A Journey in Other Worlds HTML version

and in a measure from the icy winds; while the elevated country on the horns near the
equator might be a Garden of Eden, or ideal resort. To be sure, the continents might
support a larger population, if more broken up, notwithstanding the advantage resulting
from the comparatively low mountains along the coasts, and the useful winds. A greater
subdivision of land and water, more great islands connected by isthmuses, and more
mediterraneans joined by straits, would be a further advantage to commerce; but with the
sources of power at hand, the resistless winds and water-power, much increased in
effectiveness by their weight, the great tides when several moons are on the same side, or
opposite the sun, internal heat near the surface, and abundant coal-supply doubtless
already formed and also near the surface, such small alterations could be made very
easily, and would serve merely to prevent our becoming rusty.
"As Jupiter's distance from the sun varies from 506,563,000 miles at aphelion to only
460,013,000 at perihelion, this difference, in connection with even the slight inclination
of the axis, must make a slight change in seasons, but as the inclination is practically
nothing, almost the entire change results from the difference in distance. This means that
the rise or fall in temperature is general on every degree of latitude, all being warmed
simultaneously, more or less, as the planet approaches or departs from the sun. It means
also that about the same conditions that Secretary Deepwaters suggested as desirable for
the earth, prevail here, and that Jupiter represents, therefore, about the acme of climate
naturally provided. On account of its rapid rotation and vast size, the winds have a
tornado's strength, but they are nothing at this distance from the sun to what they would
be if a planet with its present rate of rotation and size were where Venus or even the earth
is. In either of these positions no land life with which we are acquainted could live on the
surface; for the slope of the atmospheric isobars--i. e., the lines of equal barometric
pressure that produce wind by becoming tilted through unequal expansion, after which
the air, as it were, flows down-hill--would be too great. The ascending currents about the
equator would also, of course, be vastly strengthened; so that we see a wise dispensation
of Providence in placing the large planets, which also rotate so rapidly, at a great distance
from the sun, which is the father of all winds, rotation alone, however rapid, being unable
to produce them."
They found this lake was about six times the size of Lake Superior, and that several large
and small streams ran into its upper end. These had their sources in smaller lakes that
were at slightly higher elevations. Though the air was cool, the sun shone brightly, while
the ground was covered with flowers resembling those of the northern climes on earth, of
all shapes and lines. Twice a day these sent up their song, and trees were covered with
buds, and the birds twittered gaily. The streams murmured and bubbled, and all things
reminded the travellers of early morning in spring.
"If anything could reconcile me," said Bearwarden, "to exchange my active utilitarian life
for a rustic poetical existence, it would be this place, for it is far more beautiful than
anything I have seen on earth. It needs but a Maud Muller and a few cows to complete
the picture, since Nature gives us a vision of eternal peace and repose."