astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma held together by its own gravity
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A star is a luminous sphere of plasma held together by its own gravity. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun. Many other stars are visible to the naked eye from Earth during the night, appearing as a multitude of fixed luminous points in the sky due to their immense distance from Earth. Historically, the most prominent stars were grouped into constellations and asterisms, the brightest of which gained proper names. Astronomers have assembled star catalogues that identify the known stars and provide standardized stellar designations. However, most of the stars in the Universe, including all stars outside our galaxy, the Milky Way, are invisible to the naked eye from Earth. Indeed, most are invisible from Earth even through the most powerful telescopes.

If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. ~ H. G. Wells
The stars are the street lights of eternity. ~ Rosicrucian proverb
Follow the arc to Arcturus,
and on to Spica go...
Vincent van Gogh: Starry Night (1889)


  • What are ye orbs?
    The words of God? the Scriptures of the skies?
  • The stars,
    Which stand as thick as dewdrops on the fields
    Of heaven.
  • This hairy meteor did announce
    The fall of sceptres and of crowns.
  • Cry out upon the stars for doing
    Ill offices, to cross their wooing.
  • Like the lost pleiad seen no more below.
  • The stars are golden fruit upon a tree
    All out of reach.
  • I would not creep along the coast but steer
    Out in mid-sea, by guidance of the stars.
  • If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.
  • The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence. Nature never wears a mean appearance.
  • Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars — mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is "mere". I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination — stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern — of which I am a part... What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined! Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?
  • The stars winked down their cryptic morse, and he had no key to their cipher.
    • Ian Fleming, Live and Let Die (1954), Chapter 17, The Undertaker's Wind
  • For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream in the same simple way as I dream about the black dots representing towns and villages on a map.
    • Vincent van Gogh, in a letter to his brother Theo, as quoted in Windows of the Soul : Experiencing God in New Ways‎ (1996) by Ken Gire, p. 91.
  • Those who see the great God in the sun, moon, stars, earth, air, fire, and water, and always meditate on Him only, get success in life and are the true devotees.
Stars shine but start to fade in the light. ~ Norah Jones
  • Stars shine but start to fade in the light
    Love is blind, could be wrong or it could be right
    In a bind telling myself it's for you
You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
regardless of who you are,
so do whatever it takes
'cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
~ Nickelback
  • You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
    regardless of who you are,
    so do whatever it takes
    'cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
  • I will look on the stars and look on thee,
    And read the page of thy destiny.
  • Two men look out between the same prison bars:
    One sees the mud, the other sees the stars.
    • Variant of a famous proverb, often attributed to Frederick Langbridge.
  • Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
    Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.
  • The night is calm and cloudless,
    And still as still can be,
    And the stars come forth to listen
    To the music of the sea.
    They gather, and gather, and gather,
    Until they crowd the sky,
    And listen, in breathless silence,
    To the solemn litany.
  • So sinks the day-star in the ocean-bed,
    And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
    And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore
    Flames in the forehead of the morning sky.
  • The star that bids the shepherd fold,
    Now the top of heaven doth hold.
  • Brightest seraph, tell
    In which of all these shining orbs hath man
    His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none,
    But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell.
  • Now glowed the firmament
    With living sapphires; Hesperus, that led
    The starry host, rode brightest, till the Moon,
    Rising in clouded majesty, at length
    Apparent queen, unveiled her peerless light,
    And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.
  • And made the stars,
    And set them in the firmament of heav'n,
    T' illuminate the earth, and rule the day
    In their vicissitude, and rule the night.
  • Hither, as to their fountain, other stars
    Repairing in their golden urns draw light,
    And hence the morning planet gilds her horns.
  • A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold,
    And pavement stars.
  • I am looking at the stars. They are so far away and their light takes so long to reach us. All we ever see of stars are their old photographs
  • Love knows not distance; it hath no continent; its eyes are for the stars...
