great distance of Uranus from the sun, whIch is more than nineteen times the earths distance, the planets diameter of 32,000 miles renders it visible as a star of the sixth magnitude which is of a light sea green color. On account of the tilting of the earth's axis Uranus does not rise much above the horizon, and is seen to best advantage in northern latitudes during the summer 'months before and after opposition, which occurred this year on July 20th. The period of revolution is 84 years; and as a consequence the planet comes to opposition between four and five days later each year-its synodic period (average interval between consecutive oppositions) being 369 2/3 days. The plane of the orbit very nearly coincides with the ecliptic, forming an angle of only % degree with it. This is the smallest angle of inclination of the orbits of any o* the major or terrestrial planets; while the linear eccentricity, or distance from the center of the orbit to th- sun (82.5 million miles) is greater than that of any of the orbits. This point is shown in the plot at o within the earth's orbit, and is about seven-eighths of the distance from the sun to the -arth. The angle of inclination .f the plane of the satellites orbits, which was measured in March, 1882, is less than 98 degrees. The planet came to opposition on March 6th when approaching perihelion; but the plane of the orbits passed thl'ou g h the. earth, and was seen edgewise, looking ,in the direction of the arrow A, about three weeks later, when the satellites appeared to move back and forth in a straight line (see Fig. 1). The next edge view, when the plane of the orbits will again pass through, the eartl!, will be obtained in 19124, that is after an interval of 42 years. Fig. 2 shows the orbits seen in the direction of the arrow B at the date of opposition April 23rd, 1892. DUring the years 1901, 1902 and 1903” the diferences between the lengths of the axes of the ellipses representing the orbits on a plane perpendicular to the line of vision were so small that they were practically circular, showing the nearly perpendicular position of the orbital plane. Fig. 3 shows the orbits of the satellites Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, and Oberon as seen looking in the direction of the arrow o at the date of opposition June 10th, 1902. Since this date the minor axes of the ellipses have gradually contracted, and their positions looking in the direction of the arrow D on July 20th .f this year are shown in Fig. 4. In eaoh of these fgures the pDsition of the elUpses is shown relative to the meridian. These sateIlites revolve around Uranus (which is drawn to the same scale as the orbits) in the direction of the arrows. The distances from the planet and the periods or time of revolution are given in the table. In the plot of the orbit of Uranus the planet and the orbit of the outer satellite OberOn are magnifed 1,000 times in order to show their relative dimensions, and the proportion between the axes of the ellipse which is the projection of the orbit on the plane of the eclipHc. Distance in Miles.- Period in Days. Ariel .......... 120,000 2.52 Umbriel........ 167,000 4.14 Titania ........ 273,000 8.71 Oberon ........ 365,000 13.46 Treatment of Obesity OBESITY is a disease of the general nutrition, characterized by a general hypertrophy of the adipose tissue, and an accumulation of fat in the organism. “A rough rule,” says Oosmos, “is that an adults weight, expressed in kilograms, should be represented Iby the two last decimals of the figure which expresses his height in meters. In a pretty severe case of obesity a person may weigh about 265 to 330 pounds; Barnum and B3iley exhibited an individual weighing 660 pounds. Heredity plays an important part in determining the occurrence of this morbid condition. This has been observed both in men and in animals. Jt is not every one who can accumulate body weight. At the same·time, given a oertain predisposition, there are certain conditions which favor obesity, and certain modes of living and treatments which may reduce it or even cause it to disappear entirely. "Overfeeding, lack Of exercise, in brief, an excess of the receipts over expenditures, favor obesity. Nevertheless, there are stout people who eat very little, and there are hearty eaters who remain thin. There must be some other element which enters into consideration. The thyroid and certain other gIands regulate all oxidation processes. The secretions of these glands intensify the oxidation, their degeneration tends to diminish oxidation. The true cause of obesity is still a matter of considerable ,mystery. Generally speaking, a special diet and mode of living is unquestionably the right remedy, and has frequently prDved efective. Some medical