Full text: Wilkins, John: A discovery of a new world

1. Conſider its Opacity; if you mark theſe
Sublunary things, you ſhall perceive that a-
mongſt them, thoſe that are moſt perſpicuous
are not ſo well able to reverberate the Sun-
beams, as the thicker Bodies. The Rays paſs
ſingly through a Diaphanous matter, but in an
Opacous Subſtance they are doubled in their
Return, and multiplyed by Reflection. Now
if the Moon and the other Planets can ſhine
ſo clearly by beating back the Sun Beams, why
may not the Earth alſo ſhine as well, which
agrees with them in the cauſe of this Bright-
neſs their Opacity?

2. Conſider what a clear Light we may diſ-
cern reflected from the Earth in the midſt of
Summer, and withal conceive how much
greater that muſt be which is under the Line,
where the Rays are more directly and ſtrongly

3. ’Tis conſiderable that though the Moon
does in the Night time ſeem to be of ſo clear
a Brightneſs, yet when we look upon it in the
Day, it appears like ſome little whitiſh Cloud: Not but that at both times, ſhe is of an equal
Light in her ſelf. The Reaſon of this diffe-
rence is, becauſe in the Night we look upon
it through a dark and obſcure medium, there
being no other enlightned Body, whoſe bright-
neſs may abate from this: whereas in the day
time, the whole Heavens round about it, are
of an equal clearneſs, and ſo make it to appear
with a weaker Light. Now becauſe we can-
not ſee how the enlightned parts of our Earth
do look in the Night, therefore in comparing
it with the Moon, we muſt not conſider her


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