...that which does not twinkle is near—we must take this truth as having been reached by induction or sense-perception.

Posterior Analytics Book I, Chapter 13, 78a [34-5]

Burroughs, William

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say, "I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER."

The Adding Machine Women: A Biological Mistake (p. 125)

Chapman, Clark R.

Planets are like living creatures. They are born, full of life and activity. They mature, consume energy, and settle into established ways. Finally, they run down, become dormant, and die. On a human time scale planetary lives are virtually eternal. We see only a snapshot of each planet and can only surmise its evolution.

The Inner Planets Chapter 6 (pp. 88-9)

Chaucer, Geoffrey

The seven bodies I'll describe anon: Sol, gold is, Luna's silver, as we see, Mars iron, and quicksilver's Mercury, Saturn is lead, and Jupiter is tin, And Venus copper, by my father's kin!

Canterbury Tales Canon Yeoman's Tale, L. 16,293-7

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

He who knows what sweets and virtues are in the ground, the waters— the planets, the heavens, and how to come at these enchantments, is the rich and royal man.

Essays and Lectures Essays Second Series Nature (p. 543)

Hammond, Allen L.

With the beginning of direct exploration of the solar system, planetary science has revived to become not only respectable but one of the active, forefront areas of research. How active can be gauged by the assessment, widely agreed on, that the rate of new discoveries and the rate of obsolescence of old ideas have never been so rapid as at present. Investigators are now confronted with such an overwhelming array of new observations and theories that what amounts to a revolution in understanding the solar system is in progress.


Exploring the Solar System (I): An Emerging New Perspective (p. 720) Volume 186, Number 4165, 22 November 1974

Joyce, James

Gasballs spinning about, crossing each other, passing. Same old dingdong always. Gas, then solid, then world, then cold, then dead shell drifting around, frozen rock like that pineapple rock. The moon.

Kahn, Fritz

This is the universe: infinity. Space without beginning, without end, dark, empty, cold. Through the silent darkness of this space move gleaming spheres, separated from each other by inconceivable distances. Around them, again inconceivably far away, like bits of dust lost in immensity, circle smaller dark spheres, receiving light and life from their "mother suns."

Design of the Universe Chapter 1 (p. 2)

Marlowe, Christopher

...whose faculties can comprehend

The wondrous architecture of the world,

And measure every wand'ring planet's course,...

Tamberlaine the Great Scene VIII

Miller, Hugh

The planet which we inhabit is but one vessel in the midst of a fleet sailing on through the vast ocean of space, under convoy of the sun.

Geology Versus Astronomy Chapter II (p. 14)

Moliere (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin)

We had a narrow escape, Madame, While asleep; A neighboring planet did pass us close by, Cutting a swathe right through our whirlpool; Had its path led to a collision with mother earth, She would have shattered in pieces like glass.

Femmes Savantes Act IV, scene iii

Shapley, Harlow

Millions of planetary systems must exist, and billions is the better word. Whatever the methods of origin, and doubtless more than one type of genesis has operated, planets may be the common heritage of all stars except those so situated that planetary materials would be swallowed up by greater masses or cast off through gravitational action.

Of Stars and Men: The Human Response to the Expanding Universe

Chapter 8

The Fourth Adjustment (p. 90)

Siegel, Eli

The planets show grandeur and nicety in their operations; the question is, how did they learn this?

Damned Welcome Aesthetic Realism Maxims Part 1, No. 50 (p. 26)

Standage, Tom

A planet is, by definition, an unruly object.

The Neptune Files Chapter 2 (p. 17)

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre

Despite their vastness and splendor the stars cannot carry the evolution of matter much beyond the atomic series: it is only on the very humble planets, on them alone, that the mysterious ascent of the world into the sphere of higher complexity has a chance to take place. However inconsiderable they may be in the history of sidereal bodies, however accidental their coming into existence, the planets are finally nothing less than the key-points of the Universe. It is through them that the axis of life now passes; it is upon them that the energies of an Evolution principally concerned with the building of large molecules is now concentrated.

The Future of Man Chapter VI, Section I (p. 109)

Tombaugh, Clyde

Behold the heavens and the great vastness thereof, for a planet could be anywhere therein.

Thou shalt dedicate thy whole being to the search project with infinite patience and perseverance.

Thou shalt set no other work before thee, for the search shall keep thee busy enough.

Thou shalt take the plates at opposition time lest thou be deceived by asteroids near their stationary positions.

Thou shalt duplicate the plates of a pair at the same hour angle lest refraction distortions overtake thee.

Thou shalt give adequate overlap of adjacent plate regions lest the planet play hide and seek with thee.

