The fall of meteorites offers an appreciable, though numerically insignificant, peril to the inhabitants of the earth. Historical records show perhaps three or four instances of people being killed by these bodies. But for the protection afforded by the atmosphere, which acts as a very effective shield, the danger would doubtless be very much greater.
It has been calculated that on a clear night the total starlight from the entire celestial sphere amounts to one-sixtieth of the light of the full moon; but of this less than one-twenty-fifth is due to stars separately distinguished by the eye. If there were no obscuring medium in space, it is probable that the amount of starlight would be noticeably and perhaps enormously increase.
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