Puzzling quotes from astronauts about earth size

Puzzling quotes from astronauts about earth size

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I have no doubt that we have been to the moon. This question has nothing to do with a moon landing hoax. But, there are two quotes from two different astronauts regarding the size of the earth as viewed from the moon that are puzzling to me. Both quotes talk about how small the Earth looked. Shouldn't the Earth look very large when viewed from the moon

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue was the Earth. I put up my thumb, shut one eye and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small. - Neil Armstong

As we got further and further away it [the Earth] diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful you can imagine. That beautiful, warm living object looked so fragile, so delicate that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart. Seeing this has to change a man. - James Irwin

I know the term large is subjective, but still, the comments seem off. Please let me know what I'm missing.

The Earth is 4 times the diameter of the Moon. The Earth viewed from the Moon will therefore appear to have 4 times the angular diameter of the Moon viewed from the Earth.

The Moon is easily obscured by a thumb at arm's length (by a factor of 3-4).

Now bring your thumb closer (because you can't fully extend your arm in a bulky space suit) and put on the biggest pair of ski gloves you can find.

It is not a great stretch of the imagination to think your thumb, in a spacesuit, would easily obscure something 4 times the size of the Moon.

From the moon, the earth would appear to span across about 2 degree of sky. If you hold your thumb a few inches in front of your face (or your facemask if you are on the moon), your thumb will block about two degrees of your field of view (Armstrong mentions closing one eye because his thumb is close enough that the different perspective between his two eyes is significant). So there doesn't seem to be anything too surprising about these statements.

If you reduce the scale of the Earth to make it the size of a tennis ball, then the moon would be about the size of a nerf ball (20mm or under an inch), and the moon would be about 7 feet from the Earth.

So you can get a good idea of what the Earth would look like from the Moon: Get a tennis ball and nerf ball set them up 7 ft (2 m) apart put your head next to the nerf ball, and the tennis ball will look about the same size as the Earth would look on the moon

Now hold up your thumb, cover the tennis ball and imagine "on it [is] everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives".

You can get a rough idea of how large the Earth appears from these two photos:

It's not quite that large, is it?

Watching the moon from earth, it seems to be larger at the horizon than at the sky. This means that optical illusions may play a role here, too. The lack of reference objects or maybe the different shape of the horizon on moon may also contribute to the apparent size of earth.

The average distance $D$ between the Earth and the Moon is about 385000 km. The Earth's mean radius $r_E$ is 6371 km while the Moon's mean radius $r_M$ is 1737 km. This means that when the Earth is seen directly overhead from the Moon, it subtends an angle of $2arcsinleft(frac{r_E}{D-r_M} ight)$, or 1.9°.

A good rule of thumb is that the "visual angle of the width of the thumb held at arm's length is about 2 degrees." (Specifically, it's 2.12°±0.26° at the joint per the referenced paper.) A typical person could just barely blot out the Earth as seen from the Moon with a naked (not gloved) thumb held at arms length. The angular size of a thumb at arm's length varies from person to person; from the referenced paper the visual size of a thumb held at arm's length varied between 1.23° and 3.20° for the 112 tested subjects.

My thumb at arm's length is 2.45° wide at the middle of the thumbnail, so I could easily blot out the Earth from the surface of the Moon with my thumb at arm's length.

Famous Astronaut Quotes

On May 25th, 1961, President John F. Kennedy made this declarative statement:

"I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth."

His bold challenge was answered just over eight years later, when astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man ever to set foot on our moon.

The space race didn't merely give us numerous advances in technology, or valuable scientific data. It gave us a sense of perspective. In our collective achievement of a task many thought impossible, it demonstrated how strong we all are together. And in giving us a view of Earth as it really is, it showed us how much we all share, and how artificial the boundaries that divide us truly are.

In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of humanity's first landing on the moon, we give you this selection of famous astronaut quotes from throughout the human history of space exploration.

