Last modified on 27 October 2014, at 18:31

Astronomy

Astronomy is the science of celestial objects such as stars, planets, comets and galaxies.

Johannes Hevelius 1611-1687

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  • It does at first appear that an astronomer rapt in abstraction, while he gazes on a star, must feel more exquisite delight than a farmer who is conducting his team.
    • Isaac D'Israeli, Literary Character of Men of Genius, On Habituating Ourselves to an Individual Pursuit; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 46.
  • Although Uranus and Neptune are superficially twin planets, they are different enough to remind us - as do Venus and Earth - that we still have a lot to learn about the mix of natural laws and historical accidents that formed the planets and fashioned their destinies.
  • The wonder is, not that the field of stars is so vast, but that man has measured it.
  • Over the rim of waiting earth the moon lifted with majesty till it swung clear of the horizon and rode off, free of moorings...
  • Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies!
    O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!

    The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there!
  • A strange weasel-built creature with a curly tail.
    • Johannes Hevelius on his newly described constellation Lacerta the lizard in 1687 - reported in SkyNews The Canadian Magazine of Astronomy and Stargazing September/October 2002.
  • And God made two great lights, great for their use
    To man, the greater to have rule by day,
    The less by night, altern.
  • At night astronomers agree.
    • Matthew Prior, Phillis's Age, Stanza 3; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 46.
  • My lord, they say five moons were seen tonight:
    Four fixed, and the fifth did whirl about
    The other four in wondrous motion.
  • These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights
    That give a name to every fixed star
    Have no more profit of their shining nights
    Than those that walk, and wot not what they are.
  • And teach me how
    To name the bigger light, and how the less,
    That burn by day and night.
  • O how loud
    It calls devotion! genuine growth of night!
    Devotion! daughter of Astronomy!
    An undevout Astronomer is mad.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IX, line 774.
  • I open the scuttle at night and see the far sprinkled systems,
    And all I see multiplied as high as I can cyper edge but rim of the farthest systems.

    Wider and wider they spread, expanding, always expanding,
    Outward and outward, forever outward.

"...far sprinkled systems"

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