Punch,  1 (1841), 41.

Punch's Information for the People—No. 1. Being A Very Familiar Treatise on Astronomy  [1/5]



Notes, Drollery, Serial


Astronomy, Language

    Intends to render science 'somewhat contemptible' by dealing with it 'familiarly'. Describes various astronomical objects, including the planets, sun, stars, and comets. The descriptions of the objects are typically based on satirical interpretations of astronomical names. For example, the planets in the air comprise the 'planet-airy system', the spots on the sun may be due to 'specks of dirt' on the bottoms of savans' telescopes, 'the watchmen on the moon must be horribly overworked' owing to the fact that the 'day' on the moon lasts a fortnight, 'the Milky Way or Whey' is an inappropriate epithet because 'whey to a certain extent is milky', and the 'Band of Orion' is not a musical band. Notes that 'we are entirely in the dark' about comets, apart from knowing that 'they are often coming, but never come'. For further reading, recommends Adams and Walker's 'plans of the universe'.

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