Let us allow Laplace to explain all this in detail:
"In order to explain the prime movements of the planetary system," he says, "there are the five following phenomena: The movement of the planets in the same direction and very nearly in the same plane; the movement of the satellites in the same direction as that of the planets; the rotation of these different bodies and the sun in the same direction as their revolution, and in nearly the same plane; the slight eccentricity of the orbits of the planets and of the satellites; and, finally, the great eccentricity of the orbits of the comets, as if their inclinations had been left to chance.
"Buffon is the only man I know who, since the discovery of the true system of the world, has endeavored to show the origin of the planets and their satellites. He supposes that a comet, in falling into the sun, drove from it a mass of matter which was reassembled at a distance in the form of various globes more or less large, and more or less removed from the sun, and that these globes, becoming opaque and solid, are now the planets and their satellites.
"This hypothesis satisfies the first of the five preceding phenomena; for it is clear that all the bodies thus formed would move very nearly in the plane which passed through the centre of the sun, and in the direction of the torrent of matter which was produced; but the four other phenomena appear to be inexplicable to me by this means. Indeed, the absolute movement of the molecules of a planet ought then to be in the direction of the movement of its centre of gravity; but it does not at all follow that the motion of the rotation of the planets should be in the same direction. Thus the earth should rotate from east to west, but nevertheless the absolute movement of its molecules should be from east to west; and this ought also to apply to the movement of the revolution of the satellites, in which the direction, according to the hypothesis which he offers, is not necessarily the same as that of the progressive movement of the planets.
"A phenomenon not only very difficult to explain under this hypothesis, but one which is even contrary to it, is the slight eccentricity of the planetary orbits. We know, by the theory of central forces, that if a body moves in a closed orbit around the sun and touches it, it also always comes back to that point at every revolution; whence it follows that if the planets were originally detached from the sun, they would touch it at each return towards it, and their orbits, far from being circular, would be very eccentric. It is true that a mass of matter driven from the sun cannot be exactly compared to a globe which touches its surface, for the impulse which the particles of this mass receive from one another and the reciprocal attractions which they exert among themselves, could, in changing the direction of their movements, remove their perihelions from the sun; but their orbits would be always most eccentric, or at least they would not have slight eccentricities except by the most extraordinary chance. Thus we cannot see, according to the hypothesis of Buffon, why the orbits of more than a hundred comets already observed are so elliptical. This hypothesis is therefore very far from satisfying the preceding phenomena. Let us see if it is possible to trace them back to their true cause.
"Whatever may be its ultimate nature, seeing that it has caused or modified the movements of the planets, it is necessary that this cause should embrace every body, and, in view of the enormous distances which separate them, it could only have been a fluid of immense extent. In order to have given them an almost circular movement in the same direction around the sun, it is necessary that this fluid should have enveloped the sun as in an atmosphere. The consideration of the planetary movements leads us then to think that, on account of excessive heat, the atmosphere of the sun originally extended beyond the orbits of all the planets, and that it was successively contracted to its present limits.
"In the primitive condition in which we suppose the sun to have been, it resembled a nebula such as the telescope shows is composed of a nucleus more or less brilliant, surrounded by a nebulosity which, on condensing itself towards the centre, forms a star. If it is conceived by analogy that all the stars were formed in this manner, it is possible to imagine their previous condition of nebulosity, itself preceded by other states in which the nebulous matter was still more diffused, the nucleus being less and less luminous. By going back as far as possible, we thus arrive at a nebulosity so diffused that its existence could hardly be suspected.
"For a long time the peculiar disposition of certain stars, visible to the unaided eye, has struck philosophical observers. Mitchell has already remarked how little probable it is that the stars in the Pleiades, for example, could have been contracted into the small space which encloses them by the fortuity of chance alone, and he has concluded that this group of stars, and similar groups which the skies present to us, are the necessary result of the condensation of a nebula, with several nuclei, and it is evident that a nebula, by continually contracting, towards these various nuclei, at length would form a group of stars similar to the Pleiades. The condensation of a nebula with two nuclei would form a system of stars close together, turning one upon the other, such as those double stars of which we already know the respective movements.
- and gunpowder. The latter article was required for a very
- 42, during a recent dressing room interview after a matinee
- as they said in those days. The management's promise of
- is jangling, visitors are dropping by unannounced, and
- church bell by guess. The arrival of our boats was a rare
- Her advice for young singers trying to break into opera?
- shots of women's faces, many of them showing the difference
- if it had never been done before. We try to reexamine everything
- Max gaining upon her, now, at every stride. There was a
- board of directors pored over dozens of nominations for
- they'll be able to have more and more fun, as long as they
- favorite novel recently was Peter Maas' book, Made in America.
- rising, was gradually flooding the cave of the dragon.
- Trump Village near Coney Island. They have seven grandchildren
- the New York Yankees for a day, and go through the whole
- dip, and since 1971 he has released but a single movie,
- sought her out. She did not know that he had even better
- performances in almost three years, says Reid in his dressing
- music goes hand in hand with high volume, I bitterly resent
- radio broadcast; at 7 she was the star of a regular weekly
- Indian family, who had come to trade in a canoe from Caylen,
- a baby crib salesman, to help a man who had been hustled
- and stronger today than I've ever been in my life. I smoke
- successor to Zero Mostel in Broadway's A Funny Thing Happened
- the moving ray. Inhaling sibilantly, Max leaped after her.
- Tom's only complaint about the show is that it has put
- records. The music goes straight from the mike into the
- them all. When I'm giving a speech across the country,
- He paused for a moment, hoping to be able to lower the
- insomnia. Antibiotics really drain your body. I've lost
- around a number of letters that come in. The June issue,
- the other — far more important in terms of sales —
- in all the finer points of big game hunting. Of an evening
- stage, he announced, to everyone's astonishment, that he
- he sank over $2 million of his own money into the picture
- O'Neal's Balloon. The Pioneer Market. They're all on 72nd
- forest, and utters very peculiar noises) has not cried
- it takes the goodness away from it. I'd rather not have
- been back there many times, and it still stinks — literally
- vision about the music. He made everybody sing or play
- and he pulled up short, for, instinctively, he knew that
- details of Woodward and Bernstein's The Final Days, which
- is a personality, a man with a thousand stories to tell,
- day. Every word and every note comes out a finely polished
- designs to a successful conclusion. One party he moved
- Theatre to put up a luxury apartment building. I got a
- dressing gown, his thick silver hair shining, he seems
- to write a hit song.' But writing a great song isn't enough:
- reward that they would win from him if they carried his
- Avenue and extends northward to 164th Street, then follows