Inspirational Quotes About Space -->

  1. “Gravity hurts.” – Viktor Alexandrov
  2. “So much universe. And so little time.”
    Quotes About Space

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About The Author

Ananya Bhatt

I am Ananya a Graduate from Holmes College Sydney. I am a professional speaker and I love motivating people and inspire them to pursue their dreams. I have been an active contributor to The Random Vibez from last 2 years. Sharing quotes, proverbs, and sayings of great authors to touch people’s lives to make it better.

Thought Questions

What are the advantages of using radar imaging rather than ordinary cameras to study the topography of Venus? What are the relative advantages of these two approaches to mapping Earth or Mars?

Venus and Earth are nearly the same size and distance from the Sun. What are the main differences in the geology of the two planets? What might be some of the reasons for these differences?

Why is there so much more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Venus than in that of Earth? Why so much more carbon dioxide than on Mars?

If the Viking missions were such a rich source of information about Mars, why have we sent the Pathfinder, Global Surveyor, and other more recent spacecraft to Mars? Make a list of questions about Mars that still puzzle astronomers.

Compare Mars with Mercury and the Moon in terms of overall properties. What are the main similarities and differences?

Contrast the mountains on Mars and Venus with those on Earth and the Moon.

We believe that all of the terrestrial planets had similar histories when it comes to impacts from space. Explain how this idea can be used to date the formation of the martian highlands, the martian basins, and the Tharsis volcanoes. How certain are the ages derived for these features (in other words, how do we check the ages we derive from this method)?

Is it likely that life ever existed on either Venus or Mars? Justify your answer in each case.

Suppose that, decades from now, NASA is considering sending astronauts to Mars and Venus. In each case, describe what kind of protective gear they would have to carry, and what their chances for survival would be if their spacesuits ruptured.

We believe that Venus, Earth, and Mars all started with a significant supply of water. Explain where that water is now for each planet.

One source of information about Mars has been the analysis of meteorites from Mars. Since no samples from Mars have ever been returned to Earth from any of the missions we sent there, how do we know these meteorites are from Mars? What information have they revealed about Mars?

The runaway greenhouse effect and its inverse, the runaway refrigerator effect, have led to harsh, uninhabitable conditions on Venus and Mars. Does the greenhouse effect always cause climate changes leading to loss of water and life? Give a reason for your answer.

In what way is the high surface temperature of Venus relevant to concerns about global warming on Earth today?

What is a dust devil? Would you expect to feel more of a breeze from a dust devil on Mars or on Earth? Explain.

Near the martian equator, temperatures at the same spot can vary from an average of –135 °C at night to an average of 30 °C during the day. How can you explain such a wide difference in temperature compared to that on Earth?

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    Space Exploration Quotes

    &ldquoI'm even going to electrolyze my urine. That'll make for a pleasant smell in the trailer.

    If I survive this, I'll tell people I was pissing rocket fuel.&rdquo
    ― Andy Weir, The Martian

    &ldquoTell me something. Do you believe in God?'

    Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?'

    'It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an. imperfect God?'

    'What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals. '

    'No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a. sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.'

    Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks:

    'Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot. '

    Snow pondered for a while:

    'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been. necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.'

    'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? . Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while. '

    'We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.'

    'If you're going to take what I say literally. '

    'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?'

    'I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.&rdquo
    ― Stanisław Lem, Solaris

    1. “I got into astronomy through an interest in religion.” ― Carolyn Porco

    2. “Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.” ― Edsger Dijkstra

    3. “Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.” ― Plato

    4. “My whole entry into astronomy started from a spiritual place.” ― Carolyn Porco

    5. “Medicine rests upon four pillars – philosophy, astronomy, alchemy, and ethics.” ― Paracelsus

    6. “I got into science fiction by being interested in astronomy first.” ― Terry Pratchett

    7. “I want to be an actress and learn astronomy!” ― Khoudia Diop

    8. “Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another.” ― Plato, Philosopher

