Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “space”

The World’s First Celestial Spectator Sport: Astronomer Maria Mitchell’s Stunning Account of the 1869 Total Solar Eclipse
The World’s First Celestial Spectator Sport: Astronomer Maria Mitchell’s Stunning Account of the 1869 Total Solar Eclipse

“All nature rejoiced, and … we rejoiced with Nature.”

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Stitching a Supernova: A Needlepoint Celebration of Science by Pioneering Astronomer Cecilia Payne
Stitching a Supernova: A Needlepoint Celebration of Science by Pioneering Astronomer Cecilia Payne

“These moments are rare, and they come without warning… They are the ineffable reward of him who scans the face of Nature.”

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Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Powered Early Space Exploration
Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Powered Early Space Exploration

A heartening testament to “the triumph of meritocracy” and to the idea that “each of us should be allowed to rise as far as our talent and hard work can take us.”

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Étienne Léopold Trouvelot’s Stunning 19th-Century Astronomical Drawings of Celestial Objects and Phenomena
Étienne Léopold Trouvelot’s Stunning 19th-Century Astronomical Drawings of Celestial Objects and Phenomena

The splendor of the cosmos in a trailblazing marriage of art and science more than a century before modern astrophotography.

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Your Body Is a Space That Sees: Artist Lia Halloran’s Stunning Cyanotype Tribute to Women in Astronomy
Your Body Is a Space That Sees: Artist Lia Halloran’s Stunning Cyanotype Tribute to Women in Astronomy

From Hypatia of Alexandria to Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a beguiling homage to the heroines of illuminating the cosmos.

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The Universe in Verse: Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith Reads from “Life on Mars”
The Universe in Verse: Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith Reads from “Life on Mars”

An ode to the human zest for “bowing before the oracle-eye, hungry for what it would find.”

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Encke’s Comet, Celestial Poetics, and the Dawn of Popular Astronomy: How Emma Converse Became the Carl Sagan of the 19th Century
Encke’s Comet, Celestial Poetics, and the Dawn of Popular Astronomy: How Emma Converse Became the Carl Sagan of the 19th Century

“The moment so long looked for may be nearer than we think, when, with a powerful grasp, like that of Newton, some watcher of the stars shall seize the secret of cometic history.”

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How Astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell Shaped Our Understanding of the Universe by Discovering Pulsars, Only to Be Excluded from the Nobel Prize
How Astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell Shaped Our Understanding of the Universe by Discovering Pulsars, Only to Be Excluded from the Nobel Prize

How a sole “scruffy signal” jokingly attributed to “little green men” forever changed our image of the cosmos.

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The Lost Art of Astropoetics: An 1881 Cosmic Masterpiece by the Forgotten Woman Who Popularized Astronomy
The Lost Art of Astropoetics: An 1881 Cosmic Masterpiece by the Forgotten Woman Who Popularized Astronomy

“No observers could lift their eyes to the golden mysteries enshrined above without being impressed with the exceeding loveliness of the shining throng.”

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Eyes on the Stars: Astronaut Ronald McNair, Who Perished in the Challenger Disaster, Remembered by His Brother in an Affectionate Animated Short Film
Eyes on the Stars: Astronaut Ronald McNair, Who Perished in the Challenger Disaster, Remembered by His Brother in an Affectionate Animated Short Film

“When he went out in space and he looked out at the world, he saw no lines of demarcation. It was a world of peace, he said.”

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