  • Ye little stars, hide your diminish'd rays.
  • "I thought you understood," he said. "The world is your teacher. It will be all around you. The ocean and the wind and the stars and the moon will all teach you many things."
    • Jane Roberts, Emir's Education In The Proper Use of Magical Powers (1979) p. 10.
  • The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.
  • Her blue eyes sought the west afar,
    For lovers love the western star.
    • Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Canto III, Stanza 24.
  • The skies are painted with unnumber'd sparks,
    They are all fire and every one doth shine,
    But there's but one in all doth hold his place.
  • Look how the floor of heaven
    Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold:
    There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st
    But in his motion like an angel sings,
    Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubins:
    Such harmony is in immortal souls;
    But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
    Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
  • Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
    How I wonder what you are,
    Up above the world so high,
    Like a diamond in the sky!
    • Jane Taylor, "The Star," from Original Poems for Infant Minds (1804).
  • Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro' the mellow shade,
    Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid.
  • Keen winds of cloud and vaporous drift
    Disrobe yon star, as ghosts that lift
    A snowy curtain from its place,
    To scan a pillow’d beauty’s face.
    They see her slumbering splendours lie
    Bedded on blue unfathom’d sky.
    And swoon for love and deep delight,
    And stillness falls on all the night.
  • But who can count the stars of Heaven?
    Who sing their influence on this lower world?
  • The twilight hours, like birds, flew by,
    As lightly and as free;
    Ten thousand stars were in the sky,
    Ten thousand on the sea;
    For every wave with dimpled face,
    That leaped upon the air,
    Had caught a star in its embrace,
    And held it trembling there.
    • Amelia B. Welby, "Musings", stanza 4, in Poems (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1860), p. 29.
  • As man loses touch with his 'inner being', his instinctive depths, he finds himself trapped in the world of consciousness, that is to say, in the world of other people. Any poet knows this truth; when other people sicken him, he turns to hidden resources of power inside himself, and he knows then that other people don't matter a damn. He knows the 'secret life' inside him is the reality; other people are mere shadows in comparison. but the 'shadows' themselves cling to one another. 'Man is a political animal', said Aristotle, telling one of the greatest lies in human history. Man has more in common with the hills, or with the stars, than with other men.
  • When these celestial animals burst into view, I was awed by their beauty. But when they became so strongly evident (as they quickly did) that I could no longer dismiss them by an act of will, I began to feel as frightened of them as I was of falling into that midnight abyss over which they writhed; yet this was not a simple physical and instinctive fear like the other, but rather a sort of philosophical horror at the thought of a cosmos in which rude pictures of beasts and monsters had been painted with flaming suns.
  • Hence Heaven looks down on earth with all her eyes.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VII, line 1,103.
  • One sun by day, by night ten thousand shine;
    And light us deep into the Deity;
    How boundless in magnificence and might.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IX, line 728.
  • Who rounded in his palm these spacious orbs
    * * * * * *
    Numerous as gliterring gems of morning dew,
    Or sparks from populous cities in a blaze,
    And set the bosom of old night on fire.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IX, line 1,260.
  • The stars blazed like the love of God, cold and distant.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 748-52.
  • The spacious firmament on nigh,
    With all the blue ethereal sky,
    And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
    Their great Original proclaim.
    Forever singing, as they shine,
    The hand that made us is divine.
  • The sad and solemn night
    Hath yet her multitude of cheerful fires;
    The glorious host of light
    Walk the dark hemisphere till she retires;
    All through her silent watches, gliding slow,
    Her constellations come, and climb the heavens, and go.
  • When stars are in the quiet skies,
    Then most I pine for thee;
    Bend on me then thy tender eyes,
    As stars look on the sea.
  • The number is certainly the cause. The apparent disorder augments the grandeur, for the appearance of care is highly contrary to our ideas of magnificence. Besides, the stars lie in such apparent confusion, as makes it impossible on ordinary occasions to reckon them. This gives them the advantage of a sort of infinity.
