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Life on the Moon


baggywrinkle

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I was doing some research in the books available from the Gutenburg project and I came across this one  from 1638 http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19103/19103-h/19103-h.htm

 

An interesting view of the Moon in those days and the prospects of life on it...here's a taste

The Propositions

that are proved

in this Discourse.


Proposition 1.

That the strangenesse of this opinion is no sufficient reason why it should be rejected, because other certaine truths have beene formerly esteemed ridiculous, and great absurdities entertayned by common consent.

By way of Preface.

Prop. 2.

That a plurality of worlds doth not contradict any principle of reason or faith.

213

Prop. 3.

That the heavens doe not consist of any such pure matter which can priviledge them from the like change and corruption, as these inferiour bodies are liable unto.

Prop. 4.

That the Moone is a solid, compacted opacous body.

Prop. 5.

That the Moone hath not any light of her owne.

Prop. 6.

That there is a world in the Moone, hath beene the direct opinion of many ancient, with some moderne Mathematicians, and may probably be deduced from the tenents of others.

214

Prop. 7.

That those spots and brighter parts which by our sight may be distinguished in the Moone, doe shew the difference betwixt the Sea and Land in that other world.

Prop. 8.

That the spots represent the Sea, and the brighter parts the Land.

Prop. 9.

That there are high Mountaines, deepe vallies, and spacious plaines in the body of the Moone.

Prop. 10.

That there is an Atmo-sphæra, or an orbe of grosse vaporous aire, immediately encompassing the body of the Moone.

215

Prop. 11.

That as their world is our Moone, so our world is their Moone.

Prop. 12.

That tis probable there may bee such Meteors belonging to that world in the Moone, as there are with us.

Prop. 13.

That tis probable there may be inhabitants in this other World, but of what kinde they are is uncertaine.

FINIS.

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I thought life on the moon was a well established fact! When the British first reached the moon at the end of the 19th century, beating the Americans by more than 70 years, after travelling there in Cavors Sphere, they found life there living beneath the surface in the form of The Selenites.? ? H.G. Wells wouldn't lie! 

Mike :happy11:

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William Herschel was a believer in life on the Moon, he thought that craters could be alien townships. Writing sometime in the 18th century here's his reasoning on the subject:

Quote

As upon the Earth several Alterations have been, and are daily, made of a size sufficient to be seen by the inhabitants of the Moon, such as building Towns, cutting canals for Navigation, making turnpike roads &c: may we not expect something of a similar Nature on the Moon? – There is a reason to be assigned for circular-Buildings on the Moon, which is that, as the Atmosphere there is much rarer than ours and of consequence not so capable of refracting and (by means of clouds shining therein) reflecting the light of the sun, it is natural enough to suppose that a Circus will remedy this deficiency, For in that shape of Building one half will have the directed light and the other half the reflected light of the Sun.  Perhaps, then on the Moon every town is one very large Circus?…Should this be true ought we not to watch the erection of any new small Circus as the Lunarians may the Building of a new Town on the Earth….By reflecting a little on the subject I am almost convinced that those numberless small Circuses we see on the Moon are the works of the Lunarians and may be called their Towns….Now if we could discover any new erection it is evident an exact list of those Towns that are already built will be necessary.  But this is no easy undertaking to make out, and will require the observation of many a careful Astronomer and the most capital Instruments that can be had.  However this is what I will begin.

(Quote taken from here).

All very speculative but he's thinking in a fairly scientific manner at this point, about how to test this idea. Later on he did a bit of a "Lowell" and started projecting his ideas on the views through the eyepiece, noting a possible forest among other things. (At least he didn't go quite as far as Lowell, who not only discovered a Martian civilisation but deduced their political system, oddly enough was similar to his own beliefs. It's a little embarrassing that we have a dwarf planet named in honour of the guy.)

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In fact, it was Sir John Herschel who established there was life on the Moon in 1835. Setting up a very large telescope in South Africa, Herschel used a microscope to further magnify the view of his eyepiece (a well-known technique now sadly forgotten, but I've used it with success to identify locks, barges and a couple of promising water-side pubs on the Martian canals).

Herschel's findings were first published in the scholarly Edinburgh Journal of Science and later in serial form in The Sun, a respected New York newspaper (no relation to the British Sun).

640px-Great-Moon-Hoax-1835-New-York-Sun-

O.K. - it was a hoax, but thousands of people appeared to believe it. Herschel really did observe in South Africa, but knew nothing of the newspaper articles. At first he took it all in good humor, but in later life became a little annoyed that the public continued to question him about the lunar inhabitants.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Moon_Hoax

and also: Matthew Goodman - The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York (New York: Basic Books, 2008)

 

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