The English astronomer Richard A. Proctor was already a well-known populariser of science when he published Other Worlds Than Ours in 1870, joining a ferocious debate about the possibility of life on other planets in which Whewell (1853) and Brewster (1854) had also participated. Taking his cue from the seventeenth-century French astronomer Fontenelle's classic book The Plurality of Worlds, Proctor discusses Victorian discoveries about the solar system and describes what was then known about each of the planets. He evaluates the habitability of Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and Saturn in the light of his belief in the possibility of extraterrestrial life. The text includes many illustrations of the planets, a spectacular map of Mars, and theoretical views of the Milky Way. Influenced by Darwin, Proctor had a teleological view of the universe and believed that eventually the cosmos would be filled with living things.
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- Date Published: July 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108004176
- length: 360 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.46kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. What the earth teaches us
2. What we learn from the sun
3. The inferior planets
4. Mars, the miniature of our earth
5. Jupiter, the giant of the solar system
6. Saturn, the ringed world
7. Uranus and Neptune, the arctic planets
8. The moon and other satellites
9. Meteors and comets
their office in the solar system
10. Other suns than ours
11. Of minor stars, and of the distribution of stars in space
12. The nebulæ, are they external galaxies
13. Supervision and control.
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