Skywise Unlimited

     
Ouroboros

Darkness was at first by darkness hidden.
Hindu creation hymn

The Earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
Genesis 1:2

Nothing can be created out of nothing.
Lucretius 50 BCE

We can never admit that anything should come into being out of not being. Something either is or it is not.
Parmenides 445 BCE

You cannot make a big mistake about nothing.
John Dobson 1991 CE

In the beginning there was nothing at all. To the north and south of nothingness lay regions of fire and frost.
Snorri Sturluson 1220 CE

In the beginning there was only Tirawahat, which is the Universe and everything in it.
Skidi Pawnee Indian

In the very beginning everything was resting in darkness. Night oppressed everything like an impenetrable thicket.
Tribe of Aranda, Central Australia

All was in suspense, all calm, all in silence, all motionless and still and the expanse of the sky was empty.
Quiche Maya

The creator, Awonawilona, thought himself into being.
Zuni Indian

Na Arean sat alone in space as a cloud that floats in nothingness. He slept not, for there was no sleep. He hungered not, for as yet there was no hunger. So he remained for a great while, until a thought came to his mind. He said to himself, I will make a thing.
Maianan tribe, Gilbert Islands

First there was the Great Cosmic Egg. Inside the egg was chaos. Floating in the chaos was P'an Ku, the undeveloped divine embryo.
Huai-nan Tzu, China 100 BCE

They came to a round hole in the sky, burning like fire. "This," said the Raven, "is a star."
Inuit creation story

The cosmos is all there is, all there ever was, and all there ever will be.
Carl Sagan

The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started.
T.S. Eliot

For us physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion.
Albert Einstein

I ain't no physicist but I knows what matters.
Popeye the Sailor

There are too many stars in some places and not enough in others.
Mark Twain

I'm astounded by people who want to know the Universe. It's hard enough to find your way around Chinatown.
Woody Allen

A day is a miniature eternity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gravity is only the bark of wisdom's tree, but it is what preserves it.
Confucius 500 BCE

Even sticks and stones have a spiritual essence, a manifestation of the mysterious power that fills the Universe.
Sioux Indian

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
Chief Seattle 1854 CE

The drum in a dream pounds loud to the dreamer.
Carl Sandburg

You can be in my dream if I can be in yours.
Bob Dylan

See the world as it truly is, small and blue, beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats.
Archibald Macleish

The Sun, with all the planets revolving around it, and depending on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as though it had nothing else in the Universe to do.
Galileo Galilei

"We had the stars up there," said Huck, "And we use to lie on our backs and look up at them and discuss 'bout whether they was made or just happened. Jim he allowed that the stars was made, but I allowed they just happened. Jim said the Moon could'a laid them; Well, that looked kind of reasonable so I didn't say nothing against it. I've seen a frog lay most as many, so of course it could be done."
Mark Twain (Huckleberry Finn)

Things should be made as simple as possible but not simpler.
Albert Einstein

The glory of mathematics is that we do not have to say what we are talking about.
Richard Feynman

The future just ain't what it use to be and what's more it never was.
Lee Hays (The Weavers)

The heavens are now seen to resemble a luxuriant garden, which contains the greatest variety of productions, in different flourishing beds.
William Herschel

How is it that the sky feeds the stars?
Lucretius 54 BCE

In the Universe the difficult things are done as if they were easy.
Lao Tzu

What we have learned is like a handful of earth. What we have yet to learn is like the whole world.
Avvaiyar 300 CE

Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.
Richard Feynman

It is not easy to describe the sea with the mouth.
Kokyu Proverb

For those who are awake the cosmos is one.
Heraclitus 500 BCE

Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
Sarah Williams 1868 CE

The Sun, the stars and the seasons as they pass, some can gaze upon these with no strain of fear.
Horace 30 BCE

He showed me a little thing, the quantity of a hazel nut, in the palm of my hand; and it was as round as a ball. I looked thereupon with the eye of my understanding, and thought; "What may this be?" And it was answered generally thus: It is all that is made.
Julian of Norwich 1368 CE