    • Edmund Burke, On the Sublime and the Beautiful, Magnificence.
  • A grisly meteor on his face.
  • And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky.
  • Where Andes, giant of the western star,
    With meteor standard to the winds unfurl'd.
  • In yonder pensile orb, and every sphere
    That gems the starry girdle of the year.
  • Now twilight lets her curtain down
    And pins it with a star.
    • Lydia Maria Child. Adapted from M'Donald Clark. Appeared thus in his obituary notice.
  • Quod est ante pedes nemo spectat: cœli scrutantur plagas.
    • No one sees what is before his feet: we all gaze at the stars.
    • Cicero, De Divinatione, II. 13.
  • While twilight's curtain gathering far,
    Is pinned with a single diamond star.
  • Whilst twilight's curtain spreading far,
    Was pinned with a single star.
    • M'Donald Clark, Death in Disguise, line 227. As it appeared in Boston Ed. 1833.
  • Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star
    In his steep course?
  • Or soar aloft to be the spangled skies
    And gaze upon her with a thousand eyes.
  • All for Love, or the Lost Pleiad.
  • The stars that have most glory have no rest.
  • The starres, bright sentinels of the skies.
  • Why, who shall talk of shrines, of sceptres riven?
    It is too sad to think on what we are,
    When from its height afar
    A world sinks thus; and yon majestic Heaven
    Shines not the less for that one vanish'd star!
  • The starres of the night
    Will lend thee their light,
    Like tapers cleare without number.
  • Micat inter omnes
    Iulium sidus, velut inter ignes
    Luna minores.
    • And yet more bright
      Shines out the Julian star,
      As moon outglows each lesser light.
    • Horace, Carmina, I. 12. 47.
  • The dawn is lonely for the sun,
    And chill and drear;
    The one lone star is pale and wan,
    As one in fear.
  • When, like an Emir of tyrannic power,
    Sirius appears, and on the horizon black
    Bids countless stars pursue their mighty track.
  • The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.
    • Job, XXXVIII. 7.
  • Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
    • Job, XXXVIII. 31.
  • Canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
    • Job, XXXVIII. 32.
  • When sunset flows into golden glows,
    And the breath of the night is new,
    Love finds afar eve's eager star—
    That is my thought of you.
  • Who falls for love of God shall rise a star.
  • The stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
    • Judges. V. 20.
  • God be thanked for the Milky Way that runs across the sky.
    That's the path that my feet would tread whenever I have to die.

    Some folks call it a Silver Sword, and some a Pearly Crown,
    But the only thing I think it is, is Main Street, Heaventown.
  • The stars, heav'n sentry, wink and seem to die.
  • Just above yon sandy bar,
    As the day grows fainter and dimmer,
    Lonely and lovely, a single star
    Lights the air with a dusky glimmer.
  • There is no light in earth or heaven
    But the cold light of stars;
    And the first watch of night is given
    To the red planet Mars.
  • Stars of the summer night!
    Far in yon azure deeps
    Hide, hide your golden light!
    She sleeps!
    My lady sleeps!
  • A wise man,
    Watching the stars pass across the sky,
    In the upper air the fireflies move more slowly.
  • Now the bright morning-star, day's harbinger,
    Comes dancing from the east.
  • Stars are the Daisies that begem
    The blue fields of the sky,
    Beheld by all, and everywhere,
    Bright prototypes on high.
  • The quenchless stars, so eloquently bright,
    Untroubled sentries of the shadow'y night.
  • But soon, the prospect clearing,
    By cloudless starlight on he treads
    And thinks no lamp so cheering
    As that light which Heaven sheds.
  • And the day star arise in your hearts.
    • II. Peter I. 19.
  • Would that I were the heaven, that I might be
    All full of love-lit eyes to gaze on thee.
    • Plato, To Stella. In Anthologia Palat, Volume V, p. 317.
