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A Journey in Other Worlds: A Romance of the Future von IV, John Jacob Astor (eBook)

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A Journey in Other Worlds: A Romance of the Future

The book offers a fictional account of life in the year 2000. It contains abundant speculation about technological invention, including descriptions of a worldwide telephone network, solar power, air travel, space travel to the planets Saturn and Jupiter, and terraforming engineering projects - damming the Arctic Ocean, and adjusting the Earth's axial tilt (by the Terrestrial Axis Straightening Company). In Astor's novel, the future United States is a multi-continental superpower. European nations have been taken over by socialist governments, which have sold most of their African colonies to the U.S.; and Canada, Mexico, and the countries of South America have requested annexation. Race conflict is a thing of the past, since the "dark elements" of the American hegemony have died out. Space travel is achieved through apergy, an anti-gravitational energy force. Jupiter proves to be a jungle world, with flesh-eating plants, vampire bats, giant snakes and mastodons, and flying lizards. The Americans discover a wealth of exploitable resources: iron, silver, gold, lead, copper, coal, and oil. Saturn, in contrast, is an ancient world of silent spirits. The spirit beings provide the explorers with foresight of their own deaths. Out beyond Neptune, the voyagers discover the icy world Cassandra, home to the souls of unworthy Earthlings. (Excerpt from Wikipedia)


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 234
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783958648937
    Verlag: OTB eBook publishing
    Größe: 1151 kBytes
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A Journey in Other Worlds: A Romance of the Future

Chapter III. Contents


"To the Bondholders and Stockholders of the Terrestrial Axis Straightening Company and Representatives of Earthly Governments.

"GENTLEMEN: You know that the objects of this company are, to straighten the axis of the earth, to combine the extreme heat of summer with the intense cold of winter and produce a uniform temperature for each degree of latitude the year round. At present the earth's axis--that is, the line passing through its centre and the two poles--is inclined to the ecliptic about twenty-three and a half degrees. Our summer is produced by the northern hemisphere's leaning at that angle towards the sun, and our winter by its turning that much from it. In one case the sun's rays are caused to shine more perpendicularly, and in the other more obliquely. This wabbling, like that of a top, is the sole cause of the seasons; since, owing to the eccentricity of our orbit, the earth is actually fifteen hundred thousand miles nearer the sun during our winter, in the northern hemisphere, than in summer. That there is no limit to a planet's inclination, and that inclination is not essential, we have astronomical proof. Venus's axis is inclined to the plane of her orbit seventy-five degrees, so that the arctic circle comes within fifteen degrees of the equator, and the tropics also extend to latitude seventy-five degrees, or within fifteen degrees of the poles, producing great extremes of heat and cold.

"Venus is made still more difficult of habitation by the fact that she rotates on her axis in the same time that she revolves about the sun, in the same way that the moon does about the earth, so that one side must be perpetually frozen while the other is parched.

"In Uranus we see the axis tilted still further, so that the arctic circle descends to the equator. The most varied climate must therefore prevail during its year, whose length exceeds eighty-one of ours.

"The axis of Mars is inclined about twenty-eight and two thirds degrees to the plane of its orbit; consequently its seasons must be very similar to ours, the extremes of heat and cold being somewhat greater.

"In Jupiter we have an illustration of a planet whose axis is almost at right angles to the plane of its orbit, being inclined but about a degree and a half. The hypothetical inhabitants of this majestic planet must therefore have perpetual summer at the equator, eternal winter at the poles, and in the temperate regions everlasting spring. On account of the straightness of the axis, however, even the polar inhabitants--if there are any--are not oppressed by a six months' night, for all except those at the VERY pole have a sunrise and a sunset every ten hours--the exact day being nine hours, fifty five minutes, and twenty-eight seconds. The warmth of the tropics is also tempered by the high winds that must result from the rapid whirl on its axis, every object at the equator being carried around by this at the rate of 27,600 miles an hour, or over three thousand miles farther than the earth's equator moves in twenty-four hours.

"The inclination of the axis of our own planet has also frequently considerably exceeded that of Mars, and again has been but little greater than Jupiter's at least, this is by all odds the most reasonable explanation of the numerous Glacial periods through which our globe has passed, and of the recurring mild spells, probably lasting thousands of years, in which elephants, mastodons, and other semi-tropical vertebrates roamed in Siberia, some of which died so recently that their flesh, preserved by the cold, has been devoured by the dogs of modern explorers.

"It is not to be supposed that the inclining of the axes of Jupiter, Venus, the Earth, and the other planets, is now fixed; in some cases it is known to be changing. As long ago as 1890, Major-Gen. A. W. Drayson, of the British Army,

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