A Journey in Other Worlds HTML version
During their sojourn on Jupiter they had had but little experience with the tremendous
winds that they knew, from reason and observation, must rage in its atmosphere. They
now heard them whistling over their heads, and, notwithstanding the protection afforded
by the sides of the canon, occasionally received a gust that made the Callisto swerve.
They kept on steadily, however, till sunset, at which time it became very dark on account
of the high banks, which rose as steeply as the Palisades on the Hudson to a height of
nearly a thousand feet. Finding a small island near the eastern bank, they were glad to
secure the Callisto there for the night, below the reach of the winds, which they, still
heard singing loudly but with a musical note in what seemed to them like the sky.
"It is incomprehensible to me." said Ayrault, as they sat at dinner, "how the sun, at a
distance of four hundred and eighty-three million miles, can raise the amount of water we
have here passing us, and compared with which the discharge of the greatest river on
earth would be insignificant, to say nothing of the stream we ascended before reaching
"We must remember," replied Cortlandt, "that many of the conditions are different here
from those that exist on earth. We know that some of the streams are warm, and even hot,
and that the temperature of Deepwaters Bay, and doubtless that of the ocean also, is
considerably higher than ours. This would facilitate evaporation. The density of the
atmosphere and the tremendous winds, of which I suspect we may see more later, must
also help the sun very much in its work of raising vapour. But the most potent factor is
undoubtedly the vast size of the basin that these rivers drain."
"The great speed at which the atmospheric currents move," said Bearwarden, "coupled
with the comparative lowness of the mountain chains and the slight obstruction they offer
to their passage, must distribute the rain very thoroughly, notwithstanding the great
unbroken area of the continents. There can be no such state of things here as exists in the
western part of South America, where the Andes are so high that any east-bound clouds,
in crossing them, are shoved up so far into a cold region that all moisture they may have
brought from the Pacific is condensed into rain, with which parts of the western slope are
deluged, while clouds from the Atlantic have come so far they have already dispersed
their moisture, in consequence of which the region just east of the Andes gets little if any
rain. It is bad for a continent to have its high mountains near the ocean from which it
should get its rain, and good for it to have them set well back."
"I should not be surprised," said Cortlandt, "if we saw another waterfall to-morrow,
though not in the shape of rain. In the hour before we stopped we began to see rapids and
protruding rocks. That means that we are coming to a part of the channel that is
comparatively new, since the older parts have had time to wear smooth. I take it, then,
that we are near the foot of a retreating cascade, which we may hope soon to see. That is
exactly the order in which we found smooth water and rapids in river No. 1, which we
have named the Harlem."
After this, not being tired, they used the remaining dark hours for recording their recent