I am Owais Najam. Fascinated with the brilliance of what we call cosmos since i was 10 and later into deeps origins of the universe. This blog is about the nature of ‘nature’ and the laws of the universe. The internet lacks such content im afraid … sadly, most people never even feel the need to think of this universe , they never know that we might be some intelligent life in some billions of stars in a galaxy among billions of galaxies and maybe even universe in many universe , but we have the potential to fractally imagine or simulate all that into our brains.

Astronomy? Impossible to understand and madness to investigate.

— Sophocles, c. 420 BCE

Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.

— Socrates

For every one, as I think, must see that astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.

— Glaucon, the older brother of Plato, in Plato’s The Republic, c. 380 BCE

The time will come when diligent research over long periods will bring to light things that now lie hidden. A single life time, even though entirely devoted to research, would not be enough for the investigation of so vast a subject… . And so this knowledge will be unfolded through long successive ages. There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we we did not know things that are so plain to them… . Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come, when memory of us will have been effaced. Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has in it something for every age to investigate … . Nature does not reveal her mysteries once and for all.

— Seneca, Natural Questions Book 7, c. first century.

Do there exist many worlds, or is there but a single world? This is one of the most noble and exalted questions in the study of Nature.

— Albertus Magnus, c. 13th Century.

The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us&mdashthere is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, or falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.

— Carl Sagan, first paragraph of Cosmos, the book that accompanied the TV series of the same name. It  quickly became one of the best selling science books in the English language. 1980.

If there is anything that can bind the heavenly mind of man to this dreary exile of our earthly home and can reconcile us with our fate so that one can enjoy living—then it is verily the enjoyment of the mathematical sciences and astronomy.

— Johannes Kepler, in a letter to his son-in-law, Jakob Bartsch.

Galileo Galilei, a most humble servant of Your Serene Highness … . Now appear before You with a new contrivance of glasses [occhiale], drawn from the most recondite speculations of perspective, which render visible objects so close to the eye and represent them so distinctly that those that are distant, for example, nine miles appear as though they were only one mile distant. This is a thing of inestimable benefit for all transactions and undertakings, maritime or terrestrial, allowing us at sea to discover at a much greater distance than usual the hulls and sails of the enemy, so that for two hours or more we can detect him before he detects us.

 — Galileo Galilei, letter to the Doge (chief magistrate of Venice) explaining the practical uses of the telescope, giving the Senate sole rights to the new device, and asking for tenure at the university. He received tenure, although the accompanying doubling of his salary to 1,000 florins per year did not start until his current contract ended and excluded further pay increases. 31 August 1609.

s m a i s m r m i l m e p o e t a l e u m i b u n e n u g t t a u i r a s

— Galileo Galilei, anagram sent to several correspondents. Kepler assumed that Galileo’s latest discovery had to do with Mars, and solved the puzzle as ‘Salue umbistineum geminatum Martia proles’ (Hail, twin companionship, children of Mars). However the anagram was in regard to Saturn (and what we now see as rings), ‘Altissimum planetam tergeminum observavi,’ (I have observed the most distant planet to have a triple form), 1610.

Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day, but when I follow the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth; I ascend to Zeus himself to feast me on ambrosia, the food of the gods.

— Ptolemy

The heaven is spherical in shape, and moves as a sphere; the earth too is sensibly spherical in shape, when taken as a whole; in position it lies in the middle of the heavens very much like its center; in size and distance it has the ratio of a point to the sphere of the fixed stars; and it has no motion from place to place.

— Ptolemy, Almagest, G. J. Toomer translation, c. 2nd century CE.

Apparent movement

The scorn which I had reason to fear on account of the novelty and unconventionality of my opinion almost induced me to abandon completely the work which I had undertaken… .  Astronomy is written for astronomers. To them my work too will seem, unless I am mistaken, to make some contribution.

— Nicolaus Copernicus, Dedication to His Holiness Pope Paul III, preface to De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), 1543

So if the worth of the arts were measured by the matter with which they deal, this artwhich some call astronomy, others astrology, and many of the ancients the consummation of mathematicswould be by far the most outstanding. This art which is as it were the head of all the liberal arts and the one most worthy of a free man leans upon nearly all the other branches of mathe matics. Arithmetic, geometry, optics, geodesy, mechanics, and whatever others, all offer themselves in its service.

— Nicolaus Copernicus, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), 1543.

In first place we must observe that the universe is spherical. This is either because that figure is the most perfect, as not being articulated, but whole and complete in itself; or because it is the most capacious and therefore best suited for that which is to contain and preserve all things.

— Nicolaus Copernicus, quoted in V. M. Tikhomirov, Stories About Maxima and Minima, 1990.

Astronomy is not only pleasant but also very useful to be known; it cannot be denied that this art unfolds the admirable wisdom of God.

— John Calvin, Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis, 1554.

Since man, fragment of the universe, is governed by the same laws that preside over the heavens, it is by no means absurd to search there above for the themes of our lives, for those frigid sympathies that participate in our achievements as well as our blunderings.

— M. Yourcenar, Mémoires d’Hadrien, 1558.

There is in the universe neither center nor circumference.

— Giordano Bruno, On the Infinite Universe and Worlds, 1584.

God is infinite, so His universe must be too. Thus is the excellence of God magnified and the greatness of His kingdom made manifest; He is glorified not in one, but in countless suns; not in a single earth, a single world, but in a thousand thousand, I say in an infinity of worlds.

— Giordano Bruno, On the Infinite Universe and Worlds, 1584. Giordana was executed by the Inquisition.

The universe is then one, infinite, immobile… . It is not capable of comprehension and therefore is endless and limitless, and to that extent infintite and indeterminable, and consequently immoblie.