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.
Revelation 12:1

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary. Whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Isaac Newton

Many a night from yonder ivied casement,
Ere I went to rest,
Did I look on great Orion,
Sloping slowly to the west.
Tennyson

The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire.
Pamela Hansford Johnson 1981 CE

I don't pretend to understand the Universe. It's a great deal bigger than I am.
Thomas Carlyle

"What did you see?" I asked, "Before beginning's Big Bang lights?"
(I reviews and interviews, I edits and I writes).
"Before the start of time, before the Universe's birth?
What did the Hubble show, ten billion years before the Earth?"
He told me. Now I writes no more. I drinks a bit, I edits.
"Right before the beginning, " he said, "is when they roll the credits!"
Jonathan Vos Post

I have looked farther into space than ever a human being did before me.
William Herschel 1780 CE

There is nothing new under the Sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9

O had I power like inclination,
I'd hoist thee up a constellation!
To canter with the Sagittare,
Or leap the Ecliptic like a bear,
Or turn the Pole like any arrow;
Or when old Phoebus bids good-morrow
Down the Zodiac urge the race,
And cast dirt on his godship's face:
For I could lay my bread and kale
He'd ne'er cast salt upon thy tail!
Robert Burns 1788 CE

He knows well the evening star, and once when he awoke, in a most distressful mood (some inward pain had made up that strange thing, an infant's dream), I hurried with him to our orchard plot, and he beheld the moon, and hushed at once. Suspends his sobs and laughs most silently. While his fair eyes, that swam with undropped tears, did glitter in the yellow moonbeam.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1829 CE

The wind-shak'd surge, with high and monstrous main, Seems to cast water on the burning Bear, And quench the guards of the ever-fixed pole.
Shakespeare, (Othello)

I must go down to the seas again,
To the lonely sea and the sky.
And all I want is a tall ship,
And a star to steer her by.
John Masefield

Watch the stars and from them learn.
To the Master's honor all must turn,
Each in its track, without a sound,
Forever tracing Newton's ground.
Albert Einstein

When I had heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wandered off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time
Looked up in perfect silence at the stars.
Walt Whitman

When I had satisfied myself that no star of that kind had ever shone before, I was led into such perplexity by the unbelievability of the thing that I began to doubt the faith of my own eyes.
Tycho Brahe (supernova 1572)

The infinitude of creation is great enough to make a world, or a Milky Way of worlds, look in comparison with it what a flower or an insect does in comparison with the Earth.
Immanuel Kant

It's just a bunch of junk up there.
Harry Monroe 1986 CE

In space you can hang your clothes anywhere.
RL.Dietz 1991 CE

God is mostly hydrogen.
Bradley Snowder 1988 CE

I would live to study, and not study to live.
Francis Bacon

Education is an ornament in prosperity, and a refuge in adversity.
Aristotle

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe.
Carl Sagan

The present situation in physics is as if we know chess, but we don't know one or two rules.
Richard Feynman

It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.
Rene Descartes

There are no frontiers to learning.
Japanese proverb

Knowledge advances by steps and not by leaps.
Lord Macaulay

The longer the island of knowledge the longer the shoreline of wonder.
Ralph W. Sockman

The way of progress is neither swift nor easy.
Marie Curie

Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.
Sir Karl Popper

Observations always involve theory.
Edwin Hubble

Eyesight should learn from reason.
Johanne Kepler

A great truth is a truth whose opposite is also a great truth.
Niels Bohr

Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world; all knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it.
Albert Einstein

Satire is looking through the wrong end of a telescope.
Dr. Seuss

Many a night I saw the Pleiads,
Rising thro' the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies,
Tangled in a silver braid.
Tennyson

That is the spiral galaxy in Andromeda. It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It consists of one hundred billion suns. Now I think we are small enough.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

I am a bear of very little brain, and long words bother me.
Winnie the Pooh

By getting to smaller and smaller units, we do not come to fundamental or indivisible units. But we do come to a point where further division has no meaning.
W. Heisenberg