    9. “Fixing global warming is more important than astronomy.” ― David Grinspoon

    10. “Astronomy teaches the correct use of the sun and the planets.” ― Stephen Leacock

    11. “The origin of galaxies is one of the fundamental questions of astronomy, and that’s what I’ve been studying.” ― Sandra Faber

    12. “If I had to go back to school for anything, I’d go for astronomy.” ― Anderson East

    13. “It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling and, I might add, a character-building experience.” ― Carl Sagan

    14. “I come home from trying to pretend to know about astronomy and physics all day and turn on ‘The Real Housewives’.” ― Eddie Redmayne

    15. “I only watch National Geographic Channel, and also I have the app on my phone. I’m into astronomy and love to learn about new facts.” ― Sonu Nigam

    16. “The thing I like about astronomy is being outside at night and seeing the stars in a dark sky. It makes you feel small.” ― Jimmy Walker

    17. “Astrology is an aesthetic affront. It cheapens astronomy, like using Beethoven for commercial jingles.” ― Richard Dawkins

    18. “In 1959 the University recognized our work by appointing me to a new Chair of Radio Astronomy.” ― Martin Ryle

    19. “Astronomy’s much more fun when you’re not an astronomer.” ― Brian May

    20. “But my most favourite pursuit, after my daily exertions at the Foundry, was Astronomy. There were frequently clear nights when the glorious objects in the Heavens were seen in most attractive beauty and brilliancy.” ― James Nasmyth

    21. “I knew there was a school where women could study astronomy. So… it never occurred to me that I couldn’t be an astronomer.” ― Vera Rubin

    22. “So important is this dark matter to our understanding of the size, shape, and ultimate fate of the universe that the search for it will very likely dominate astronomy for the next few decades.” ― Vera Rubin

    23. “Certainly the history of astronomy shows that every time we thought we were special, we were wrong.” ― Seth Shostak

    24. “The history of astronomy is a history of receding horizons.” ― Edwin Powell Hubble

    25. “I love biomedical science, I love astronomy, and you can’t really do much with those in a fantasy setting.” ― Elizabeth Moon

    26. “This sight… is by far the noblest astronomy affords.” ― Edmond Halley

    27. “The first year I was at NASA, I was only responsible for optical and ultraviolet astronomy. Frankly, there wasn’t much else.” ― Nancy Roman

    28. “It is clear to everyone that astronomy at all events compels the soul to look upwards, and draws it from the things of this world to the other.” ― Plato

    29. “Here I was into astronomy, and here into anthropology, and there I go into geology. It was much more fun to be able to research and write about whatever I wanted to.” ― Octavia E. Butler

    30. “One thing scientists do is to find order among a large number of facts, and one way to do that across fields as diverse as biology, geology, physics and astronomy is through classification.” ― Alan Stern

    31. “But when researchers at Bell Labs discovered that static tends to come from particular places in the sky, the whole field of radio astronomy opened up.” ― Murray Gell-Mann

    32. “From the moment of using rocket devices, a great new era will begin in astronomy: the epoch of the more intensive study of the firmament.” ― Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

    33. “I have always loved astronomy, and being an astronomer once lurked in the back of my mind. But I was never good at algebra. In fact, I flunked it twice in high school.” ― Natalie Babbitt

    34. “I had studied at Harvard and MIT astronomy and a lot about the heavens and the star system and so forth.” ― Edgar Mitchell

    35. “Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.” ― Voltaire

    36. “The most remarkable discovery in all of astronomy is that the stars are made of atoms of the same kind as those on the earth.” ― Richard P. Feynman

    37. “Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy but after a war it seems more like astrology.” ― Rebecca West

    38. “My amateur interest in astronomy brought out the term ‘magnitude’, which is used for the brightness of a star.” ― Charles Francis Richter

    39. “I am a professor of astronomy and physics at Yale University, where I teach an introductory class in cosmology. I see the deficiencies that first-year students show up with.” ― Priyamvada Natarajan

    40. “It’s like having astronomy without knowing where the stars are.” ― E. O. Wilson