— Giordano Bruno, Cause, Principle, and Unity, 1588.

Now it is quite clear to me that there are no solid spheres in the heavens, and those that have been devised by the authors to save the appearances, exist only in the imagination, for the purpose of permitting the mind to conceive the motion which the heavenly bodies trace in their courses.

— Tycho Brahe, On the Most Recent Phenomena of the Aetherial World, 1588.

If the Lord Almighty had consulted me before embarking upon his creation, I should have recommended something simpler.

— Alfonso X of Castile, regards the complexity of Ptolemaic model of the universe, atttributed in preface of John Esten Keller’s Alfonso X, El Sabio (1967).

We find, therefore, under this orderly arrangement, a wonderful symmetry in the universe, and a definite relation of harmony in the motion and magnitude of the orbs, of a kind that is not possible to obtain in any other way.

— Johannes Kepler, The Harmonies of the World, 1619.

In my studies of astronomy and philosophy I hold this opinion about the universe, that the Sun remains fixed in the centre of the circle of heavenly bodies, without changing its place; and the Earth, turning upon itself, moves round the Sun.

— Galileo Galilei, letter to Cristina di Lorena, Grandduchess of Tuscany, 1615.

I have been judged vehemently suspect of heresy, that is, of having held and believed that the sun in the centre of the universe and immoveable, and that the earth is not at the center of same, and that it does move. Wishing however, to remove from the minds of your Eminences and all faithful Christians this vehement suspicion reasonably conceived against me, I abjure with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, I curse and detest the said errors and heresies, and generally all and every error, heresy, and sect contrary to the Holy Catholic Church.

— Galileo Galilei, the formal abjuration he was forced to recite and sign, church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, 22 June 1633.

The proposition that the sun is the centre of the world and does not move from place to place is absurd and false philosophically and formally heretical, because it is expressively contrary to Holy Scripture.
The proposition that the earth is not the centre of the world and immovable, but that it moves, and also with a diurnal motion, is equally absurd, philosophically false, and, theologically considered, at least erroneous in faith.
Ita pronunciamus nos Cardinalis infrascripti.

— F. Cardinalis de Asculo, G. Cardinalis Bentivolius, D. Cardinalis de Cremona, A. Cardinalis S. Honuphri, B. Cardinalis Gypsius., F. Cardinalis Verospius, M. Cardinalis Ginettus, Sentence of the Tribunal of the Supreme Inquisition against Galileo Galilei, 22 June 1633. In 1992 Pope John Paul II finally issued an apology, lifting the edict of Inquisition against Galileo. It was not the most complete or satisfying apology, noting: “Galileo sensed in his scientific research the presence of the Creator who, stirring in the depths of his spirit, stimulated him, anticipating and assisting his intuitions.”

E pur si muove. (And yet it moves.)

— it is often stated that Galileo Galilei, rising from his knees after recanting before the inquisition in 1633, muttered “But it does move.” However there is no evidence to source such a quote. The earliest biography of Galileo, written by his disciple Vincenzo Viviani, does not include the phrase. There is evidence the phrase occurs in an approximately contemporary painting showing Galileo in prison, but it does not appear in print till a century later, when in 1757 Gieseppe Baretti wrote The Italian Library. —The moment he was set at liberty, he looked up at the sky and down to ground, and, stamping his foot, in a contemplative mood, said Eppur si move; that is, —still it moves,— meaning the earth.— Paolo Galluzzi, the director of the Galileo Museum in Florence has dismissed the quote as a myth (‘A Museum Display of Galileo Has a Saintly Feel,’ the New York Times, 22 July 2010).

I measured the skies, now the shadows I measure
Skybound was the mind, earthbound the body rests.

— Johannes Kepler, self-authored epitaph. Original Latin: “Mensus eram coelos, nunc terrae metior umbras. Mens coelestis erat, corporis umbra iacet.” 1630.

The first question concerning the Celestial Bodies is whether there be a system, that is whether the world or universe compose together one globe, with a center, or whether the particular globes of earth and stars be scattered dispersedly, each on its own roots, without any system or common center.

— Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620.

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

— Christiaan Huygens, original Latin: “Annulo cingitur, tenui, plano, nusquam cohaerente, ad eclipticam inclinato,” De Saturni luna observato nova, 1656.

This method of viewing the heavens seems to throw them into a new kind of light. They are now seen to resemble a luxuriant garden, which contains the greatest variety of productions, in different flourishing beds; and one advantage we may reap from it is, that we can, as it were, extend the range of our experience to an immense duration. For, to continue the simile I have borrowed from the vegetable kingdom, is it not almost the same thing, whether we live successively to witness the germination, blooming, foliage, fecundity, fading, withering, and corruption of a plant, or whether a vast number of specimens, selected from every stage through which the plant passes in the course of its existence, be brought at once to our view.

— William Herschel, 1 May 1789.

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 out 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 [Uranus], by which (with to respect to us) first began to shine under His auspicious reign.

— William Herschel, letter to Sir Joseph Banks, in J. Sime’s William Herschel and His Work, 1900.

The barrier has begun to yield.

— John Herschel, regards parallax measurements by Bessel, Struve and Henderson, 1841.

No conception whatever can be had of the magnitude of the visible universe until the distances of the stars are known. None of the millions of human beings that have lived and dies knew the distance of even one stat from the earth until within the last seventy years… . The word millions has for long been used in telling the number of stars. But billions now appears to be more appropriate. Each one is a hot sun, and each may be attended in many cases by inhabited worlds.

— Edgar L. Larkin, ‘Measuring the Distance of a Star,’ Scientific American, 28 October 1905


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