Back to Main List
Back to Book List

Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


Curiosities of the Sky

Garrett Putman Serviss



"The spectrum of the Andromeda Nebula has been interpreted to mean that it consists not of luminous gas, but of a flock of stars so distant that they are separately indistinguishable even with powerful telescopes, just as the component stars of the Milky Way are indistinguishable with the naked eye; and upon this has been based the suggestion that what we see in Andromeda is an outer universe whose stars form a series of elliptical garlands surrounding a central mass of amazing richness. But this idea is unacceptable if for no other reason than that, as just said, all the spiral nebulæ possess the same kind of spectrum, and probably no one would be disposed to regard them all as outer universes." -- Garrett Serviss, 1909