SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration depicting three possible structures for the universe from Thomas Wright's book An Original Theory of the Universe, published in London in 1750. In this book 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. He 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 (as seen here), like the rings of Saturn.
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