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On The Heavens   



cause a noise of tremendous strength and such a noise would

necessarily reach and shatter us. Since, therefore, this effect is

evidently not produced, it follows that none of them can move with the

motion either of animate nature or of constraint. It is as though

nature had foreseen the result, that if their movement were other than

it is, nothing on this earth could maintain its character.

That the stars are spherical and are not selfmoved, has now been

explained.



10



With their order-I mean the position of each, as involving the

priority of some and the posteriority of others, and their

respective distances from the extremity-with this astronomy may be

left to deal, since the astronomical discussion is adequate. This

discussion shows that the movements of the several stars depend, as

regards the varieties of speed which they exhibit, on the distance

of each from the extremity. It is established that the outermost

revolution of the heavens is a simple movement and the swiftest of

all, and that the movement of all other bodies is composite and

relatively slow, for the reason that each is moving on its own

circle with the reverse motion to that of the heavens. This at once

leads us to expect that the body which is nearest to that first simple

revolution should take the longest time to complete its circle, and

that which is farthest from it the shortest, the others taking a

longer time the nearer they are and a shorter time the farther away

they are. For it is the nearest body which is most strongly

influenced, and the most remote, by reason of its distance, which is

least affected, the influence on the intermediate bodies varying, as

the mathematicians show, with their distance.



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