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VMs: Astronomical Cipher

Speaking of Ciphers - I happened across the following in an astronomy text from 1874:

Regarding Saturn's Rings:

"The true nature of the rings was dicovered by Huygens in 1655, who announced it in this curious form:-

  aaaaaaa ccccc d eeeee g h iiiiiii llll mm nnnnnnnnn oooo pp q rr s ttttt uuuuu

These letters, when placed in their proper order read:- Annulo cingitur tenui plano, nusquam cohoerente, ad eclipticam inclinato.  - 'It is surrounded by a thin, flat ring, nowhere attached to its surface, inclined to the ecliptic'"

Now that would have been one touch cipher to attack!

Larry Roux
Syracuse University
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