of all from the Sun is practically equal That Jupiter
gives out some light of his own, a portion of which
they may possibly reflect in differing amount according
to their varying distance, is believed by Martial
astronomers; and I thought it not improbable.
The brilliant and various colouring of the bands which,
cross the face of the giant planet was wonderfully
brought out; the bluish-grey around the poles, the
clear yellowish-white light of the light bands, probably
belts of white cloud, contrasted signally the hues—varying
from deep orange-brown to what was almost crimson
or rose-pink on the one hand and bright yellow on
the other—of different zones of the so-called
dark belts. On the latter, markings and streaks
of strange variety suggested, if they failed-to prove,
the existence of frequent spiral storms, disturbing,
probably at an immense height above the surface, clouds
which must be utterly unlike the clouds of Mars or
the Earth in material as well as in form and mass.
These markings enabled us to follow with clear ocular
appreciation the rapid rotation of this planet.
In the course of half-an-hour several distinct spots
on different belts had moved in a direct line across
a tenth of the face presented to us—a distance,
upon the scale of the gigantic image, so great that
the motion required no painstaking observation, but
forced itself upon the notice of the least attentive
spectator. The belief of Martial astronomers
is that Jupiter is not by any means so much less dense
than the minor planets as his proportionately lesser
weight would imply. They hold that his visible
surface is that of an enormously deep atmosphere,
within which lies, they suppose, a central ball, not
merely hot but more than white hot, and probably, from
its temperature, not yet possessing a solid crust.
One writer argues that, since all worlds must by analogy
be supposed to be inhabited, and since the satellites
of Jupiter more resemble worlds than the planet itself,
which may be regarded as a kind of secondary sun, it
is not improbable that the former are the scenes of
life as varied as that of Mars itself; and that infinite
ages hence, when these have become too cold for habitation,
their giant primary may have gone through those processes
which, according to the received theory, have fitted
the interior planets to be the home of plants, animals,
and, in two cases at least, of human beings.
It was near midnight before the manifest fatigue of
the ladies overcame my selfish desire to prolong as
much as possible this most interesting visit.
Meteorological science in Mars has been carried to
high perfection; and the director warned me that but
three or four equally favourable opportunities might
offer in the course of the next half year.
CHAPTER XXIII — CHARACTERISTICS.
Time passed on, marked by no very important incident,
while I made acquaintance with manners and with men
around me, neither one nor the other worth further
description. Nothing occurred to confirm the
alarms Davilo constantly repeated.