Teddy Roosevelt Considers the Night Sky

After an evening of talk, perhaps about the fringes of knowledge, or some new possibility of climbing inside the minds and senses of animals, we would go out on the lawn, where we took turns at an amusing little astronomical rite. We searched until we found, with or without glasses, the faint, heavenly spot of light-mist beyond the lower left-hand comer of the Great Square of Pegasus, when one or the other of us would then recite:

That is the Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda.
It is as large as our Milky Way.
It is one of a hundred million galaxies.
It is 750,000 light-years away.
It consists of one hundred billion
suns, each larger than our sun.

After an interval Colonel Roosevelt would grin at me and say: “Now I think we are small enough! Let’s go to bed.” We must have repeated this salutary ceremony forty or fifty times in the course of years, and it never palled.


...each night to feel appropriately small.

Folksonomies: wonder astronomy naturalism naturalist

/technology and computing/consumer electronics/camera and photo equipment/telescopes (0.802596)
/art and entertainment/books and literature/poetry (0.408247)
/science/physics/astrophysics (0.408150)

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Milky Way (0.982837): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Galaxy (0.726962): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Andromeda Galaxy (0.723001): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Andromeda (0.583284): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Dwarf galaxy (0.578190): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Sun (0.561527): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Spiral galaxy (0.539135): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Elliptical galaxy (0.510922): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago

 The Book of Naturalists
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Beebe, William (1988-04-01), The Book of Naturalists, Princeton University Press, Retrieved on 2011-06-10
Folksonomies: naturalism naturalist


01 JAN 2010

 The Wonder is All Around You

Memes from scientists about the beauty and wonder all around us.