I never think about the future. It comes soon enough.
Albert Einstein

Thales fell into a well as he was looking up at the stars. He was so eager to know what was going on in heaven that he could not see what was before his feet.
Thracian handmaid 585 BCE

There are many worlds and many systems of Universes existing all at the same time, all of them perishable.
Anaximander 546 BCE

There is a stability in the Universe because of the orderly and balanced process of change, the same measure coming out as going in, as if reality were a huge fire that inhaled and exhaled equal amounts.
Heraclitus 501 BCE

There are forces in nature called Love and Hate. The force of Love causes elements to be attracted to each other and to be built up into some particular form or person, and the force of Hate causes the decomposition of things.
Empedocles 430 BCE

Moving in space, the atoms originally were individual units, but inevitably they began to collide with each other, and in cases where their shapes were such as to permit them to interlock, they began to form clusters. Water, air, fire, and earth, these are simply different clusters of the changeless atoms.
Democritus 439 BCE

The forces of rotation caused red hot masses of stones to be torn away from the Earth and to be thrown into the ether, and this is the origin of the stars.
Anaxagoras 428 BCE

The joy of looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift.
Albert Einstein

It is indeed immensely picturesque. I can fancy sitting all a summer's day watching its shadows shorten and lengthen again, and drawing a delicious contrast between the world's duration and the feeble span of individual experience. There is something in Stonehenge almost reassuring; and if you are disposed to feel that life is rather a superficial matter, and that we soon get to the bottom of things, the immemorial gray pillars may serve to remind you of the enormous background of time.
Henry James 1875 CE

Infinity is just time on an ego trip.
Lily Tomlin

Nothing can be sworn impossible since Zeus made night during mid-day, hiding the light of the shining Sun.
Archilochus 648 BCE

The Sun is a mass of fiery stone, a little larger than Greece.
Anaxagoras 434 BCE

Spots are on the surface of the solar body where they are produced and also dissolved, some in shorter and others in longer periods. They are carried around the Sun; an important occurrence in itself.
Galileo Galilei 1611 CE

The source from which existing things derive their existence is also that to which they return at their destruction.
Anaximander 547 BCE

Time begins from some place
Measured by the age of light.
It began from the furthest thing
We see flicker in the night.
Art Mason

The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens.
Anaxagoras 459 BCE

One astronomer set up his equipment in an empty chicken coop to protect his instruments from the wind, and then spent most of the eclipse trying to shoo away the chickens, who dutifully reported to the roost when darkness fell.
Wm. Hartmann 1978 CE

A single lifetime, even though entirely devoted to the sky, would not be enough for the study of so vast a subject. A time will come when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them.
Seneca, Book 7, first century CE

Astronomy would not provide me with bread if men did not entertain hopes of reading the future in the heavens.
Johanne Kepler 1577 CE

A time will come when men will stretch out their eyes. They should see planets like our Earth.
Christopher Wren 1657 CE

A day will come when beings, now latent in our thoughts and hidden in our loins, shall stand upon Earth as a footstool and laugh, and reach out their hands amidst the stars.
H.G. Wells, 1902 CE

It is remarkable that the elements diffused through the host of stars are some of those most closely connected with the living organisms of our globe.
W. Huggins, 1865 CE

Newton was not the first of the age of reason, he was the last of the magicians.
John Keynes 1942 CE

Anyone who has lived through an English winter can see the point of building Stonehenge to make the Sun come back.
Alison Jolly 1988 CE

To me the most interesting thing about man is that he is an animal who practices art and science and in every known society practices both together.
Jacob Bronowski 1967 CE

Do you believe then that the sciences would ever have arisen and become great if there had not before hand been magicians, alchemists, astrologers and wizards, who thirsted and hungered after abscondite and forbidden powers.
Friedrich Nietzsche 1886 CE

The Hopi have no real professional astronomers, instead they have elders, widely educated in the ritually transmitted wisdom of clan and tribe.
Stephen McCluskey 1982 CE

