Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11: Star Gazing — A Cure for Tired Minds (Vol. 30, pp. 311-321)

Astronomer and scientist Simon Newcomb died this day in 1909. Today's selection, "The Extent of the Universe," was written in 1906 and is the most modern entry in the volume of scientific writings.

It is a good glimpse into how much the pioneers in the field of astronomy opened the door for all the subsequent explorers of space. It's truly amazing how well Newcomb's work holds up today, considering it was written in an age before supercomputers and space telescopes.

And he offers this advice: go outside on a clear, moonless night and look up at the Milky Way. If you live in a place where light pollution is at a minimum, savor the view and be humbled by its magnificence.

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