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Be a Part of the New Astronomy Discovery Center

Opening in Spring 2023, the Astronomy Discovery Center (ADC) at Lowell Observatory will be where curious visitors come to be awed by the cosmos and learn about astronomy. Lowell Observatory’s Deputy Director for Science, Dr. Michael West, has selected quotes and equations from well-known scientists and authors to be included on the ADC. By having your name associated with a famous quote or equation, your gift of $2,000 will support construction of the ADC.

Now is your chance to leave a mark on this new facility and help us open the minds of visitors young and old.

For more information contact Shannon Gonzales at (928) 255-5059 or sgonzales@lowell.edu

About the ADC

Find out more about the ADC and other ways to support:

Learn About the ADC

Support a Rooftop Horizon Marker

More Ways to Support the ADC

Quotes

The sky is everywhere,
even in the dark beneath your skin.

– Wisława Szymborska, poet and Nobel laureate

Mingle the starlight with your lives and you won’t be fretted by trifles.

– Maria Mitchell, America’s first woman astronomer

Time is the substance I am made of.

– Jorge Luis Borges, writer

There is no joy more intense than that of coming upon a fact that cannot be understood in terms of currently accepted ideas.

– Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, astronomer

You’re not in the universe, you are the universe.

– Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher

The image of a blue planet floating in deep space, glowing like the full moon on a clear night, brought home powerfully to me the recognition that we are indeed all members of a single family sharing one little house.

– Dalai Lama XIV, spiritual teacher

To love beauty is to see light.

– Victor Hugo, writer

This is the greatest damn thing about the universe, that we can know so much, recognize so much, dissect, do everything, and we can’t grasp it.

– Henry Miller, writer

The light of all the not yet stars
Drifting like a bright mist,
And all of us, and everything
Already there
But unconstrained by form.

– Rebecca Elson, astronomer and poet

And my heart is a little larger than the entire universe.

– Fernando Pessoa, poet

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted island, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.

– Helen Keller, author and educator

Past time is finite, future time is infinite.

– Edwin Hubble, astronomer

Only when it’s dark enough can you see the stars. 

– Martin Luther King Jr., minister and civil rights activist

Science is driven not only by the curiosity of those who explore today but also by their confidence that others like you will succeed where they have failed.

– Margaret Geller, astronomer

There are truths which one can see only when it’s dark.

– Isaac Bashevis Singer, writer

Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.

– Vincent van Gogh, painter

Love is space and time measured by the heart.

– Marcel Proust, writer

A good poem helps to change the shape and significance of the universe.

– Dylan Thomas, poet

Oh, I could let the world go by,
Its loud new wonders and its wars,
But how will I give up the sky
When winter dusk is set with stars

– Sara Teasdale, poet

Everything in the universe is a pitcher brimming with wisdom and beauty.

– Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, mystic and poet

The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.

– Ralph W. Sockman, pastor

The two most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.

– Harlan Ellison, writer

If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.

– Philip K. Dick, writer

What is the difference between me and the sky?

– Nizar Qabbani, poet

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

– Douglas Adams, writer

If you love a flower that lives on a star, it is sweet to look at the sky at night. All the stars are abloom with flowers.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery, writer

Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.

– Albert Einstein, scientist

The stars are congregating, perhaps in celebration.

– Pattiann Rogers, poet

All humans are brothers. We came from the same supernova.

– Allan Sandage, astronomer

The universe was not made in jest but in solemn incomprehensible earnest.

– Annie Dillard, writer

To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand.

– José Ortega y Gasset, philosopher

The stars are comforting.

– Beatrice Tinsley, astronomer

A billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

– Rainer Maria Rilke, poet

Step by step astronomy wrests fresh secrets from the starry abysses.

– Edwin Arnold, poet

Science is not a body of facts.  Science is a state of mind.

– Natalie Angier, writer

Less and less do I see any difference between research and adoration.

– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, philosopher, priest, and scientist

If you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you.

– Bill Bryson, writer

To know the history of science is to recognize the mortality of any claim to universal truth.

– Evelyn Fox Keller, scientist

The whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.

– John Muir, naturalist

I am a child of the Milky Way. The night is my mother. I am made of the dust of stars. 

– Chet Raymo, scientist

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

– Og Mandino, writer

That which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into space.

– Kahlil Gibran, writer

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

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet

We have calcium in our bones, iron in our veins, carbon in our souls, and nitrogen in our brains. 93 percent stardust, with souls made of flames, we are all just stars that have people names.

– Nikita Gill, poet

There wouldn’t be a sky full of stars if we were all meant to wish on the same one.

– Frances Clark, writer

Remember you are this universe and this universe is you.

– Joy Harjo, poet

We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out.

– Neil deGrasse Tyson, astronomer

The sky is a meadow of wildstar flowers.

– Ann Zwinger, naturalist

Worldwide, half of all brains are in women.

– Vera Rubin, astronomer

The evolution of the world can be compared to a display of fireworks that has just ended: some few red wisps, ashes, and smoke. Standing on a cooled cinder, we see the slow fading of the suns, and we try to recall the vanished brilliance of the origin of the worlds.

– Georges Lemaître, priest, astrophysicist, and “Father of the Big Bang”

If people sat and looked at the stars each night, I bet they’d live a lot differently.

– Bill Waterson, cartoonist

To develop a complete mind, study the science of art, study the art of science. Develop your senses, learn how to see. Understand that everything is connected.

– Leonardo da Vinci, artist and engineer

Won’t Mayy come in the night to one amorously mystified by her mention, when the Hands of ath-Thurayyā (the Pleiades) reach for the western places of sunset?

– Dhū ar-Rumma, Arabian poet (d. 735 CE)

The universe is wider than our view of it.

– Henry David Thoreau, poet and philosopher

Equations

1.)

Maxwell’s equations. These four equations describe the behavior of electricity and magnetism. They led 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell to conclude that light is an electromagnetic wave that travels through space

2.)

The second law of thermodynamics. It states that the amount of entropy (a measure of disorder) in the universe inevitably increases with time. Entropy is sometimes called time’s arrow because it may explain why time only flows in one direction – towards increasing entropy.

3.)

The energy of light. Here h is Planck’s constant, c is the speed of light, and λ is the wavelength of the light. Shorter wavelengths of light, like X-rays and ultraviolet, carry more energy.

4.)

The Hubble–Lemaître law describes the expansion of the universe. Specifically, it says that the speed (v) with which a galaxy is moving away from us is proportional to its distance (D). Pioneering observations that led to the discovery of this law were made at Lowell Observatory by Vesto Slipher

5.)

The Stefan-Boltzmann law shows how a star’s luminosity depends on its radius (R) and temperature (T). The strong dependence on temperature means that a hotter star is much more luminous than a cooler one.

6.)

The equation of an ellipse. Kepler’s first law of planetary motion says that the planets follow elliptical orbits around the Sun.

7.)

Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity shows that an object’s mass depends on its speed. The mass becomes infinite as the object approaches the speed of light.

8.)

Ludwig Boltzmann’s equation for entropy reveals a deep connection between the microscopic and macroscopic worlds. It shows that atoms are inevitably arranged in increasingly diverse ways as the universe evolves.

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