Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not."
- Isaac Asimov

Arctic Signal Light  
  A means of communicating with spacecraft from the surface of the Earth.  

A very early description of a means to communicate with a spacecraft from the surface of the Earth.

The sun had apparently set behind the moon, and they were eclipsed. The stars shone with the utmost splendour against the dead-black sky, and the earth appeared as a large crescent, still considerably larger than the satellite to which they were accustomed. Exactly at midnight a faint phosphorescent light, like that of a glow-worm, appeared in the region of Greenland on the planet they had left. It gradually increased its strength till it shone like a long white beam projected from a lighthouse, and in this they beheld the work of the greatest search-light ever made by man, receiving for a few moments all the electricity generated by the available dynamos at Niagara and the Bay of Fundy, the steam engines, and other sources of power in the northern hemisphere. The beam lasted with growing intensity for one minute; it then spelled out with clean-cut intervals, according to the Cable Code: "23 no' 6". The southern hemisphere pumps are now raising and storing water at full blast. We have already begun to lower the Arctic Ocean."


(The arctic signal light)

On receiving this last earthly message, the travellers sprang to their searchlight, and, using its full power, telegraphed back the following: "Many thanks to you for good news about earth, and to Secretary Deepwaters for lending us the navy. Result of work most glorious. Remember us to everybody. Shadow's edge approaching."

This was read by the men in the great observatories, who evidently telephoned to the arctic Signal Light immediately, for it flashed back: "Got your message perfectly. Wish you greatest luck. The T. A. S. Co. has decked the Callisto's pedestal with flowers, and has ordered a tablet set up on the site to commemorate your celestial journey."

From A Journey In Other Worlds, by John Jacob Astor IV.
Published by D. Appleton and Co. in 1894
Additional resources -

Compare to this method of communicating with extraterrestrials from Jule Verne's From the Earth to the Moon (1867).

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Journey In Other Worlds
  More Ideas and Technology by John Jacob Astor IV
  Tech news articles related to A Journey In Other Worlds
  Tech news articles related to works by John Jacob Astor IV

Articles related to Space Tech
Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.