Thou must not become ill at the dark of the moon lest thou fall behind the opposition point.

Thou shalt have no dates except at full moon when long-exposure plates cannot be taken at the telescope.

Many false planets shall appear before thee, hundreds of them, and thou shalt check every one with a third plate.

Thou shalt not engage in any dissipation, that thy years may be many, for thou shalt need them to finish the job.

In David H. Levy Clyde Tombaugh: Discoverer of Planet Pluto

Chapter 12

Ten Special Commandments for a Would-Be Planet Hunter (p. 180)


Ackerman, Diane

A prowling holocaust keeling low in the sky heads westward for another milk run. The Sun never sets on the Mercurian empire: it only idles on each horizon and lurches back, broiling the same arc across the sky.

The Planets Mercury (p. 15)


Ball, Robert S.

The lover of nature turns to admire the sunset, as every lover of nature will. In the golden glory of the west a beauteous gem is seen to glitter; it is the evening star—the planet Venus. ..All the heavenly host—even Sirus and Jupiter—must pale before the splendid lustre of Venus, the unrivalled queen of the firmament.

The Story of the Heavens Venus (p. 168)

Tennyson, Alfred

For a breeze of morning moves, And the planet of love is on high, Beginning to faint in the light that she loves On a bed of daffodil sky, To faint in the light of the sun she loves, To faint in his light, and to die.

The Complete Poetical Works of Tennyson



Ackerman, Diane

Long ago, Earth bunched its granite to form the continents, ground molar Alps and Himalayas, rammed Africa and Italy into Europe, gnashing its teeth, till mountain ranges buckled and churned, and oceans (salty once rivers bled flavor from the seasoned earth) gouged their kelpy graves. And the rest is history. . .

The Planets Earth

Cosmogony (p. 36)

Albran, Kehlog

The Earth is like a grain of sand, only much heavier.

Cloos, Hans

Earth: beautiful, round, colorful planet. You carry us safely through the emptiness and deadness of space. Graciously you cover the black abyss with air and water. You turn as towards the sun, that we may be warm and content, that we may wander, with open eyes, through your meadows, and look upon your splendor. And then you turn us away from the too fiercely burning sun, that we may rest in the coolness of the night from life's heat and the struggle of the day.

Conversation with the Earth Prologue (p. 3)

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

Earth! Thou mother of numberless children, the nurse and the mother, Sister thou of the stars, and beloved by the Sun, the rejoicer! Guardian and friend of the moon, O Earth, whom the comets forget not, Yea, in the measureless distance wheel round and again they behold thee!

The Poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge Hymn to the Earth (p. 328)

Eddington, Sir Arthur Stanley

My subject disperses the galaxies, but it unites the Earth.

In Arthur Beer (ed.) Vistas in Astronomy Volume II

Meeting of the International Astronomical Union Cambridge, MA, USA September, 1932 (p. i)

Guiterman, Arthur

We dwell within the Milky Way, Our Earth, a paltry little mommet, Suspended in a grand array Of constellation, moon and comet.

Gaily the Troubadour Outline of the Universe (p. 70)

Irwin, James

The Earth reminded us of a Christmas tree ornament hanging in the blackness of space. As we got farther and farther away it diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine. That beautiful, warm, living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart. Seeing this has to change a man, has to make a man appreciate the creation of God and the love of God.

In Kevin W. Kelley The Home Planet With Plate 38

Johnson, Lyndon B.

Think of our world as it looks from that rocket that is heading toward Mars. It is like a child's globe, hanging in space, the continents stuck to its side like colored maps. We are all fellow passengers on a dot of earth. And each of us, in the span of time, has really only a moment among his companions.

Inaugural Address January 20, 1965

MacLeish, Archibald

To see the earth as we now see it, small and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the unending night—brothers who see now they are truly brothers.

Riders on the Earth Bubble of Blue Air (p. xiv)

Sagan, Carl

...if we are to understand the Earth, we must have a comprehensive knowledge of the other planets.

Scientific American The Solar System (p. 27) Volume 233, Number 3,1975

The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. From it we have learned most of what we know. Recently, we have waded a little out to sea, enough to dampen our toes or, at most, wet our ankles. The water seems inviting. The ocean calls. Some part of our being knows this is from where we came. We long to return. These aspirations are not, I think, irreverent, although they may trouble whatever gods may be.


