THE Milky Way is a vast assemblage of stars, so very distant that the eye can perceive only a dim glimmer.

Of the 20 million stars visible by powerful telescopes, at least 18 million lie in, or near, the Milky Way.

The stars from a very early antiquity have been classified into groups, called Constellations. There are 109 of these constellations, and 50 of them are called ancient constellations. Some of these were known 1500 years before the Christian Era.

The constellations in most cases are named after an animal, or some mythological personage; but generally little or no resemblance can be traced to the object after which the group is named.

An examination of the stars with a powerful telescope reveals most startling and beautiful appearances. Stars, which appear single to the naked eye, through the telescope, are double, triple, and quadruple; and in some instances the number of stars revolving around a common center is even greater.

In one instance, what appears to the unaided eye as a faint point of light, is shown by the telescope to be a group of seven stars!  In the constellation Pleiades the six or seven stars visible to the naked eye become 60 or 70 when viewed through the telescope.

More than 6 thousand double stars are now known. Those stars, which are resolved by the telescope into more than four, are called Multiple Stars.

Certain stars are known to astronomers as Variable Stars, i. e., they shine brighter at some times than at others. There are more than 100 of these stars whose periods of variation are known, and there are others whose periods have not been determined.

Another very interesting celestial phenomenon is the various colors of the stars. 

The light of most of the stars is white, but there are others, which appear red, blue, green, orange, purple, and yellow. It is in the double and multiple stars where the richest colors are seen.

What a wondrous coloring must be met with in the planets lit up by these glorious suns; one sun setting in clearest green, another rising in purple, or yellow, or crimson; at times several star suns mingling their variously-colored beams!

Truly, as the psalmist says, "The heavens declare the glory of God." And an apostle has written, that one star differeth from another star in glory. 

G. W. A.