On the Stability of the Motion of Saturn's Rings


James Clerk Maxwell

Forgotten Books

On the Stability of the Motion of Saturn's Rings - Bookrepublic

On the Stability of the Motion of Saturn's Rings


James Clerk Maxwell

Forgotten Books


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€ 5,85


There are some questions in Astronomy, to which we are attracted rather on account of their peculiarity, as the possible illustration of some unknown principle, than from any direct advantage which their solution would afford to mankind. The theory of the Moon's in equalities, though ln its first stages it presents theorems interesting to all students of mechanics, has been pursued into such intricacies of calculation as can be followed up only by those who make the improvement of the Lunar Tables the object of their lives. The value of the labours of these men is recognised by all who are aware of the importance of such tables in Practical Astronomy and Navigation. The methods by which the results are obtained are admitted to be sound, and we leave to professional astronomers the. Labour and the merit of developing them. The questions which are suggested by the appearance of Saturn's Rings cannot, in the 'present state of Astronomy, call forth so great an amount of labour among mathematicians. I am not aware that any practical use has been made of Saturn's Rings, either in Astronomy or in Navigation. They are too distant, and too insignificant in mass, to produce any appreciable effect on the motion of other parts of the Solar system and for this very reason it is difficult to determine those elements of their motion which we obtain so accurately in the case of bodies of greater mechanical importance.


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