OF THE MOON.
As I propose to treat of the nature of the moon, it is necessary that first I should describe the perspective of mirrors, whether plane, concave or convex; and first what is meant by a luminous ray, and how it is refracted by various kinds of media; then, when a reflected ray is most powerful, whether when the angle of incidence is acute, right, or obtuse, or from a convex, a plane, or a concave surface; or from an opaque or a transparent body. Besides this, how it is that the solar rays which fall on the waves of the sea, are seen by the eye of the same width at the angle nearest to the eye, as at the highest line of the waves on the horizon; but notwithstanding this the solar rays reflected from the waves of the sea assume the pyramidal form and consequently, at each degree of distance increase proportionally in size, although to our sight, they appear as parallel.
1st. Nothing that has very little weight is opaque.
2dly. Nothing that is excessively weighty can remain beneath that which is heavier.
3dly. As to whether the moon is situated in the centre of its elements or not.
And, if it has no proper place of its own, like the earth, in the midst of its elements, why does it not fall to the centre of our elements? [Footnote 26: The problem here propounded by Leonardo was not satisfactorily answered till Newton in 1682 formulated the law of universal attraction and gravitation. Compare No. 902, lines 5-15.]
And, if the moon is not in the centre of its own elements and yet does not fall, it must then be lighter than any other element.
And, if the moon is lighter than the other elements why is it opaque and not transparent?
When objects of various sizes, being placed at various distances, look of equal size, there must be the same relative proportion in the distances as in the magnitudes of the objects.
[Footnote: In the diagram Leonardo wrote sole at the place marked A.]
Taken from The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci edited by Jean Paul Richter, 1880.