Of Newton's Principia

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                                nomicall science; they being nothing else but the necessary 
consequences of the Sun, Earth, Moon and planets having all of 
them a gravitation or tendency towards their centers, proportionate 
to the Quantitie of matter in each of them, and whose force 
abates in duplicate proportion of the distance reciprocally.
Here likewise are indisputably solved the appearances of the Tides 
or flux and reflux of the sea, and the spheroidicall figure of the 
Earth and Jupiter determined (from which the precession of the Equinoxe 
or rotation of the Earths Axis is made out,) together with the 
retrocession of y<sup>e<\sup> Moons Nodes, the Quantity and inequalities of
whose Motion is here exactly stated <u>a priores<\u> Lastly the Theory 
of the Motions of Comets is attempted with such success, that in 
an Example of the great Comet which appeared in 1680 the 
motion therof is computed as exactly as wee can pretend to give 
the places of the primary planets, and a generall method is here laid 
down to state and determine the Trajectorie of Comets by an 
easy Geometricall construction, upon supposition that these curves are 
parabolick or so near it, that the parabola may serve without sen 
sible errour; tho it be more probable saith our author that those orbs are 
Ellipticall, and that after long periods <s>they <\s> Comets may return again.
but such Ellipses are, by reason of the immense distance of the 
Foci and smallness of the Latus rectum, in the parts near y<sup>e<\sup>
Sunn where Comets appear, not <s>to be<\s> easily distinguished from the 
<s>motion <\s> Curve of a parabola, as is proved by the Example produced.
The whole book is interspersed with Lemmas of Generall use in Geome 
try, and severall new methods applyed which <s>may be <\s> are well worth the 
considering and it may be justly said so many and so <s>great<\s> valuable 
Philosophicall truths as are herein discovered and put past dispute;
were never yet owing to the sagacity and industry of any one Man.
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Manuscript details

Edmond Halley
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Cite as

Of Newton's Principia , 1687. From The Royal Society, CLP/21/13



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