Monday, July 17, 2017

The Monster In The Sun

The Monster In The Sun

An Astronomer was observing the Sun through a telescope, in order to take an exact copy of the several spots which appear upon the face of it. While he was intent upon his observations, he was on a sudden surprised with a new and astonishing appearance; a large portion of the Sun was at once covered by a Monster of enormous size and horrible form. It had an immense pair of wings, a great number of legs, and a long and vast proboscis; and that it was alive was very apparent, from its quick and violent motions, which the observer could, from time to time, plainly perceive. Being sure of the fact (for how could he be mistaken in what he saw so clearly?), our Philosopher began to draw many surprising conclusions from premises so well established. He calculated the magnitude of this extraordinary animal, and found that it covered about two square degrees of the Sun’s surface; that placed on the earth, it would spread over half one hemisphere of it, and that it was seven or eight times as big as the moon. But what was most astonishing was the prodigious heat that it must endure. It was plain that it was something of the nature of the salamander, but of a far more fiery temperament; for it was demonstrable from the clearest principles that, in its present situation, it must have acquired a degree of heat two thousand times exceeding that of red-hot iron. In the earnest pursuit of these, and many similar deep and curious speculations, the Astronomer was engaged, and was preparing to communicate them to the public. In the meantime, the discovery began to be much talked of, and all the virtuosi gathered together to see so strange a sight. They were equally convinced of the accuracy of the observation, and of the conclusions so clearly deduced from it. At last one, more cautious than the rest, was resolved, before he gave a full assent to the report of his senses, to examine the whole process of the affair, and all the parts of the instrument. He opened the telescope, and, behold! a small Fly was enclosed in it, which, having settled on the centre of the object-glass, had given occasion to all this marvellous theory.

((Extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof.))

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