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Eyes Turned Skyward
A star gazing, rocket riding, moon walking quote collection

The Stars



The stars are the land-marks of the universe.

— Sir John Frederick William Herschel, Essays from the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews with Addresses and Other Pieces, 1857.

Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven.

— Lord Byron, LXXXVIII, Canto III.

Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.

— Peter Pan, in the James M. Barrie play of the same name, actually gave the directions to Neverland on the London stage in 1904 as, “second to the right, and straight on till morning” — with no mention of stars! An unknown person added 'star' in some later productions, and it is in all the Walt Disney versions. “That, Peter had told Wendy, was the way to the Neverland; but even birds, carrying maps and consulting them at windy corners, could not have sighted it with these instructions. Peter, you see, just said anything that came into his head.” It's since become a phrase seen in many places, including the title of a biography of aviatrix Beryl Markham, a Blues Traveler album, and in the 1991 movie Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country Chekov asks “Course heading, Captain?” James T. Kirk (William Shatner), says “Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.”

How is it that the sky feeds the stars?

— Lucretius, 54 BCE.

New stars offer to the mind a phenomenon more surprising, and less explicable, than almost any other in the science of astronomy.

— George Adams, Lectures on Natural and Experimental Philosophy (Volume 4), 1794.

it is reasonable to hope that in the not too distant future we shall be competent to understand so simple a thing as a star.

— Arthur Eddington, The Internal Constitution of Stars, 1926.

It shows you exactly how a star is formed; nothing else can be so pretty! A cluster of vapor, the cream of the milky way, a sort of celestial cheese, churned into light.

— Benjamin Disraeli, Tancred, 1847.

I am aware that many critics consider the conditions in the stars not sufficiently extreme … the stars are not hot enough. The critics lay themselves open to an obvious retort: we tell them to go and find a hotter place.

— Sir Arthur Eddington, Stars and Atoms, 1927.

The Starry Night, Van Gogh, 1889.

The night is even more richly coloured than the day… . If only one pays attention to it, one sees that certain stars are citron yellow, while others have a pink glow or a green, blue and forget-me-not brilliance. And without my expiating on this theme, it should be clear that putting little white dots on a blue-black surface is not enough.

— Vincent van Gogh, letter to sister, September 1888. 

That does not keep me from having a terrible need of — shall I say the word — religion. Then I go out at night and paint the stars.

— Vincent Van Gogh, letter to brother, 9 April 1888.

The stars are the jewels of the night, and perchance surpass anything which day has to show. A companion with whom I was sailing one very windy but bright moonlight night, when the stars were few and faint, thought that a man could get along with them, — though he was considerably reduced in his circumstances, — that they were a kind of bread and cheese that never failed.

— Henry David Thoreau, 'Night and Moonlight,' published in Excursions, 1913.

May all the stars hang bright above her dwelling,
Silent as though they watched the sleeping earth!

— Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Dejection: An Ode, 4 April 1802.

It is the stars, the stars above us govern our conditions.

— William Shakespeare, King Lear.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in out stars, but in ourselves.

— William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar.

Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!

— Job 22:12

The beauty of heaven, the glory of the stars, an ornament giving light in the highest places of the Lord.

— Sirach 43:9

We had the sky, up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happenedJim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many.

— Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1884.

If the earth were flat from east to west, the stars would rise as soon for westerners as for orientals, which is false. Also, if the earth were flat from north to south and vice versa, the stars which were always visible to anyone would continue to be so wherever he went, which is false. But it seems flat to human sight because it is so extensive.

— Ptolemy, Almagest, c. 2nd century CE.

The number of fixed stars which observers have been able to see without artificial powers of sight up to this day can be counted. It is therefore decidedly a great feat to add to their number, and to set distinctly before the eyes other stars in myriads, which have never been seen before, and which surpass the old, previously known stars in number more than ten times.

— Galileo Galilei, Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences, 1638.

When I consider how, after sunset, the stars come out gradually in troops from behind the hills and woods, I confess that I could not have contrived a more curious and inspiring sight.

— Henry Thoreau, journal entry, 26 July 1840.

I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars.

— Augustine “Og” Mandino, 'The Scroll Marked II,' The Greatest Secret in the World, 1972.

The real friends of the space voyager are the stars. Their friendly, familiar patterns are constant companions, unchanging, out there.

— James Lovell, Apollo 10 & 13 astronaut, Life magazine, 17 January 1969.

To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature.

Teach me your mood,
O patient stars.
Who climb each night,
the ancient sky.
leaving on space no shade, no scars,
no trace of age, no fear to die.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Poet.

It is He who maketh the stars (as beacons) for you, that ye may guide yourselves, with their help, through the dark spaces of land and sea: We detail Our signs for people who know.

&mdashThe Holy Qur'an 006:097 Al-An'am, Yusuf Ali Translation.

The Milky Way is nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters.

— Galileo Galilei

For my part I know nothing with any certainty but the sight of the stars makes me dream.

— Vincent Van Gogh

A sky as pure as water bathed the stars and brought them out.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, first sentence of Southern Mail, 1929.

The stars are the apexes of what wonderful triangles! What distant and different beings in the various mansions of the universe are contemplating the same one at the same moment!

— Henry David Thoreau, Walden: or Life in the Woods, 1854.

Silently, one by one,
in the infinite meadows of the heaven,
blossumed the lovely stars,
the forget-me-nots of the angels.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline A Tale of Acadie, 1847.

When you look out the other way toward the stars you realize it's an awful long way to the next watering hole.

— Loren Acton, The Home Plant, 1988.

We are bits of stellar matter that got cold by accident, bits of a star gone wrong.

— Sir Arthur Eddington, New York Times Magazine, 9 October 1932.

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