Spirit as an Astronaut

Taken from the Oxford Handy Helps Series:How to Locate the Stars written in 1891. Published by Hinds, Noble and Eldredge. New York City.

“Surely as we look up at the myriads of stars bespangling the sky, and remember that our star-sun has seven planets moving round it of which one at least — our own earth — is full of living beings, we must picture these glorious suns as the centres of unseen systems, so that those twinkling specks become as suggestive as the faint lights of a great fleet far out at sea, which tell us of mighty ships, together with frigates and gunboats, full of living beings, though we cannot see them, nor even guess what they may be like.

“How insignificant we feel when we look upon that starlit sky and remember that the whole of our solar system would be but a tiny speck of light if seen as far off as we see the stars! If our little earth and our short life upon it were all we could boast of we should be mites indeed.

“But our very study to-night lifts us above these and reminds us that there is a spirit within us which even now can travel beyond the narrow bounds of our globe, measure the vast distances between us and the stars, gauge their brightness, estimate their weight, and discern their movements.

“As we gaze into the depths of the star-lit sky, and travel onward and onward in imagination to those distant stars which photography alone reveals to us, do not our hearts leap at the though of a day which must surely come when, fettered and bound no longer to earth, this spirit shall wander forth and penetrate some of the mystery of those might suns at which we now gaze in silent awe.”