Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “space”

The First Surviving Photograph of the Moon: John Adams Whipple and How the Birth of Astrophotography Married Immortality and Impermanence
The First Surviving Photograph of the Moon: John Adams Whipple and How the Birth of Astrophotography Married Immortality and Impermanence

A dual serenade to being and non-being, composed in glass, metal, and stardust.

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The Astronomical Art of Maria Clara Eimmart: Stunning 17th-Century Drawings of Comets, Planets, and Moon Phases by a Self-Taught Artist and Astronomer
The Astronomical Art of Maria Clara Eimmart: Stunning 17th-Century Drawings of Comets, Planets, and Moon Phases by a Self-Taught Artist and Astronomer

Celestial splendor from a forgotten woman who broke the bounds of her time.

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Darkness in the Celestial Lighthouse: Virginia Woolf’s Arresting 1927 Account of a Total Solar Eclipse
Darkness in the Celestial Lighthouse: Virginia Woolf’s Arresting 1927 Account of a Total Solar Eclipse

“We had seen the world dead. This was within the power of nature.”

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In Praise of the Telescopic Perspective: A Reflection on Living Through Turbulent Times
In Praise of the Telescopic Perspective: A Reflection on Living Through Turbulent Times

Perspective to lift the blinders of our cultural moment.

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What to Look for During a Total Solar Eclipse: Mabel Loomis Todd’s Poetic 19th-Century Guide to Totality, with Help from Emily Dickinson
What to Look for During a Total Solar Eclipse: Mabel Loomis Todd’s Poetic 19th-Century Guide to Totality, with Help from Emily Dickinson

“A vast, palpable presence seems overwhelming the world. The blue sky changes to gray or dull purple, speedily becoming more dusky, and a death-like trance seizes upon everything earthly.”

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Lost Radio Talks from the Harvard Observatory: Cecilia Payne, Who Discovered the Chemical Fingerprint of the Universe, on the Science of Stars and the Muse of All Great Scientists
Lost Radio Talks from the Harvard Observatory: Cecilia Payne, Who Discovered the Chemical Fingerprint of the Universe, on the Science of Stars and the Muse of All Great Scientists

“A common chemistry and a common physics run through the universe.”

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Cosmic Threads: A Solar System Quilt from 1876
Cosmic Threads: A Solar System Quilt from 1876

A serenade to the universe in wool and silk.

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Carl Sagan on Mystery, Why Common Sense Blinds Us to the Universe, and How to Live with the Unknown
Carl Sagan on Mystery, Why Common Sense Blinds Us to the Universe, and How to Live with the Unknown

“We are bathing in mystery and confusion on many subjects, and I think that will always be our destiny. The universe will always be much richer than our ability to understand it.”

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Sun and Moon: Stunning Illustrations of Celestial Myths by Ten of India’s Greatest Indigenous Artists
Sun and Moon: Stunning Illustrations of Celestial Myths by Ten of India’s Greatest Indigenous Artists

Ancient allegorical reflections on the universal themes of life, love, time, harmony, and our eternal search for a completeness of being.

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Advice to the Young from Pioneering Astrophysicist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Who Discovered the Composition of the Universe
Advice to the Young from Pioneering Astrophysicist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Who Discovered the Composition of the Universe

Work with love, embrace the unexpected, let no one else make intellectual decisions for you, and always remain in direct touch with the fountain-head.

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