Robert Stawell Ball

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Sir Robert Stawell Ball (1 July 184025 November 1913) was an Irish astronomer and author of several popular books.


  • The problem that first demands solution is to discover the disruptive agent which would be potent enough to rip the Cloghvorra Stone from its parent bed, to bear it down the valley for miles, and to cast it on the mountain side.
    • The Cause of an Ice Age, London, 1891, p. 3
  • The Planet of Romance
    • Name for hypothetical planet nearer the Sun than Mercury
    • The Story of the Heavens, London, 1893, p. 122
  • The moons of Uranus seem to have got a twist.
    • Star-Land, London, 1895, p. 227
  • All screws of a given pitch belonging to a system of the third order are the generators of a certain hyperboloid. There is... a different hyperboloid for each pitch. ...all these hyperboloids are concentric.
  • The intrinsic brightness of the Sun is fully 5,000 times as great as if the whole surface were formed of the molten steel just issuing from the Bessemer converter.
    • The Story of the Sun, London, 1906, p. 103

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