Astronomy illustrated in the 1840s
The want of a series of Plates for the illustration of the Science of Astronomy, of accurate, yet popular character, calculated for effective display, and still within a moderate compass, has led to the production of the present Work. The design comprehends 104 coloured Scenes, representing the Astronomical Phenomena of the Universe. These have been carefully executed from original drawings, paintings, and observatory studies; aided, occasionally, by appropriate pictorial embellishment, but with strict adherence to fidelity of detail. […]
The illustrations form the miniature scenery of a public exhibition, such as is occasionally witnessed in lecture-rooms; the text presenting the substance, the order, and the actual delivery of what becomes, in the present instance, a FAMILY ASTRONOMICAL LECTURE. The prominent features of the present Work are, the novelty and simplicity of the plan, and the elegance of its execution. With its aid a family need not henceforth quit their own parlour, or drawing-room fireside, to enjoy the sublime ‘beauty of the heavens;’ but, within their domestic circle, may, without any previous acquirements in Astronomy, become their own instructors in a knowledge of its great and leading truths and phenomena.
The Lecture may be read aloud by a parent, teacher or any other member of a party, the Scenes being exhibited, at the same time, in the numercial succession corresponding to their order of description. It would be impossible to devise a more rational, or, to a well-regulated mind, a more cheerful mode of passing an evening; or of inculcating the Divine lesson, of looking ‘through Nature up to Nature’s God.’”
Charles F Blunt, Introduction to ‘The Beauty of the Heavens’
February 19, 1473. Nicolaus Copernicus was born on this date, 540 years ago. Copernicus was a Renaissance astronomer and mathematician. He lived at a time when people believed Earth lay enclosed within crystal spheres at the center of the universe. Can you picture the leap of imagination required for him to conceive of a sun-centered universe? The publication of Copernicus’ book – De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) – just before his death in 1543, set the stage for all of modern astronomy. Today, people speak of his work as the Copernican Revolution.
Massive seagrass clones are oldest living things
Seagrasses are the foundation coastal ecosystems but have waned globally for the past 20 years. The cloned meadows decline about 5 percent annually.
Happy Summer Solstice, June 20, 2012, 7:09 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time. The Latin translation for “solstice” is “sun stands still.”
Summer Solstice, Stonehenge.
Sketches from Erraid Island, Hebrides, by Phoebe Wahl (Findhorn Foundation College, Findhorn Eco-Village, Scotland).
Map of the World, mid-1200’s, from al-Qazwini’s Wonders of Creation.
Considered to be one of the most important natural history transcripts of the medieval Islamic world. The author, al-Qazwini, was a noted natural historian and geographer of the time.
Love that lights the sky.
It’s important to be heroic, ambitious, productive, efficient, creative, and progressive, but these qualities don’t necessarily nurture the soul. The soul has different concerns, of equal value: downtime for reflection, conversation, and reverie; beauty that is captivating and pleasuring; relatedness to the environs and to people; and any animal’s rhythm of rest and activity.
~ Thomas Moore, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life
Lake Lucerne, above. Emil Nolde. 1930
Mountain Slope Over the Sea, Emil Nolde.
“Our personal consumer choices have ecological, social, and spiritual consequences. It is time to re-examine some of our deeply held notions that underlie our lifestyles.” ~David Suzuki
Art for the Earth. Mountain Top Trio, Vermont.
Artist: Susan Tunick