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If you imagine these bodies to be revolving in a plane around the Sun and yourself to be standing within the Sun, the motions of these bodies will appear almost uniform and always in one direction.Were the orbits of the planets circular and the Sun holding the centre of the circle, their motions would be constant, that is to say, always in the same direction and at the same rate.But the orbits are elliptical, and the Sun holds a position in one of the foci of each ellipse.Consequently the planets are at times further from the Sun than at others, and they are then said to be in their aphelion, the opposite point of the orbit where they are nearest to the Sun being called the perihelion.Mercury and Venus will then appear to revolve around the Sun while the Sun revolves around the Earth, sometimes being between the Earth and the Sun, which is called an Inferior conjunction, sometimes on the further side of the Sun away from the Earth, as at their Superior conjunction; and again, at other times to the right or left of the Sun, in East or West elongation.The other planets, having orbits greater than that of the Earth, will appear to revolve around it at constantly varying distances and velocities.As far back as the year 2154, we find mention of the great importance attaching to the celestial phenomena in the minds of Chinese rulers.It is recorded in the Historical Classic of China that at that time the astrologers Hi and Ho neglected their duties so that when, on the 10th of October, there was a great eclipse of the Sun at Peking between seven and nine o’clock in the morning, the people were wholly unprepared for it, and “ran about here and there in the utmost consternation.” For this offence Hi and Ho were deprived of their offices, their estates were confiscated and they were driven from the kingdom.
The annexed illustration will assist the lay reader perhaps.
Among the Hindus we have the classical writers Garga, Parashara, and Mihira, together with their legions of commentators.
The Assyrian records are full of astrological allusions regarding the influence of planetary conjunctions and stellar positions.
The Earth follows the same laws as all other bodies of the same system.
But if we imagine the Earth to be stationary in space and the centre around which the planets revolve, their motions present several irregularities.