11 JULY 1908, Page 24

Through the Depths of Space. By Hector Macpherson, jun. (W.

Blackwood and Sons. 2s. net.)—This "Primer of Astronomy" is full of interest, as, indeed, a book on this subject, written by an expert, with a gift for putting his facts picturesquely, cannot fail to be. The earth, the moon, the sun, the planets (inner and outer), comets and meteors, and the stellar universe are succes- sively treated. Mr. Macpherson is inclined to believe that there are still vestiges of life in the moon. That there are changes is likely enough. Intense heat and cold would bring them about. As to the polar snow and the vegetation in some of the craters, we must own ourselves incredulous. He believes, too, in the Martian inhabitants, an advanced race of beings struggling against hostile influences. He holds "that there is nothing in an evolutionary theory of the solar system to contradict the account of the Creation in the Book of Genesis." This is true in one sense; but the statement must be of the most general kind. There can be no doubt that the author of the Mosaic cosmogony believed in the existence of a solid vault of heaven, a firmament, rrsp‘cobia, in which the stars were fixed, which was, in short, stellis ardentibus avast. In his view, everything was made for the earth; of a "Stellar Universe," as vividly described in Mr. Mac- pherson's concluding chapters, he had no conception. Our author mentions some popular errors about eclipses. We remember one far more strange. It was supposed that an eclipse was caused by the sun coming between the moon and the earth.