Thomas Wright's explanation of the Milky Way

Thomas Wright's explanation of the Milky Way

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Illustration showing Thomas Wright's explanation of the Milky Way, from his book An Original Theory of the Universe, published in London in 1750. Wright (1711-86) gave the first correct explanation of the appearance of the Milky Way as being due to our immersion in a layer of stars. An observer at A would see few stars when looking towards B or C, more when looking towards E, F or G and many stars when looking along the plane towards H. Wright proposed that the Sun is one of many stars orbiting around a Divine Centre and that the stars are distributed either in thin, concentric, spherical shells or in annuli, like the rings of Saturn.

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Keywords: astronomy, cosmology of, galaxy, historical, history of science, milky way, thomas, wright, wright's theory of

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