    41. “I’m not really into sci-fi movies, but I’m into the science of space a lot. I love astronomy and thinking about the nothingness of the everythingness of space.” ― Milana Vayntrub

    42. “We are probably nearing the limit of all we can know about astronomy.” ― Simon Newcomb

    43. “A few months after NASA was formed, I was asked if I knew anyone who would like to set up a program in space astronomy.” ― Nancy Roman

    44. “When Galileo first trained his optic telescope on the heavens and opened up modern optical astronomy, that was the first of the electromagnetic windows out of the universe: light.” ― Kip Thorne

    45. “So fantasy was fine early on, and when I discovered science fiction, I was very happy with it, because my first interest in science fiction came with an interest in astronomy.” ― Octavia E. Butler

    46. “The study of celestial phenomena at radio wavelengths, radio astronomy came into being after the accidental discovery of cosmic radiation by radio engineer Karl Jansky in 1933.” ― Honor Harger

    47. “One lesson astronomy tells us is that we’re a tiny mote in a hostile void, and help is too far away.” ― Sandra Faber

    48. “Most people today still believe, perhaps unconsciously, in the heliocentric universe every newspaper in the land has a section on astrology, yet few have anything at all on astronomy.” ― Hannes Alfven

    49. “When we meet people who are astronauts or deal in astronomy, it’s always really fascinating.” ― John Legend

    50. “There’s no question to my mind that saving our civilization and many other species is more important than our ability to do ground-based astronomy for a few decades.” ― David Grinspoo

    51. “Over and over in the history of astronomy, a new instrument finds things we never expected to see.” ― Rainer Weiss

    52. “I liked math – that was my favorite subject – and I was very interested in astronomy and in physical science.” ―Sally Ride

    We hope that you like our work on Astronomy Day Quotes. You can appreciate our work by sharing these quotes by using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and obviously WhatsApp.

    Why do we have to keep earth clean?
    Because it’s not Uranus

    Where do aliens go for a drink?
    The space bar.

    Why did the Sun never got into college?
    Because it already has quite a million degrees!

    What does the astronaut who’s watching his weight order at the bar?
    A sateli-lite beet

    How do you get a baby astronaut to go to sleep?

    Where can planets update their status?
    Their spacebook account

    How do you know when the moon is going broke?
    When it’s down to its last quarter.

    What do planets like to read?
    Comet books!

    Why would a cow want to go to space?
    To see the Milky Way.

    Where would an astronaut park his spaceship?
    At a parking meteor!

    Why couldn’t the astronaut focus?
    He kept spacing out.

    How do you know when the moon has had enough to eat?
    When it’s full.

    Where do planets download their music from?

    Why did the sun go to school?
    To get brighter.

    How does a Man cut his hair on the moon?
    Eclipse it.

    Why did people not like the restaurant on the moon?
    Because there was no atmosphere.

    What do you call the lights on a lunar rover?

    How do astronauts plan a party?
    They planet it.

    What do you call someone who’s NOT a vegetarian?
    A meteor.

    Which stars wear glasses?
    Movie stars.


    Proponents of the ancient astronaut hypothesis often maintain that humans are either descendants or creations of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) who landed on Earth thousands of years ago. An associated idea is that humans evolved independently, but that much of human knowledge, religion, and culture came from extraterrestrial visitors in ancient times, in that ancient astronauts acted as a "mother culture". Some ancient astronaut proponents also believe that travelers from outer space, referred to as "astronauts" (or "spacemen") built many of the structures on Earth (such as Egyptian pyramids and the Moai stone heads of Easter Island) or aided humans in building them. [7]

    Various terms are used to reference claims about ancient astronauts, such as ancient aliens, [8] ancient ufonauts, [9] ancient space pilots, [10] paleocontact, [11] astronaut- or alien gods, [12] [13] or paleo- or Bible-SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence). [14] [15]

