Saturday, May 1, 2010

Astronomical Entities

Remember the good old days when Pluto was a planet and the moon was a huntress?

I love that Astronomy, our oldest science, is still intermingled with mythology, our oldest spirituality. We still categorize the skies with constellations and their wondrous tales. Astronomical labels are laden with poetic Latin appellations. Astronomy magazines still include mythological tales when they write of the heavenly bodies.

And one of National Geographic's astronomy books included some beautiful mythological graphics, early work by pre-eminent sci-fi artist Michael Whelan, when introducing factoids about our solar system:













7 comments:

Erik said...

Oh yeah, I had this book when I was a little kid. "Our Universe" I'm pretty sure it was called. Got it as a Christmas present and used it to help write a report on the Moon for school and copied these figures to help learn how to draw anatomy.

Thanks for the nostalgic blast from the past, not to mention the artist's name.

M. D. Jackson said...

My God, Thom!

That book has been sitting in my bookshelf for over twenty years and I had no idea that those illustrations were done by Michael Whelan, one of my favoutrite illustrators! In the bookshelf just across the room I have two big books of Michael Whelan art and I have never, until this moment, had the dots connected.

Once again, I owe you thanks, my friend!

M. D. Jackson said...

That same book has an awesome John Berkey cover, and that was the main reason I bought it all those years ago.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

That's the one! Yay, idn't this fun?

Robert McKinney said...

When I was in junior high, the science teacher had those posted on the wall of the classroom. I was never able to get a good look at them until now. Thanks.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Three cheers for science teachers who make an effort to make their subjects lively! Thanks Robert.

Bill said...

I have the original painting for the Jupiter illustration. Just picked up from estate sale last week. Very Cool to see it elsewhere and to find out it is in this book! Thanks!