Orbiting the earth 2

Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
A treatise of the system of the world
London: F. Fayram, 1728

A title long associated with the composition of the Principia mathematica, the manuscript of De mundi systemate was first drafted as the final book of the Principia and is now University Library MS.Add.3990. It was published in the original Latin by John Conduitt and then translated into English perhaps by Andrew Motte, both in 1728.

Much is embodied in the engraving shown, which imagines a cannon on a mountain-top firing with increasing energy so that the shot falls progressively further away until it comes back round to the starting point, not hitting the ground; it would then be in orbit. Today our mountains and cannon are powerful rockets that must reach 6 miles-per-second to hurl satellites into orbit about the Earth at 17,500mph.

Rel.f.1b.48, p. 6

Extended captions