Setting the Scene

  • William Sheehan
  • Christopher J. Conselice


Far from city lights, the view of the night sky is dominated by stars. Th ey seem to be present in countless numbers. It comes as a surprise to learn that with the naked eye only about three thousand are visible at any given time. Most of these lie within a hundred, and all but a few within a thousand, light years of the Earth.


Dung Beetle Hubble Space Telescope North Fork Guide Star Orion Nebula 


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  1. 1.
    George Rieke, The Last of the Great Observatories: Spitzer and the era of faster, better, cheaper at NASA (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2006), 28.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Edward Carr, “The Last Days of the Polymath,” Intelligent Life Magazine, August 2009.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Henry David Thoreau, Wild Fruits, ed. Bradley P. Dean (New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2000), 165.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ibid., 167-168.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Winston S. Churchill, Painting as a Pastime (New York: The McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1950), 12.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ibid., 14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Sheehan
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Conselice
    • 2
  1. 1.WillmarUSA
  2. 2.School of Physics and Astronomy University of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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