We think that the Sun watcher is not a good man. He was wrong last year. The Hopi think that is why we had so much cold this winter and no snow.
Crow Wing 1925 CE

Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes that call me on and on across the Universe. Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns, it calls me on and on across the Universe.
The Beatles 1968 CE

If I get home before daylight I just might get some sleep tonight.
The Grateful Dead

What science strives for is an utmost acuteness and clarity of concepts as regards their mutual relation and their correspondence to sensory data.
Albert Einstein

Sometimes at night I just lie there looking up at the stars and I think man, I need to fix the roof.
Jack Handy

Why did not somebody teach me the constellations, and make me at home in the starry heavens, which are always overhead, and which I don't half know to this day?
Thomas Carlyle 1880 CE

The number of those seen by the naked eye at once is seldom above a thousand; though from their scintillation, and the indistinct manner in which they are viewed, they appear to be almost infinite.
W.H. Smyth 1860 CE

It is nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters.
Galileo Galilei 1611 CE (the Milky Way)

They toiled and built a thousand years
In love's all powerful might;
And so the Milky Way was made
A starry bridge of light.
Zacharias Topelius 1890 CE

Whether the skies grown old here shrink their frame,
And through the chinks admit an upper flame.
Or whether here the heaven's two halves are joyn'd,
But oddly clos'd still leave a seam behind.
Or here the parts in wedges closely prest,
To fix the frame, are thicker than the rest.
Like clouds condens'd appear and bound the sight,
The azure being thickened into white.
Gaius Manilius, first century CE (the Milky Way)

Torrent of light and river of air,
Along whose bed the glimmering stars are seen,
Like gold and silver sands in some ravine
Where mountain streams have left their channels bare!
H.W. Longfellow 1880 CE (the Milky Way)

Give me a firm place to stand and I will move the Earth.
Archimedes 200 BCE

To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.
William Blake 1800 CE

I could be bound in a nut shell and count myself a king of infinite space.
Shakespeare (Hamlet)

Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
Samuel Butler 1900 CE

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
Mark Twain (Life on the Mississippi)

The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit.
James Joyce, Ulysses

Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on Earth?
Job 38:33

"What are you? I have never seen anything like you." The Raven looked at man and was surprised that this strange new being was so much like himself.
Inuit creation story

Now that the destinies of heaven and Earth have been fixed, the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates have been established, what else shall we create? Oh Anunaki, you great gods of the sky, what else shall we do?
Persian creation story, 800 BCE

God is able to create particles of matter of several sizes and figures and perhaps of different densities and forces, and thereby to vary the laws of nature, and make worlds of several sorts in several parts of the Universe.
Isaac Newton

Where the telescope ends the microscope begins. Which of the two has the grander view?
Victor Hugo

If we could speed up our sense of time until thousands of years were speeding by in the wink of an eye, we would see bright nebulae burst into light, deliver themselves of a shower of stars, then fade back into darkness. As it is we see each nebula frozen at a stage in the process.
Timothy Ferris

May it not be that the brighter stars are like our Sun, the upholding and energizing centers of systems of living beings?
William Huggins 1865 CE

The rest of the planets have their dress and furniture, nay and their inhabitants too, as well as this Earth of ours.
Christiaan Huygens 1690 CE

Men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise.
H.G. Wells 1897 CE

The Universe is populated by innumerable suns, innumerable earths, and perhaps, innumerable forms of life. That thought expresses the essence of the Copernican revolution. No revelation more striking has ever come from the scientific mind.
Robert Jastrow 1989 CE

Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
Carl Sagan

To someone who could grasp the Universe from a unified standpoint the entire creation would appear as a unique truth and necessity.
J. d'Alembert 1772 CE

The best thing we're put here for's to see;
The strongest thing that's given us to see with's a telescope.
Someone in every town, seems to me, owes it to the town to keep one.
Robert Frost, The Star Splitter

