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Great quote from a great book...

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#1 azure1961p

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:34 PM

It's William Sheehans A PASSION FOR THE PLANETS, commenting on his appreciation of a night sky:

“I know of nothing more satisfying than to stand beneath the stars, with a brilliant planet shining in the sky. Then all worldly cares fall away, and one lives - for a moment - in the shadow of eternity. There is an exhilaration to communing with other worlds that is addictive. Moreover, for those who follow the movements of the planets, the rhythms and seasons of life have always been played out against elongations and oppositions, conjunctions and occultations. Such events are transcendent, and give a sort of majesty to existences that otherwise can seem so trivial and ephemeral.”

Excerpt From: Sheehan, William. “A Passion for the Planets.” Springer New York, New York, NY. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Pete

#2 Astrodj

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:55 PM

Pete,

That describes exactly how I feel when I look at Jupiter and it's moons through a telescope for several hours on end. Awesome quote.

#3 azure1961p

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:44 PM

It's actually quite a heavy read in terms of brute honesty - and not always flattering and light. The way Burnham Jr. withered out of existence was particularly tragic. Through it all (so far!!) it's beautifully executed and enlightening. I stumbled on a real gem.

Pete

#4 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 06:34 AM

It's William Sheehans A PASSION FOR THE PLANETS, commenting on his appreciation of a night sky:

“I know of nothing more satisfying than to stand beneath the stars, with a brilliant planet shining in the sky. Then all worldly cares fall away, and one lives - for a moment - in the shadow of eternity. There is an exhilaration to communing with other worlds that is addictive. Moreover, for those who follow the movements of the planets, the rhythms and seasons of life have always been played out against elongations and oppositions, conjunctions and occultations. Such events are transcendent, and give a sort of majesty to existences that otherwise can seem so trivial and ephemeral.”


I couldn't agree more. :bow:

Rich (RLTYS)

#5 Dean Norris

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:24 PM

Pete,

This quote really sums it up well. The night sky is truly inspirational.

Thanks for posting. Dean

#6 Rick Woods

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:19 PM

Sheehan is very eloquent. One of the best astro writers out there.
I'll look for that one.

#7 azure1961p

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 04:37 PM

Rick its so worth it. It's over the top. He goes off on these long digressions then returns to the starting point in this reoccurring illuminating style of presentation, fact, theory and personal views.
Pete

#8 ericj

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:32 AM

Hi Pete,

Great quote. Here are some of my favorite astronomy quotes:

"I know that I am mortal and the creature of a day; but when I search out the massed wheeling circles of the stars, my feet no longer touch the earth, but, side by side with Zeus himself, I take my fill of ambrosia, the food of the gods." -- Ptolemy

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." -- Vincent van Gogh

"There is a grandeur, an almost overpowering sublimity in the scene that no language can fully express." -- George P. Bond, after observing The Orion Nebula with the 15" refractor at Harvard College Observatory, 1847

"There is not perhaps another object in the heavens that presents us with such a variety of extraordinary phenomena as the planet Saturn: a magnificent globe, encompassed by a stupendous double ring: attended by seven satellites: ornamented with equatorial belts: compressed at the poles: turning upon its axis: mutually eclipsing its ring and satellites, and eclipsed by them: the most distant of the rings also turning upon its axis, and the same taking place with the farthest of the satellites: all the parts of the system of Saturn occasionally reflecting light to each other: the rings and moons illuminating the nights of the Saturnian: the globe and satellites enlightening the dark parts of the rings: and the planet and rings throwing back the sun's beams upon the moons, when they are deprived of them at the time of their conjunctions." -- Sir William Herschel, 1805

"If I were to pray for a taste which would stand by me under every variety of circumstances, and be a source of happiness and cheerfulness to me through life, and a shield against its ills, however things might go amiss, and the world frown upon me, it would be a taste for reading." -- Sir William Herschel

"I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The almighty has said no doubt, 'Now here are two unaccountable freaks. They came in together, they must go out together'." -- Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), April, 1910

"I recollect a night of broken clouds And underfoot snow melted down to ice, And melting further in the wind to mud. Bradford and I had out the telescope. We spread our two legs as we spread its three, Pointed our thoughts the way we pointed it, And standing at our leisure till the day broke, Said some of the best things we ever said. That telescope was christened the Star-Splitter..." -- Robert Frost, from his poem entitled "The Star-Splitter"

Best,

Eric Jamison

#9 azure1961p

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 03:35 PM

Thanks for the quotes Eric. I just finished today reading a best seller by Jim Holt : WHY DOES THE WORLD EXIST? He goes through all the great philosophers of present, late present and deep past . One of the heaviest reads Ive ever had!!!

I enjoyed your listed fab quotes, thanks again!

Pete






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