THE SUNS AND THE PLANETS
20. Once upon a time in the history of the universe, lost among the myriad worlds, cosmic matter was condensed into the form of an immense nebula. This nebula was animated by the universal laws which govern matter. By virtue of these laws, and notably by the molecular force of attraction, it took the form of a spheroid, the only one which can originally be taken by a mass of isolated matter in space.
The circular movement, produced by gravitation exactly equal in all the molecular zones toward the center, soon modified the primitive sphere in order to conduct it from movement to movement toward the lenticular form. We speak of the whole of the nebula.
21. New forces surged in the train of this rotary movement — centripetal and centrifugal force — the first tending to draw every particle to the center, the second tending to cause the recession of every atom from it. Now, the movement accelerating itself, according to the condensation of the nebula and its radius, augmenting as it approaches the lenticular form, the centrifugal force, incessantly developed by these two causes, soon predominated over the central attraction the same as a too rapid movement of a sling breaks the cord, and throws the projectile to a distance.
Thus, the predominance of centrifugal force detached the equatorial circle of the nebula, and with this ring formed a new mass, isolated from the first, but nevertheless in submission to its empire. This mass has conserved its equatorial movement, which, modified, became its movement of translation around the solar body. Moreover, its new state gave to it a rotary movement around its proper center.
22. The nebulous generatrix which gave birth to this new world is condensed, and has resumed the spherical form; but the primitive heat developed by its different movements weakening it only by very slow degrees, the phenomenon we have just described will reproduce itself often during a long period, while this nebulous mass will not become dense or solid enough to oppose an efficacious resistance to the modifications of form, which successively impress its rotary movement.
It will then not have given birth simply of one astral body, but to hundreds of worlds detached from the central focus, issued from it by the mode of formation already presented. Now, each one of these worlds, invested like the primitive world with natural forces presiding at the creation of the universe, will engender in succession new globes gravitating henceforth around it, as it gravitates in concurrence with its brothers around the focus of their existence and life. Each one of these worlds will be a sun, a center of a whirling body of planets, successively escaped from its equator. These planets will each receive a particular life, although dependent upon their astral generator.
23. Planets are thus formed of masses of condensed matter, but not yet solidified, detached from the central mass by the action of centrifugal force, and taking, by virtue of the laws of motion, the spheroid form more or less elliptic, according to the degree of fluidity they have maintained. One of these planets is the Earth, which, before being cooled and invested with a solid crust, must have given birth to the moon by the same mode of astral formation to which it owes its own existence. The Earth henceforth inscribed in the book of life, a cradle of creatures whose feebleness is protected under the wing of Divine Providence, a new cord in the infinite harp which must vibrate in its place in the universal concert of worlds.