  • Starry Crowns of Heaven
    Set in azure night!
    Linger yet a little
    Ere you hide your light:—
    Nay; let Starlight fade away,
    Heralding the day!
  • No star is ever lost we once have seen,
    We always may be what we might have been.
  • One naked star has waded through
    The purple shallows of the night,
    And faltering as falls the dew
    It drips its misty light.
  • Thus some who have the Stars survey'd
    Are ignorantly led
    To think those glorious Lamps were made
    To light Tom Fool to bed.
  • Hesperus bringing together
    All that the morning star scattered.
    • Sappho, XIV. Translation by Bliss Carman.
  • Non est ad astra mollis e terris via.—
    There is no easy way to the stars from the earth.
    • Seneca the Younger, Hercules Furens, Act II. 437. Same idea in Usener, Scholia. Lucan. I. 300. Prudentius, Cathem, 10. 92.
  • O that my spirit were yon heaven of night,
    Which gazes on thee with its thousand eyes.
  • He that strives to touch a star,
    Oft stumbles at a straw.
  • Clamorem ad sidera mittunt.
    • They send their shout to the stars.
    • Statius, Thebais, XII. 521.
  • As shaking terrors from his blazing hair,
    A sanguine comet gleams through dusky air.
  • Twinkle, twinkle, little star!
    How I wonder what you are,
    Up above the world so high,
    Like a diamond in the sky!
  • Each separate star
    Seems nothing, but a myriad scattered stars
    Break up the Night, and make it beautiful.
  • The stars shall be rent into threds of light,
    And scatter'd like the beards of comets.
  • She saw the snowy poles and moons of Mars,
    That marvellous field of drifted light
    In mid Orion, and the married stars—
    • Alfred Tennyson, Palace of Art. Unfinished lines withdrawn from later editions. Appears in footnote to Ed. of 1833.
  • You meaner beauties of the night,
    That poorly satisfy our eyes
    More by your number than your light;
    You common people of the skies,—
    What are you when the moon shall rise?
    • Sir Henry Wotton, On His Mistress, the Queen of Bohemia ("Sun" in some editions).
  • Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
    That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
  • How should we like it were stars to burn
    With a passion for us we could not return?
  • Admirer as I think I am
    Of stars that do not give a damn,
    I cannot, now I see them, say
    I missed one terribly all day.
    Were all stars to disappear or die,
    I should learn to look at an empty sky
    And feel its total dark sublime,
    Though this might take me a little time.
  • So Hector spake; and Trojans roar’d applause;
    Then loosed their sweating horses from the yoke,
    And each beside his chariot bound his own;
    And oxen from the city, and goodly sheep
    In haste they drove, and honey-hearted wine
    And bread from out the houses brought, and heap’d
    Their firewood, and the winds from off the plain
    Roll’d the rich vapor far into the heaven.
    And these all night upon the bridge of war
    Sat glorying; many a fire before them blazed:
    As when in heaven the stars about the moon
    Look beautiful, when all the winds are laid,
    And every height comes out, and jutting peak
    And valley, and the immeasurable heavens
    Break open to their highest, and all the stars
    Shine, and the Shepherd gladdens in his heart:
    So many a fire between the ships and stream
    Of Xanthus blazed before the towers of Troy,
    A thousand on the plain; and close by each
    Sat fifty in the blaze of burning fire;
    And eating hoary grain and pulse the steeds,
    Fixt by their cars, waited the golden dawn.
    • Homer, Iliad, VIII, 542-561.
      Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "The Trojan Camp-fires",
      Cornhill Magazine, 8 (December 1863); Works, 3 (1872)
    • So Hector...] So Hector said, and sea-like roar’d his host;
      bridge of war] ridge of war
      And eating...] (a) And champing golden grain, the horses stood / Hard by their chariots, waiting for the dawn.
      (b) And eating hoary grain and pulse the steeds / Stood by their cars, waiting the thronèd morn.

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