“The true joy of a moonlit night is something we no longer understand. Only the men of old, when there were no lights, could understand the true joy of a moonlit night.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Palm-of-the-Hand Stories
We were born on our earth and took our first steps on solid ground. Our world gave us air to breathe, water to drink, grains and fruits to consume. Even with all these gifts, our eyes look upwards to gaze at the immense and unfathomable heavens. We are no different from the ancients who contemplated the night sky to determine the best moon for hunting or identify the best time to plant crops.
Astronomy has been alive since the very earliest days of humankind. Astronomers were held in high esteem and often given the status of high priest. Monuments such as the pyramids and Stonehenge have important links to the heavens.
This week will focus on the ancient stargazers, the scientists who gave us a theory of the infinite, the topographical universe, the idea of the void between the stars.
“It is clear to everyone that astronomy at all events compels the soul to look upwards, and draws it from the things of this world to the other.”