    Proponents argue that the evidence for ancient astronauts comes from documentary gaps in historical and archaeological records, and they also maintain that absent or incomplete explanations of historical or archaeological data point to the existence of ancient astronauts. The evidence is argued to include archaeological artifacts that they deem anachronistic, or beyond the accepted technical capabilities of the historical cultures with which they are associated. These are sometimes referred to as "out-of-place artifacts" and include artwork and legends which are interpreted in a modern sense as depicting extraterrestrial contact or technologies. [16]

    Scholars have responded that gaps in contemporary knowledge are not evidence of the existence of ancient astronauts, and that advocates have not provided any convincing documentary or physical evidence of an artifact that might conceivably be the product of ETI contact. According to astrophysicist Carl Sagan, "In the long litany of 'ancient astronaut' pop archaeology, the cases of apparent interest have perfectly reasonable alternative explanations, or have been misreported, or are simple prevarications, hoaxes and distortions". [17]

    Paleocontact or "ancient astronaut" narratives first appeared in the early science fiction of the late 19th to early 20th century. [ citation needed ] The idea was proposed in earnest by Harold T. Wilkins in 1954 it received some consideration as a serious hypothesis during the 1960s mainly due to Erich von Däniken. Critics emerged throughout the 1970s, discrediting Von Daniken's claims. Ufologists separated the idea from the UFO controversy. By the early 1980s little remaining support could be found. [18]

    Shklovskii and Sagan Edit

    In Intelligent Life in the Universe (1966) astrophysicists Iosif Shklovsky [Shklovskii] and Carl Sagan devote a chapter to the argument that scientists and historians should seriously consider the possibility that extraterrestrial contact occurred during recorded history however, Shklovskii and Sagan stressed that these ideas were speculative and unproven. [19] Shklovskii and Sagan argued that sub-lightspeed interstellar travel by extraterrestrial life was a certainty when considering technologies that were established or feasible in the late 1960s [20] that repeated instances of extraterrestrial visitation to Earth were plausible [21] and that pre-scientific narratives can offer a potentially reliable means of describing contact with aliens.

    Sagan illustrates this hypothesis by citing the 1786 expedition of French explorer Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse, which made the earliest first contact between European and Tlingit cultures. The contact story was preserved as an oral tradition by the preliterate Tlingit. Over a century after its occurrence it was then recorded by anthropologist George T. Emmons. Although it is framed in a Tlingit cultural and spiritual paradigm, the story remained an accurate telling of the 1786 encounter. According to Sagan, this proved how "under certain circumstances, a brief contact with an alien civilization will be recorded in a re-constructible manner. He further states that the reconstruction will be greatly aided if 1) the account is committed to written record soon after the event 2) a major change is effected in the contacted society and 3) no attempt is made by the contacting civilization to disguise its exogenous nature." [22]

    Additionally, Shklovskii and Sagan cited tales of Oannes, a fishlike being attributed with teaching agriculture, mathematics, and the arts to early Sumerians, as deserving closer scrutiny as a possible instance of paleocontact due to its consistency and detail. [23]

    In his 1979 book Broca's Brain, Sagan suggested that he and Shklovskii might have inspired the wave of 1970s ancient astronaut books, expressing disapproval of "von Däniken and other uncritical writers" who seemingly built on these ideas not as guarded speculations but as "valid evidence of extraterrestrial contact." [24] Sagan argued that while many legends, artifacts, and purported out-of-place artifacts were cited in support of ancient astronaut hypotheses, "very few require more than passing mention" and could be easily explained with more conventional hypotheses. Sagan also reiterated his earlier conclusion that extraterrestrial visits to Earth were possible but unproven, and improbable. [25]

    Erich von Däniken Edit

    Erich von Däniken was a leading proponent of this hypothesis in the late 1960s and early 1970s, gaining a large audience through the 1968 publication of his best-selling book Chariots of the Gods? and its sequels.

