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The moon is not of itself luminous, but is highly fitted to assimilate the character of light after the manner of a mirror, or of water, or of any other reflecting body; and it grows larger in the East and in the West, like the sun and the other planets. And the reason is that every luminous body looks

p. 161

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larger in proportion as it is remote. It is easy to understand that every planet and star is farther from us when in the West than when it is overhead, by about 3500 miles, as is proved on the margin  475 , and if you see the sun or moon mirrored in the water near to you, it looks to you of the same size in the water as in the sky. But if you recede to the distance of a mile, it will look 100 times larger; and if you see the sun reflected in the sea at sunset, its image would look to you more than 10 miles long; because that reflected image extends over more than 10 miles of sea. And if you could stand where the moon is, the sun would look to you, as if it were reflected from all the sea that it illuminates by day; and the land amid the water would appear just like the dark spots that are on the moon, which, when looked at from our earth, appears to men the same as our earth would appear to any men who might dwell in the moon.



When the moon is entirely lighted up to our sight, we see its full daylight; and at that time, owing to the reflection of the solar rays which fall on it and are thrown off towards us, its ocean casts off less moisture towards us; and the less light it gives the more injurious it is.


161:475 7: refers to the first diagram.--A = sole (the sun), B = terra (the earth), C = luna (the moon).

161:476 : This text has already been published by LIBRI: Histoire des Sciences, III, pp. 224, 225.

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