He arranges a selection from his observations on the nebulae in such a way as to give great plausibility to his view of the gradual transmutation of nebulae into stars Herschel begins by showing us that there are regions in the heavens where a faint diffused nebulosity is all that can be detected by the telescope.
In attempting to pronounce on the evidence with regard to Herschel's theory, we must at once admit that the transmutation of a nebula into a star has never been seen.
To such a policy of transmutation he was urged by two things.
Increasing attention was paid to the investigation of the properties of substances and of their effects on the human body, and chemistry profited by the fact that it passed into the hands of men who possessed the highest scientific culture of the time, Still, belief in the possibility of transmutation long remained orthodox, even among the most distinguished men of science.
At one time this was regarded as a transmutation of iron into copper.