In Saturn's Realm

In Saturn's Realm

by George Griffith

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---For their honeymoon Rollo Lenox Smeaton Aubrey, Earl of Redgrave,
and his bride, Lilla Zaidie, leave the earth on a visit to the Moon
and the principal planets, their sole companion being Andrew
Murgatroyd, an old engineer who had superintended the building of the
Astronef, in which the journey is made. By means of the "R Force," or
Anti-Gravitational Force, of the secret of which Lord Redgrave is the
sole possessor, they are able to navigate with precision and safety
the limitless ocean of Space. Their adventures on the Moon, Mars,
Venus, and Jupiter have been described in the first four stories of
the series.

* * *

THE relative position of the two giants of the Solar System at the
moment when the Astronef left the surface of Ganymede, the third and
largest satellite of Jupiter, was such that she had to make a journey
of rather more than 340,000,000 miles before she passed within the
confines of the Saturnian System.

At first her speed, as shown by the observations which Redgrave took
by means of instruments designed for such a voyage by Professor
Rennick, was comparatively slow. This was due to the tremendous "pull"
or attraction of Jupiter and its four moons on the fabric of the Star
Navigator; but this backward drag rapidly decreased as the pull of
Saturn and his System began to overmaster that of Jupiter.

It so happened, too, that Uranus, the next outer planet of the Solar
System, revolving round the Sun at the tremendous distance of more
than 1,700,000,000 miles, was approaching its conjunction with Saturn,
and thus the pull of the two huge orbs and their systems of satellites
acted together on the tiny bulk of the Astronef, producing a constant
acceleration of speed.

Jupiter and his System dropped behind, sinking, as it seemed to the
wanderers, down into the bottomless gulf of Space, but still forming
by far the most brilliant and splendid object in the skies. The far
distant Sun which, seen from the Saturnian System, has only about a
ninetieth of the superficial extent which he presents to the Earth,
dwindled away rapidly until it began to look like a huge planet, with
the Earth, Venus, Mars, and Mercury as satellites. Beyond the orbit of
Saturn, Uranus, with his eight moons, was shining with the lustre of a
star of the first magnitude, and far above and beyond him again hung
the pale disc of Neptune, the outer guard of the Solar System,
separated from the Sun by a gulf of more than 2,750,000,000 miles.

When two-thirds of the distance between Jupiter and Saturn had been
traversed, Saturn lay beneath them like a vast globe surrounded by an
enormous circular ocean of many-coloured fire, divided, as it were, by
circular shores of shade and darkness. On the side opposite to them a
gigantic conical shadow extended beyond the confines of the ocean of
light. It was the shadow of half the globe of Saturn cast by the Sun
across his rings. Three little dark spots were also travelling across
the surface of the rings. They were the shadows of Mimas, Encealadus,
and Tethys, the three inner satellites. Japetus, the most distant,
which revolves at a distance ten times greater than that of the Moon
from the Earth, was rising to their left above the edge of the rings,
a pale, yellow, little disc shining feebly against the black
background of Space. The rest of the eight satellites were hidden
behind the enormous bulk of the planet, and the infinitely vaster area
of the rings.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013773202
Publisher: WDS Publishing
Publication date: 01/14/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 23 KB

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