The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean (p. 5)

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre

We can only bow before this universal law, whereby, so strangely to our minds, the play of large numbers is mingled and confounded with a final purpose. Without being overawed by the Improbable, let us now concentrate our attention on the planet we call Earth. Enveloped in the blue mist of oxygen which its life breathes, it floats at exactly the right distance from the sun to enable the higher chemisms to take place on its surface. We do well to look at it with emotion. Tiny and isolated though it is, it bears clinging to its flanks the destiny and future of the Universe.

The Future of Man Chapter VI, Section I (p. 110)

Thomas, Lewis

The overwhelming astonishment, the queerest structure we know about so far in the whole universe, the greatest of all cosmological scientific puzzles, confounding all our efforts to comprehend it, is the earth.

Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony

Vizinczey, Stephen

Is it possible that I am not alone in believing that in the dispute between Galileo and the Church, the Church was right and the centre of man's universe is the earth?

Truth and Lies in Literature Rules of the Game (p. 269)

Whipple, Fred L.

Our Earth seems so large, so substantial, and so much with us that we tend to forget the minor position it occupies in the solar family of planets. Only by a small margin is it the largest of the other terrestrial planets. True, it does possess a moderately thick atmosphere that overlies a thin patchy layer of water and it does have a noble satellite, about \ its diameter. These qualifications of the Earth, however, are hardly sufficient to bolster our cosmic egotism. But, small as is the Earth astronomically, it is our best-known planet and therefore deserves and has received careful study.

Earth, Moon and Planets The Earth (p. 55)


Bradbury, Ray

We are all...children of this universe. Not just Earth, or Mars, or this System, but the whole grand fireworks. And if we are interested in Mars at all, it is only because we wonder over our past and worry terribly about our possible future.

In Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Bruce Murray, Carl Sagan and Walter Sullivan

Mars and the Mind of Man Forward (p. x)

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

There is no light in earth or heaven

But the cold light of stars; And the first watch of night is given

To the red planet Mars.

The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Light of Stars Stanza 2

Lowell, Percival

There are celestial sights more dazzling, spectacles that inspire more awe, but to the thoughtful observer who is privileged to see them well, there is nothing in the sky so profoundly impressive as the canals of Mars.


Ackerman, Diane

Vibrant as an African trade-bead with bone chips in orbit round it, Jupiter floods the night's black scullery, all those whirlpools and burbling aerosols little changed since the solar-system began.

The Planets Jupiter (p. 81)


Huygens, Christiaan aaaaaaacccccdeeeeeghiiiiiiillllmmnnnnnnnnnooo opprrsttttuuuuu

Annulo cingitur, tenui, plano, nusquam cohaerente, ad eclipticam inclinato

[It is surrounded by a thin flat ring, inclined to the ecliptic, and nowhere touches the body of the planet]

De Saturni luna observatio nova

Melville, Herman

Seat thyself sultanically among the moons of Saturn.

Moby Dick Chapter 107

Pallister, William

The planet Saturn, to the naked eye Appears an oval star; in seeking why The telescope shows us a startling sight Which seems some lovely vision on a night Of dreams. A giant, wide, sunlit, tilted ring,

More strange than any other heavenly thing.

Poems of Science Other Worlds and Ours Saturn (p. 205)

Thayer, John H.

If you want to see a picture painted as only the hand of God can paint it, go with me to Saturn. . .

Popular Astronomy Saturn. The Wonder of the Worlds (p. 175) Volume XXVII, Number 263, March 1919


Herschel, William

In the fabulous ages of ancient times the appellations of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were given to the planets as being the names of their principal heroes and divinities. In the present more philosophical era, it would hardly be allowable to have recourse to the same method, and call on Juno, Pallas, Apollo, or Minerva for a name to our new heavenly body. ..I cannot but wish to take this opportunity of expressing my sense of gratitude, by giving the name Georgium Sidus, to a star, which (with respect to us) first began to shine under His auspicious reign.

In James Sime William Herschel and His Work Chapter V

Letter to Sir Joseph Banks (p. 74)


Clerke, Agnes M.

Forever invisible to the unaided eye of man, a sister-globe to our earth was shown to circulate, in frozen exile, at 30 times its distance from the sun. Nay, the possibility was made apparent that the limits of our system were not even thus reached, but that yet profounder abysses of space might shelter obedient, though little favoured members of the solar family, by future astronomers to be recognized through the sympathetic thrillings of Neptune, even as Neptune himself was recognized through the tell-tale deviations of Uranus.

A Popular History of Astronomy during the Nineteenth Century

Part I


Hoyt, William Graves

The planet was named Pluto, of course, the first two letters of the name as well as its planetary symbol of the superimposed letters "P" and "L" standing for the initials of Pecival Lowell's name.

Lowell and Mars Chapter 14 (p. 280)

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