Publication Abstracts

Jastrow 1977

Jastrow, R., 1977: A discipline in which only the sky is the limit. Appl. Opt., 16, 2348-2349.

What is astronomy? The subject matter of this science is the disposition of the universe, and its origin and destiny. The astronomer shares his interest in these matters with the theologian; both seek insights, from different points of view, into the age-old questions: What am I? How did I get here? What is my relationship to the rest of the universe?

According to the astronomical evidence, the atoms in human bodies were created billions of years ago in stars that lived, exploded and died long before the sun and earth existed. These stars, in turn, condensed out of clouds of gas that had been enriched by the debris from still earlier stellar explosions. In this way, step by step, astronomers have traced the origin of man's material substance back through time to the pure energy of the newborn universe.

That astonishing account of the material origins of man is the work of only a handful of people. Roughly 600 astronomers holding doctors' degrees work in the United States, and fifty or so doctorates are awarded in the subject every year.

  • Reprints an article originally published in The New York Times, Mar. 20, 1977

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Jastrow, R.},
  title={A discipline in which only the sky is the limit},
  journal={Applied Optics},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ja08100v
AU  - Jastrow, R.
PY  - 1977
TI  - A discipline in which only the sky is the limit
JA  - Appl. Opt.
JO  - Applied Optics
VL  - 16
SP  - 2348
EP  - 2349
ER  -

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