authors have recommended a veritable hunger cure; others impose a meat diet. This last method is positively dangerous for arthritic patients, and may moreover be quite useless, since it is possIble to fatten on a pure meat diet. Other authorities have recommended the use of foods of low alimentary value, taken in considerable quantity, such as fruit, green vegetables, but no ,meat. Others forbid drinking or recommend eating fat or butter in coneiderable quantities, thereby producing a flpecies of satiety and destroying the appetite. y "Such treatments as these are, as a rule, either harmful, or quite impossible to carry out for any length of time. A more rational treatment, it appears, has been proposed by Dr. Robin, which is based on a number of seemingly well-founded scientifc arguments. The regime laid down is somewhat as fol- lows: (1) Breakfast at eight oclock in the morning, (:onsisting Of a piece of meat, fowl, or cold hllm, a small piece of bread (about ffteen grams), fresh fruit, and a cup of very weak and very hot tea, without milk and sugar; immediate-Iy after this meal take about at least half an hours walk, but not enough to become tired or short of breath. (2) At eleven oclock the second meal, consisting of one or two boiled eggs, two pieces of bread and a cup of hot water favored with a little tea; after this a walk as before. (3) At half past twelve the third meal, consisting of cold meat, cold chicken, ham ad libitum (without sauce or mayonnaise); a plate of green lettuce, or the like, with a little salt and lemon juice, a plate of green vegetables, boiled in salt water, without butter or gravy. Fruit ad libitum, bread, ffty grams. For drink, a large cup of hot water fayored 'With a little tea. Rise immediately after the meal and take a walk of at least half an hour. (4) At half-past five, a large cup o f hot water favored with a little tea. (5) At half-,past seven the same meal as at noon, to which may be added, if the appetite is very keen, some cold fsh, or a plate of hot meat without gravy. This cure is continued until the weight is reduced, if not to normal conditions, at least to an improved state. It is interrupted, if any indications appear that it is afecting the patient harmfully. After the cure is terminated, the eleven oclock meal is frst of all omitted, and then gradually the regime may be abandoned, proceeding with prudence, and exercising greater rigor every time the weight is observed to increase. “It is stated that with the above treatment much improvement is secured without inficting upon the patient any unpleasant feelings of hunger or weakness." Cost of Building Cheops IT HAS been estimated that to rebuild the pyramid of Cheops under modern conditions an expenditure of $100,000,000 would be necessary and the labor of 40,000 men for two years required. It has been calculated that the work really required the services of 100,000 men for thirty years. The pyramid occupies a space of twelve and three-quarter acres and is seven hundred and forty-six feet high and contains about 143,-315,000 cubic yards of stone and granite. The materia. alone represents an item of $36,000,000, while the l3bor would increase this amount by $72,000,000. To this must b added $3,000,000 for tools, transportation, and similar items. The pyramid is built on a solid rock one hundred and fifty feet deep, and to build a foundation of this character would add to the cost to the extent of making the total of $100,000,000. The Cry of the “Devil-bird “ OF aU the awe-inspiring sounds emitted by wild *—'creatures, none, it is said, is to be compared to that of the “devil-bird” of Ceylon, whose cry has been likened to the scream of a human being undergoing the most frightful torture. Naturalists have identifed this bird with the brown wood-Owl found in Hindustan. The “devil-bird,” or ulama, as the Cingalese call it, is an elusive creature. The natives' of Ceylon regard the cry of this bird with superstitious horror, for, it is claimed, its scream heard at night presages the most dire misfortunes. A British . of-cial of the Ceylon civil service has given some study to this curious bird. Its ordinary note, he states, is a magnifcent clear shout like that of a human being, heard at a great distance, and producing a fne efect in the silence of the night. But the sounds that have earned for the bird its bad n3ime, and which this officer reports he heard to perfection but once, are said to be well-nigh indescribable, the most appalling that can be imagined, and scarcely to be heard without a shudder. I has been comparei to the cries of a boy in torture, whose screams are being stopped by strangulation. 17Z HI Thefioms Ifljalxratory
This article was originally published with the title "The Satellites of Uranus"