babies are crying

"There were tides in the new earth, long before there was an ocean.  In response to the pull of the sun the molten liquids of the earth's whole surface rose in tides that rolled unhindered around the globe and only gradually slackened and diminished as the earthly shell cooled, congealed, and hardened.  Those that believe that the moon is a child of the Earth say that during an early state of the earth's development something happened that caused this rolling, viscid tide to gather speed and momentum and rise to unimaginable heights.  Apparently the force that created these greatest tides the earth has ever known was the force of resonance, for at this time the period of the solar tides had come to approach, then equal, the period of the free oscillation of the liquid earth.  And so every sun tide was given increased momentum by the push of the earth's oscillation, and each of the twice-daily tides was larger than the one before it.  Physicists have calculated that, after 500 years of such monstrous, steadily increasing tides, those on the side toward the sun became too high for stability, and a great wave was torn away and hurled into space.  But immediately, of course, the newly created satellite became subject to physical laws that sent it spinning in an orbit of its own about the earth.  This is what we call the moon."
-Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us ch.1 "the gray beginnings"

1 comment:

  1. Rachel Carson was such an influential, inspirational voice! Thanks for sharing this, and thanks for the comment as well.