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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, April 08, 1906, Image 43

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WHERE in the universe in the earth bound
lor!' Scientists know that our entire
solar system is rushing along at the tre
mendous rate of seventy thousand kilo
rs (forty-three thousand miles) an hour toward
int in the heavens designated by tlie con
tion Hercules. But whether this rate is
■ "T less in <.ur day than in some prehistoric
n whether it has been so always, or will
n so, n(i man knoweth. And what shall we
hen we get there- Ah! that is one of the
riddles oi the universe.
riddle more easily within range of human
rehension is the ultimate end of the earth
in the universe it is going to find rest, but
be the manner of its death. Will it fall
n ancient monument of the iirma
■ decayed by millions of centuries of existence?
I >übt ; for it is not immortal. It has
not always existed, and will not always exist. The
earth lias had a birth, and will consequently die.
there are as many possible modes of death,
orld, apparently, as for other living beings.
May Die of Old Age
DERHAPS tl apparent to us all, that of
*• sheer old age, may come to it. We see the water
:r ol our earth diminishing, and we see the
ntinents gradually sinking, bul cer
tainly reducing the surface of the globe to one gen
eral level. This rives rise to the conjecture: Will
irth perish from drought and cold? or will it
be "■ 1 by the conquering ocean?
■ 5 the heat and life of the
pear, this would mean the total ex
■: all that lives, breathes, ami r<
ild the liquid element, on the
■ . land, such an action,
■ all> opposed to the preceding,
similar result. In either
the destruction of the human
I th ocean and atmosphere have been in
re extended than now. There
en all the great capitals of the
>ttom of the sea, and we find
our continents undeniable
■ • ojourn of the waters thereon.
imutable here below. Everything
>usly in a state of transformation.' The
the ocean under the form of vapor,
fterward condensed into clouds, and the
luce the snow and ram that ii<.-<\ the
-. the brooks, the rivers, the stream-,, and
the sea the water the sun had
orbed from them in the form of
ich is the order of circulation of the
iur (Janet. This vast process, however,
ithout causing loss or diminish
at< r, and o msequently the ex
rder that hould return to the <r reat
common
layers, along
which it will
End of the World
Various Ways in Which Our Earth
May Cease to Exist
By CAMILLE FLAMMARION
slide first as a bubbling spring, then as a limpid
river, and finally as a raging stream; otherwise, it
finds entry into the soil by all the fissures of the lat
ter. A quantity of water apparently insignificant,
but really important, on account of its action that
is continued for centuries, is enabled by this latter
means to penetrate the depths of the porous soil.
Should it descend far enough to reach a sufficiently
high temperature, it is transformed into vapor, such
fact being most recently the cause of volcanic erup
tions and of earthquakes. Generally it enters into
chemical combination with the earth and rocks,
forming hydrates. Such water is of course lost
from the general circulation.
This deprivation of moisture seems to have been
the late already of some portions of our solar sys
tem. ( hir neighbor the moon, whose dimensions
are inferior to those of the earth, cooled much more
rapidly and passed much more quickly through the
phases of planetary lite. Its former seas, whereon
the traces of the action of the waters are recogni
sable, are at present dried up. and no kind of evap
oration, no cloud, is discernible thereon. On the
plan, i Mars, which is also smaller than the earth.
and certainly in a more advanced period of plan
etary life, without being so aged as the moon, we
observe seas reduced to narrow inland straits; the
jjreat oceans have disappeared; rain is rare; and the
sky is nearly always clear.
Doubtless the future reserves for US a destiny,
first, Minilar to that of the present state of Mars,
then, similar to that of our satellite, the moon.
While to every two hundred molecules of oxygen
and of nitrogen there is found only one of water
vapor, this latter possesses, nevertheless, eight)
times more energy and efficacy than the other
two hundred. These minute transparent drops
suspended in the atmosphere act like heat condensers
t" concentrate the ray-, of the sun and to retain
them in the lower layers of the atmosphere. What
will happen when this protecting veil shall have
disappeared? The temperature of the soil will be
come glacial and v. ill render the globe uninhab
itable. From the summit of the mountains the
mantle of the snows will be spread over the valleys.
driving before it both life and civilization. At the
completion of tins epoch our planet will have reached
a temperature approximating two hundred and sev
enty-three decrees below zero.
