I was inspired to read this novel after visiting the Kalamazoo Air Zoo last summer and discovering that Verne was the inspiration for the space program. Indeed as I read through the book I was amazed that an author writing shortly after the Civil War could get so many of the details right for what would follow years later. It was strange though that the launch was from a cannon and that the astronauts thought there would be atmosphere on the moon to breath.
Oldest known rock about million B. These dates may be as much as ten per cent. That is to say, 60, years ago our ancestors were mammals, probably not unlike lemurs, , years ago amphibians somewhat resembling newts or mud-puppies, and , years ago very primitive fish, combining some of the characters of sharks and lampreys.
The origin of life on our planet was probably over a thousand million years ago, so that the record furnished by fossils only refers to half—perhaps much less than half of the time during which life has existed.
If all the lead in our planet is of radio-active origin, which is rather unlikely, it can hardly be more than eight thousand million years old. Astronomical evidence points to a somewhat smaller age.
As the earth goes round, the moon, and to a lesser extent the sun, raise tides in the sea.
The moon thus acts as a brake on the earth, and by so doing is pushed onwards in its orbit, and moves further away. If we calculate backwards instead of forwards we find both the day and the month becoming shorter, until at a sufficiently early date they possessed the same length of about four hours, and the moon was so near to the earth as to be practically touching it.
At present the main retarding action takes place in the Bering Sea. At a geological epoch characterised by many shallow and partly land-locked seas tidal friction must have been greater than now, at other times less. So we can only say that the moon was born somewhere about four thousand million years ago, but the true figure might be as low as one thousand million, or as high as twenty thousand.
The birth of the moon was only one event in a greater catastrophe. Our sun, after a relatively brief period, probably a few thousand million years or less, of youthful exuberance as a giant star radiating energy at thousands of times its present rate, settled down as a respectable dwarf, which it now is, and has been throughout geological time.
For many thousands of millions of years it probably shone as a lonely star unaccompanied by planets. Then it appears to have passed near to another, probably heavier star, which raised tidal waves in it.
The detached crests of these waves, or one of them, formed the planets, and it is fairly clear that the moon broke off from the earth within a few years of its formation. It can be calculated that it has not been going round the sun for more than ten or less than one thousand million years.
Various other lines of evidence converge to a date somewhere between 8,, and 1,, B. If science continues we shall arrive at the exact date in the following way. The star in question must be very far away by now.
It is a wise child that knows its own father, and we shall probably not know ours for thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years. It is possible to penetrate still further into the past and to arrive at a very rough date for the origin of the sun. But any such date depends on some particular hypothesis as to the origin of stellar energy, and there are several such hypotheses, leading to very different dates.
On the other hand a number of independent arguments, based on well-ascertained facts, converge to the same date for the origin of the earth.
There are, of course, respectable scientific theories, such as the planetesimal, which lead to different conclusions. In a popular exposition it has been necessary to be dogmatic.
If I have been so it is because I consider it unlikely that any of the figures I have given will be very seriously upset in the future.
In a few generations it is probable that these dates will meet with general acceptance and their meaning will gradually penetrate the human imagination. As the earth has lasted for at least a thousand million years in a condition not very unlike the present, it will probably continue habitable for a future period of at least the same order of magnitude, possibly for very much longer.
An acceptance of such a future is bound to affect human thought. It will be realized that the things which seem to us most stable, such as human nature and the facts of geography, are really not only changeable but certain to change.
|Browse By Author: V - Project Gutenberg||With an offspring so successful, there is no shortage of candidates seeking custody. Wells or Hugo Gernsback as pater familias of the genre.|
|Books at Amazon||The projectile, as pictured in an engraving from the Illustrated Edition. The firing of the Columbiad.|
|Half A Century of The German Moon Base ( - )||What ARE these visual forms? The following book on Lang's films will try to offer at least a partial answer to this question.|
|Majestyx Archives||The club members propose various wacky schemes up to starting a new waruntil one of them suggest doing something that sounds impossible: Things only get more interesting when an exentric Frenchman, Michel Ardan, asks them to shoot a hollow projectile where he can travel to the moon.|
|Abate Gualdi||Hackenbush in A Day at the Races. Flywheel in The Big Store.|
On the other hand it will be realized that remarkably little change can occur within a lifetime. Such a world-view leaves room for optimism in the most desperate circumstances, but yet reduces the probable effects of the vastest human efforts to the tiniest dimensions.
As it is accepted, people will probably become more and more prone to devote themselves to their own affairs and those of their immediate neighbours. And when they turn their attention to greater things, they will perhaps be less occupied with institutions as ephemeral as nations.
They will be more disposed to serve Man than England or America. A just law may outlive the state in which it was made, a scientific discovery the civilization which brought it forth.
And religion will inevitably alter its standpoint, even if some of its fundamental beliefs survive. On a planet more than a thousand million years old it is hard to believe—as do Christians, Jews, Mohammedans, and Buddhists—that the most important event has occurred within the last few thousand years, when it is clear that there were great civilizations before that event.
It is equally difficult to doubt that many events as significant for humanity will occur in the future. In that immeasurable future the destiny of humanity dwarfs that of the individual. If our planet was created a few thousand years ago to end a few years or a few thousand years hence, it is conceivable that the main purpose to be worked out on it is the salvation and perfection of individual human beings.
No religion which accepts geology can regard such a purpose as anything but subsidiary. If we define religion as our attitude to the universe as a whole, the new time-scale will make us humbler as individuals, but prouder as a race.Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years.
We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state. Dan Thompson scratch-built a Nautilus model in the s.
He based it on photos of Harper Goff's Disney creation, but adhered to the dimensions stated in Jules Verne's text. Dan captured most of the Goff details, remarkable considering the minimal references he had, but stretched the hull to Verne's full proportional length. Jules Verne’s America heroes and heroines that are of American nationality—from the retired Civil War artillerymen of the Baltimore Gun Club in From the Earth to the Moon () in novels such as From the Earth to the Moon, Around the World in 80 Days, The Last Will of an Eccentric ().
Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the genre of science-fiction. He is best known for his novels Journey to the Center of the Earth (), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (), and Around the World in Eighty Days (). Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before navigable aircraft and practical /5(K).
From the Earth to the Moon (French: De la Terre à la Lune) is a novel published in , written by Jules Verne about making a travel from the earth to the moon.. Some time after the American Civil War, members of a certain social club in Baltimore, called The Gun Club (because it consists largely of Civil War artillery officers and various defense .
An American character, if intended to be comic, may be given a particular kind of over-the-top name. The character may well also be subject to the various American National Stereotypes and, of course, all the tropes to which a comic character would be subject.