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Off on a Comet! a Journey through Planetary Space von Verne, Jules (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 11.08.2015
  • Verlag: OTB eBook publishing
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Off on a Comet! a Journey through Planetary Space

The story starts with a comet called Gallia, that touches the Earth in its flight and collects a few small chunks of it. The disaster occurred on January 1 of the year 188x in the area around Gibraltar. On the territory that was carried away by the comet there remained a total of thirty-six people of French, eng, Spanish and Russian nationality. These people did not realize at first what had happened, and considered the collision an earthquake. They first noticed weight loss: the adjutant of Captain Servadac Ben Zoof to his amazement jumped twelve meters high. Zoof with Servadac also soon noticed that the alternation of day and night is shortened to six hours, that east and west changed sides, and that water begins to boil at 66 degrees Celsius, from which they rightly deduced that atmosphere became thinner and pressure dropped. At the beginning of their stay in Gallia they noticed the Earth with the Moon, but thought it was an unknown planet. Other important information was obtained through their research expedition with a ship, which the comet also took. During the voyage they discovered a mountain chain blocking the sea, which they initially considered to be the Mediterranean Sea and then they found the island of Formentera (before the catastrophe a part of the Balearic Islands). where they found a French astronomer Palmyrin Rosette, who helped them to solve all the mysterious phenomena. They were all on the comet which was discovered by Rosette a year ago and predicted a collision course with Earth, but no one believed the astronomer, because a layer of thick fog at the time prevented astronomical observations in other places... (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 342
    Erscheinungsdatum: 11.08.2015
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783956760600
    Verlag: OTB eBook publishing
    Größe: 396 kBytes
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Off on a Comet! a Journey through Planetary Space

CHAPTER VI. THE CAPTAIN MAKES AN EXPLORATION

Hector Servadac was not the man to remain long unnerved by any untoward event. It was part of his character to discover the why and the wherefore of everything that came under his observation, and he would have faced a cannon ball the more unflinchingly from understanding the dynamic force by which it was propelled. Such being his temperament, it may well be imagined that he was anxious not to remain long in ignorance of the cause of the phenomena which had been so startling in their consequences.

"We must inquire into this to-morrow," he exclaimed, as darkness fell suddenly upon him. Then, after a pause, he added: "That is to say, if there is to be a to-morrow; for if I were to be put to the torture, I could not tell what has become of the sun."

"May I ask, sir, what we are to do now?" put in Ben Zoof.

"Stay where we are for the present; and when daylight appears-if it ever does appear-we will explore the coast to the west and south, and return to the gourbi. If we can find out nothing else, we must at least discover where we are."

"Meanwhile, sir, may we go to sleep?"

"Certainly, if you like, and if you can."

Nothing loath to avail himself of his master's permission, Ben Zoof crouched down in an angle of the shore, threw his arms over his eyes, and very soon slept the sleep of the ignorant, which is often sounder than the sleep of the just. Overwhelmed by the questions that crowded upon his brain, Captain Servadac could only wander up and down the shore. Again and again he asked himself what the catastrophe could portend. Had the towns of Algiers, Oran, and Mostaganem escaped the inundation? Could he bring himself to believe that all the inhabitants, his friends, and comrades had perished; or was it not more probable that the Mediterranean had merely invaded the region of the mouth of the Shelif? But this supposition did not in the least explain the other physical disturbances. Another hypothesis that presented itself to his mind was that the African coast might have been suddenly transported to the equatorial zone. But although this might get over the difficulty of the altered altitude of the sun and the absence of twilight, yet it would neither account for the sun setting in the east, nor for the length of the day being reduced to six hours.

"We must wait till to-morrow," he repeated; adding, for he had become distrustful of the future, "that is to say, if to-morrow ever comes."

Although not very learned in astronomy, Servadac was acquainted with the position of the principal constellations. It was therefore a considerable disappointment to him that, in consequence of the heavy clouds, not a star was visible in the firmament. To have ascertained that the pole-star had become displaced would have been an undeniable proof that the earth was revolving on a new axis; but not a rift appeared in the lowering clouds, which seemed to threaten torrents of rain.

It happened that the moon was new on that very day; naturally, therefore, it would have set at the same time as the sun. What, then, was the captain's bewilderment when, after he had been walking for about an hour and a half, he noticed on the western horizon a strong glare that penetrated even the masses of the clouds.

"The moon in the west!" he cried aloud; but suddenly bethinking himself, he added: "But no, that cannot be the moon; unless she had shifted very much nearer the earth, she could never give a light as intense as this."

As he spoke the screen of vapor was illuminated to such a degree that the whole country was as it were bathed in twilight. "What can this be?" soliloquized the captain. "It cannot be the sun, for the sun set in the east only an hour and a half ago. Would that those clouds would disclose what enormous luminary lies behind them! What a fool I was not to have learnt more astro

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