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The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit. James Joyce, Ulysses
Kings are like stars – they rise and set, they have
The worship of the world, but no repose. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Hellas
We are stardust,
We are golden,
And we got to get ourselves
Back to the garden … Joni Mitchell, Woodstock, 1969
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s, Fan 1892
He stepped outside and looked up at the stars swimming in schools through the wind-driven clouds. John Steinbeck, East of Eden
I ask you to look both ways. For the road to a knowledge of the stars leads through the atom; and important knowledge of the atom has been reached through the stars. Arthur Eddington, Stars and Atoms, 1928
One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away. Stephen Hawking
[Roger] Penrose’s theorem had shown that any collapsing star must end in a singularity. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time p56
Let me describe briefly how a black hole might be created. Imagine a star with a mass 10 times that of the sun. During most of its lifetime of about a billion years the star will generate heat at its center by converting hydrogen into helium. The energy released will create sufficient pressure to support the star against its own gravity, giving rise to an object with a radius about five times the radius of the sun. The escape velocity from the surface of such a star would be about 1,000 kilometers per second. That is to say, an object fired vertically upward from the surface of the star with a velocity of less than 1,000 kilometers per second would be dragged back by the gravitational field of the star and would return to the surface, whereas an object with a velocity greater than that would escape to infinity.
When the star had exhausted its nuclear fuel, there would be nothing to maintain the outward pressure, and the star would begin to collapse because of its own gravity. As the star shrank, the gravitational field at the surface would become stronger and the escape velocity would increase. By the time the radius had got down to 10 kilometers the escape velocity would have increased to 100,000 kilometers per second, the velocity of light. After that time any light emitted from the star would not be able to escape to infinity but would be dragged back by the gravitational field. According to the special theory of relativity nothing can travel faster than light, so that if light cannot escape, nothing else can either. The result would be a black hole: a region of space-time from which it is not possible to escape to infinity. Stephen Hawking, Scientific American 1977
Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today. Lawrence M Krauss
We are made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself. Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean, PBS 1980
This is a stellar nursery. A place where stars are born. They condense by gravity from gas and dust until their temperatures become so high that they begin to shine. Such clouds mark the birth of stars as others bear witness to their deaths. ibid.
The total number of stars in the universe is larger than all the grains of sands of all the beaches on planet Earth. Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: Journeys in Space and Time
There are three ways that stars die; their fates are predestined; everything depends on their initial mass. Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: The Lives of the Stars
Star stuff contemplating the stars. Professor Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: Who Speaks For Earth?
A galaxy is composed of gas and dust and stars – billions upon billions of stars. Carl Sagan
There are billions of stars therefore trillions of planets. Carl Sagan
When we look up at night and view the stars, everything we see is shining because of distant nuclear fusion. Carl Sagan
The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff. Carl Sagan, Cosmos
An extraterrestrial visitor examining the differences among human societies would find those differences trivial compared to the similarities.
Our lives, our past and our future are tied to the sun, the moon and the stars ... We humans have seen the atoms which constitute all of nature and the forces that sculpted this work ... and we, who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts about our origins ... star stuff contemplating the stars, organised collections of ten billion billion billion atoms, contemplating the evolution of nature, tracing that long path by which it arrived at consciousness here on the planet earth ... Our loyalties are to the species and to the planet. Our obligation to survive and flourish is owed not just to ourselves but also to that cosmos ancient and vast from which we spring.
We are one species. We are star stuff harvesting star light. ibid.
The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars. Carl Sagan
Before we invented civilization our ancestors lived mainly in the open out under the sky. Before we devised artificial lights and atmospheric pollution and modern forms of nocturnal entertainment we watched the stars. There were practical calendar reasons of course but there was more to it than that. Even today the most jaded city dweller can be unexpectedly moved upon encountering a clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling stars. When it happens to me after all these years it still takes my breath away. Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
The knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on earth – the atoms that make up the human body – are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars – the high mass ones among them – went unstable in their later years – they collapsed and then exploded – scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy – guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems – stars with orbiting planets. And those planets now have the ingredients for life itself. So that when I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up – many people feel small, ’cause they’re small and the universe is big. But I feel big because my atoms came from those stars. Neil deGrasse Tyson
The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Pickering assembled a team of women to map and classify the types of stars. One of them provided the key to our understanding of our substance of the stars. And another devised a way for us to calculate the size of the universe. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey: Sisters of the Sun VIII, Fox 2014
It took us about two years to get velocities of ninety stars in the Andromeda Galaxy and the results were rather startling. We found that all the stars were moving at the same velocity, the same number: two hundred and fifty kilometres per second. Vera Rubin