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Present If from the conjectural past history of our system condition of the plane- we proceed to consider its actual condition in re- tary sys- tem. From all these and the like data, fair con- clusions may be drawn as to their capability of sustaining organised inhabitants, and thus we essay editing uk may be legitimately led to conjectures as to the pro- bability of rational or moral beings tenanting their surfaces.

Diversity in Whatever may be the opinion entertained on these inhabit- ants, if points, it will be on all hands admitted that we must any. The question rather is, whether there are any positive grounds for sup- posing the diversities so great as to destroy essay editing uk all idea of any common or kindred nature in such inha- bitants, and thus practically to put them so entirely out of the category of beings within any range of ESSAY II. It is my object to look at this question rather in its more general aspect, than as referring to particular planets, and in relation to the broader argument applying to all. If there were no arguments of another kind to oppose, it might amount to probability. But there are some such opposing arguments, which must be carefully noticed, such as those derived from the state of our moon, the geolo- gical history of our earth, and the condition of the sun, the asteroids essay editing uk and comets, to all which we shall refer in due order. As to the sun himself: the ingenious speculations The sun. Nature of Indeed, on this point there is one consideration the solar heat. The solar heat is entirely of a peculiar nature, unlike that which emanates from a terrestrial hot body simply cooling or radiating its heat.

The solar heat is not derived from the mere cooling of the sun, but is conveyed, as it were, in the rays of light, as a vehicle, and never becomes sensible as heat till the light is absorbed. It is, therefore, probable that these rays may owe their extrication from the sun to some other cause than elevation of temperature. It is an effect elicited or produced by the action of certain rays, which are no more properly rays of heat than a galvanic current can be called a current of heat, because, when stopped, it excites heat. The time of rotation of the planets, again, is a ma- Tempera- tureofthe terial element in modifying the degree of heat they P lanets - receive from the sun, from the comparative rapidity with which points on their surfaces pass from under the heating rays of the sun. But this, again, must be greatly modified by the individual temperatures of the planets essay editing uk arising from internal heat, the re- mains of their primeval high temperature, and de- pendent on their rate of cooling, which may be different in the different planets, from a state of primeval fusion. Some rough calculation, perhaps, might be instituted from their known densities and magnitudes which might give an idea as to the p 3 214 UNITY OF WOELDS. Of the moon, from its proximity, we of course know more than of the rest of our system. The visible details of its physical conformation or, as a recent writer somewhat strangely called it the geology of the moon, are familiarly known, and lead to the general idea of a vast waste of extinct vol- canoes without traces of seas or rivers, without a perceptible atmosphere, unless it be one of the most ESSAY II.

The intense heat which the moon herself acquires by absorption of these rays, if it could be radiated in sensible intensity to so great a distance as to the earth, would probably be all absorbed by our atmo- sphere and clouds, if not by any other cosmical medium, before it reaches us. Again, if they had essay editing uk extensively the use of fire, and manufactures dependent on its use, this would hardly fail to reveal itself by smoke.

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From the absence of such indications, then, it is affirmed that they have not anything resembling our manufacturing towns. But geology is not without its use in hinting at some kind of analogy in the moon with stages of formation which our earth has passed through. It may be added, that Madler and Beer, after their accurate and elaborate examina- tion of the physical structure of the moon, conclude with a distinct speculation on the probability of its containing inhabitants, however differently consti- tuted from ourselves. But all the foregoing speculations assume that the hemisphere of the moon, which is towards us, is similarly conditioned to the rest of its surface. Now, even at a very recent date, some results have been obtained of a highly curious nature with respect to the moon, which materially affect the question of its being inhabited, and show a peculiarity in the visible hemisphere. Mercury, The intensity of the solar rays, which would occa- "Venus, Mars. The planet Mars is on all hands admitted to be circumstanced so similarly to our earth, that little discussion can be needed. The kind of creatures capable of inhabiting the asteroids, or planetoids as they are now more pro- perly called, is a question on which Sir J. Herschel f has not thought it unfit to offer some conjectures. But if they are uninhabitable if they are excep- tional in this respect so they are in all others. Jupiter, therefore, may just as well be composed of solid materials, and be tenanted by animals capable of living on land, as by aquatics.

On our own planet, animals differ widely in this respect. In our own globe, this modification exists in the blue light of the sky.

Hence the inference of an aqueous reflector is not a necessary one. In point of fact, the light of the moon and of comets has been found to be polarised, where the presence of water is more than doubtful. If the planets presented plane surfaces, or if we could otherwise determine the angle of polarisation, then the inference as to water might be verified. The condition of comets is perhaps in some re- spects as well understood as that of the solid planets, notwithstanding their apparently more singular ap- pearance, and, in some instances, enormously distant wanderings. They are certainly transparent as masses, whether composed of gaseous matter, or much more probably of minute solid molecules loosely aggregated, and probably kept so by a high state of electric tension, through whose interstices light passes, but which may also be transparent themselves. It may be too hasty an assumption to assert that even in their present state they are not ESSAY II. With respect to that singular system of comets pi ane tary. May they not, in the revolu- tion of ages, possibly be destined to become more solidified members of our world? Nor can an astro- nomical imagination divest itself of the idea of some possible relation between this system and the ring of planetoids or scattered planetary globules, ap- proaching in so many respects a cometary nature, which occupies the region at about the mean dis- Q 226 UNITY OF WORLDS. In all these we may at least be at liberty to fancy stages of pro- gress towards worlds, and that consequently in each there may exist at least the germs and seeds of organisation and life. From what was before remarked as to the nature of the solar rays, arises this remarkable consideration with respect to comets, at variance with what is commonly supposed, that being, as we know they are, extremely transparent, however near they may ap- proach the sun, his rays will pass through them without heating them.

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