End of the Sun
OUT will our globe live long enough to reach this
** distant age? and will it finally sleep in this mortal
cold!' Could not terrestrial life suffer a different
and a more rapid death? Would it not be possible
for the ocean to recover its supremacy over the
continents, and t<> spread anew, as at the dawn of
terrestrial life, its liquid mantle over each part of
the earth"'
Everywhere about us we observe the leveling
processes oi nature in widely variant forms, and to
tin's leveling process man lends willing hands. It
is easy to comprehend the completion of the process,
and thus there are two different modes of death,
two diametrically opposed ends, the one resulting
from the disappearance of the water, the other
from its invasion, the processes being carried on
henceforth with different degrees of intensity.
Whirli ..!' the two will conquer the other? This
cannot yet be calculated.
Tin- stud;, of the universe shows us a third fate
equally probable. Our sun is the poteni governor
ot all that exists here, and even it is not invulner
able to tli,- ravages of time; the day must come
when it will lose heat, light, and will finally be ex
tinguished. The heat radiation of our sun is indeed
one of imaginary magnitude; and the amount of heat
that the planets intercept on their passage through
space is insignificant, representing hardly the two
hundred and twenty-seven-millionth part of the
total radiation. The rest is lost in space.
We do not know how the sun maintains its for
midable combustion; but it appears sufficiently
accounted for from the fact of its continued,
gradual condensation according to the best es
tablished principles of thermodynamics. If it
condenses at present rapidly enough to com
pensate for so potent a radiation, this sun is
not yet beginning to cool; but, whatever may
happen, it will begin to do so one day. Dark
ness will gradually come on. A solid 'crust will
become fixed in the place of the mobile surface
of this fiery globe. Then the world must inevita
bly become, as all the other worlds of the solar
system, a frozen cemetery, continuing doubtless
to turn as a dark ball around another dark ball
and to follow its movements in the eternal night,
carried along with the other planetary tombs in
the infinite abyss.
Fate Millions of Years Away
'THIS fate seems millions of years distant : and long
* before reaching this period physical life, human
force, nutrition, ideas, religions, sciences, languages,
all will have been changed, and even the geography
of our globe will be vastly different from that of
to-day. Humanity, now in its childhood, as we
perceive only too clearly from its puerility and in
consistency, has before it an immense future, as
immense as the immensities of the universe. We
may therefore hope that some day it will attain a
certain social harmony, peace or concord, and will
live according to tile dictates of reason. That it
will ever attain perfection is improbable, since the
organic conditions of our little planet are them
selves too imperfect. On our own planet, one
must eat to live, and one must kill to eat, which
state- ol things is contrary to perfect development.
Even though a; a future period it I>e possible to feed
by means of chemical substances, there would al
ways remain the .yreat imperfection of our senses
which cannot deceive us as to the exact reality.
Various accidental deaths are also within Our
comprehension. Our earth might da.-.h against a
long tram of uranolites that would crush it either
partially or completely. It might further be caught
by a system of electric forces that would act like a
brake upon its twelve movements, and that would
either melt it or cause it t<> ignite. It might burst
like the upper cruM of a volcano, or be swagowed
up in a titanic- earthquake. It might lose the oxy
gen thai enables us to live. It mighi be attracted
by the passage oi a celestial body that would thus
bear it from tlie sun and would precipitate it into
the icy depths of space, or it might possibly be
literally roasted by a tenfold solar neat.
Then, too, there are comets. Have they not
more than once caused alarm to humanity? Their
number is considerable. Kepler has said that there
exist as main in the heavens as fish
in the ocean.
The sky is
streaked with
these wander
ing stars, fly
ing round the
sun like but
terilies round

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