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They [the Laputians] have likewise discovered two lesser stars, or satellites, which revolve about Mars, whereof the innermost is distant from the center of the primary planet exactly three of its diameters, and the outermost five; the former revolves in the space of ten hours, and the latter in twenty-one and a half; so that the squares of their periodical times are very near the same proportion with the cubes of their distance from the center of Mars, which evidently shows them to be governed by the same law of gravitation that influences the other heavenly bodies.
Laputa is a fictional flying island or rock, about 4.5 miles in diameter, with an adamantine base, which its inhabitants can maneuver in any direction using magnetic levitation. Its population consists mainly of educated people, who are fond of mathematics, astronomy, music and technology, but fail to make practical use of their knowledge (the rest are their servants).
Swift originally published all of his works under pseudonyms—such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, M.B. Drapier—or anonymously.
Geological features on Phobos are named after astronomers who studied Phobos and people and places from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. There is one named regio, Laputa Regio, and one named planitia, Lagado Planitia; both are named after places in Gulliver's Travels (the fictional Laputa, a flying island, and Lagado, imaginary capital of the fictional nation Balnibarbi). The only named ridge on Phobos is Kepler Dorsum, named after the astronomer Johannes Kepler.
Originally posted by l_e_cox
The point is: Are we to consider this an unusual feat of premonition, or evidence of prior knowledge of astronomy on earth?
Originally posted by jude11
What I find most interesting is the use of the term "Satellite"
Honestly didn't think it was used that far back.
Origin of SATELLITE
Middle French, from Latin satellit-, satelles attendant
First Known Use: circa 1548