Is There A Whale Constellation?

I just finished reading Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. It covered a range of different space topics and I found it interesting to see how much has changed since the book came out in 1994. He talks about one day landing a probe on Titan, for instance.

At the beginning of each chapter is also a quote pulled from a wide range of different places. I scanned back through after finishing and it seems that more quotes came from Moby Dick than anywhere else. I was forced to read that book in high school and I only remember long digressions about the origin and use of ambergris. It’s one of those books I probably would have enjoyed if I had read it by choice, so I think I might go back and read it again.

For reference, those quotes were:

Seat thyself sultanically among the moons of Saturn.

The great floodgates of the wonder-world swung open.

It’s too late to make any improvements now. The universe is finished; the copestone is on, and the chips were carted off a million years ago.

(To somehow bring the space and Melville threads together, I wanted to see if there was a constellation of a whale. Turns out that there is and it is called Cetus.)

There was one other non-whale-related quote that I liked and wanted to include in this post. It is from Rainer Maria Rilke:

Of course, it is strange to inhabit the earth no longer,
To give up customs one barely had time to learn.

I think I’m done reading space books for a while. Next up, a collection of essays* by David Foster Wallace.

* The one with the piece about lobsters, not the one with the piece
about cruises
.

2 thoughts on “Is There A Whale Constellation?

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