Download the book The present volume has not been designed as a systematic treatise on astronomy. There are many excellent books of that kind, suitable for serious students as well as the general reader; but they are necessarily somewhat dry and unattractive, because they must aim at completeness. Completeness means detail, and detail means dryness.
But the science of astronomy contains subjects that admit of detached treatment; and as many of these are precisely the ones of greatest general interest, it has seemed well to select several, and describe them in language free from technicalities. It is hoped that the book will thus prove useful to persons who do not wish to give the time required for a study of astronomy as a whole, but who may take pleasure in devoting a half-hour now and then to a detached essay on some special topic.