That star is not on the chart!
Heinrich d'Arrest upon discovering Neptune, 1846 CE

Young man, I am afraid you are wasting your time. If there were any more planets they would have been found long before this.
Visiting astronomer to Clyde Tombaugh before he discovered Pluto, 1929 CE

Lunch.
Final log entry, Lowell Observatory, 1916 CE

One thing I have learned in a long life, that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike, and yet it is the most precious thing we have.
Albert Einstein, 1946 CE

A rocket explorer named Wright,
Once traveled much faster than light.
He set out one day, in a relative way,
And returned on the previous night.
Anonymous

Railroad carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of fifteen miles per hour by engines which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to the crops, scaring the livestock, and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such break-neck speed.
President Martin Van Buren, 1829 CE

Aerial flight is one of that class of problems with which man will never be able to cope.
Simon Newcomb, c. 1900 CE

The popular mind often pictures gigantic flying machines speeding across the Atlantic carrying innumerable passengers in a way analogous to our modern steamships. It seems safe to say that such ideas are wholly visionary.
William H. Pickering, astronomer 1910 CE

We hope the Professor from Clark College (Robert H. Goddard) is only pretending to be ignorant of elementary physics if he thinks that a rocket can work in a vacuum.
Editorial, The New York Times 1920 CE

There will certainly be no lack of human pioneers when we have mastered the art of flight....Let us create vessels and sails adjusted to the heavenly ether, and there will be plenty of people unafraid of the empty wastes. In the meantime we shall prepare, for the brave sky-travelers, maps of the celestial bodies.
Johannes Kepler 1610 CE

For my own part, I declare I know nothing whatever about it, but looking at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots representing towns and villages on a map. Why, I ask myself, shouldn't the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France?
Vincent Van Gogh 1889 CE

Before another century is done it will be hard for people to imagine a time when humanity was confined to one world, and it will seem to them incredible that there was ever anybody who doubted the value of space and wanted to turn his or her back on the Universe.
Isaac Asimov, 1979 CE

We hope someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations.
President Jimmy Carter, 1977 CE

As chairman of the Senate subcommittee responsible for NASA appropriations, I say not a penny for this nutty fantasy.
William Proxmire, 1977 CE

"You're out of your mind!" I told myself, hanging onto a ship in space, and getting ready to admire a sunrise.
Valeri Ryumin, USSR

Suddenly I saw a meteor go by underneath me.
Jeff Hoffman, USA

I raised the visor on my helmet cover and looked out to try to identify constellations. As I looked out into space, I was overwhelmed by the darkness. I felt the flesh crawl on my back and the hair rise on my neck.
William Pogue, USA

It was a texture. The blackness was so intense.
Charles Duke, USA

Frequently on the lunar surface I said to myself, "This is the Moon, that is the Earth. I'm really here, I'm really here!"
Alan Bean, USA

Ah! You see one Earth, you've seen them all.
Jack Schmitt, Lunar Module Pilot

In space everything is different, you sleep on the ceiling.
Anatoli Berezovoy, USSR

Straddled comfortably on the vacuum cleaner, I rode around the Salyut space station.
Yuri Artyukhin, USSR

We flew throughout the summer and fall and the start of winter. At first the whiteness gave way to the green of summer, and then gold covered the fields and forests, and then the whiteness again.
Anatoli Berezovoy, USSR

We were flying over America and suddenly I saw snow, the first snow we ever saw from orbit. I have never visited America, but I imagined that the arrival of autumn and winter is the same there as in other places, and the process of getting ready for them is the same. And then it struck me that we are all children of our Earth.
Aleksandr Aleksandrov, USSR

I see Earth. It is so beautiful.
Yuri A. Gagarin, first words in space, April 12, 1961 CE

Sometimes I have a terrible need of, shall I say the word, religion. Then I go out at night and paint the stars.
Vincent Van Gogh 1888 CE

The Universe is a pretty thing, a real pretty thing.
Keystone Astronomers 1988 CE



Collection assembled by Brad Snowder