    According to von Däniken, certain artifacts require a more sophisticated technological ability in their construction than that which was available to the ancient cultures who constructed them. Von Däniken maintains that these artifacts were constructed either directly by extraterrestrial visitors or by humans who learned the necessary knowledge from said visitors. These include Stonehenge, Pumapunku, the Moai of Easter Island, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and the ancient Baghdad electric batteries.

    Von Däniken writes that ancient art and iconography throughout the world illustrates air and space vehicles, non-human but intelligent creatures, ancient astronauts, and artifacts of an anachronistically advanced technology. Von Däniken also states that geographically separated historical cultures share artistic themes, which he argues imply a common origin. One such example is von Däniken's interpretation of the sarcophagus lid recovered from the tomb of the Classic-era Maya ruler of Palenque, Pacal the Great. Von Däniken writes that the design represented a seated astronaut. The iconography and accompanying Maya text, however, identifies it as a portrait of the ruler himself with the World Tree of Maya mythology.

    The origins of many religions are interpreted by von Däniken as reactions to encounters with an alien race. According to his view, humans considered the technology of the aliens to be supernatural and the aliens themselves to be gods. Von Däniken states that the oral and written traditions of most religions contain references to alien visitors in the way of descriptions of stars and vehicular objects travelling through air and space. One such is Ezekiel's revelation in the Old Testament, which Däniken interprets as a detailed description of a landing spacecraft (The Spaceships of Ezekiel).

    Von Däniken's hypotheses became popularized in the U.S. after the NBC-TV documentary In Search of Ancient Astronauts hosted by Rod Serling, and the film Chariots of the Gods.

    Critics argue that von Däniken misrepresented data, that many of his claims were unfounded, and that none of his core claims have been validated. [26] In particular the Christian creationist community is highly critical of most of von Däniken's work. Young Earth creationist author Clifford A. Wilson published Crash Go the Chariots in 1972 in which he attempted to discredit all the claims made in Chariots of the Gods. [27]

    In Chariots of the Gods?, regarding the Nazca Lines, von Däniken states that "Seen from the air, the clear-cut impression that the 37-mile long plain of Nazca made on me was that of an airfield." [28] Considering he was in the process of finding evidence of ancient aliens, von Däniken exhibits confirmation bias, as he doesn't consider the Nazca Lines to be man-made until after the publication of Chariots of the Gods?. This etic perspective that he presents could be easily accepted by a reader familiar with air travel, and an undeveloped knowledge of the nature of the geoglyphs. Furthermore, since the majority of readers of Chariots of the Gods? are not educated in viewing artifacts from ancient civilizations, their interpretations are highly subject to von Däniken's opinions of the artifacts. Kenneth L. Feder argues a reader seeing the Nazca Lines for the first time in a book about aliens would be much more likely to associate those features with extraterrestrial origins, rather than from a civilization that existed on Earth. [29]

    In 1970, von Däniken admits that the Nazca markings "could have been laid out on their gigantic scale by working from a model using a system of coordinates." [30]

    Zecharia Sitchin Edit

    Zecharia Sitchin's series The Earth Chronicles, beginning with The 12th Planet, revolves around Sitchin's unique interpretation of ancient Sumerian and Middle Eastern texts, megalithic sites, and artifacts from around the world. [31] [32] He hypothesizes that the gods of old Mesopotamia were astronauts from the planet "Nibiru", which Sitchin states the Sumerians believed to be a remote "12th planet" (counting the Sun, Moon, and Pluto as planets) associated with the god Marduk. According to Sitchin, Nibiru continues to orbit our sun on a 3,600-year elongated orbit. Modern astronomy has found no evidence to support Sitchin's ideas. [31]

    Sitchin argues that there are Sumerian texts which tell the story that 50 Anunnaki, inhabitants of a planet named Nibiru, came to Earth approximately 400,000 years ago with the intent of mining raw materials, especially gold, for transport back to Nibiru. With their small numbers they soon grew tired of the task and set out to genetically engineer laborers to work the mines. After much trial and error they eventually created Homo sapiens sapiens: the "Adapa" (model man) or Adam of later mythology. Sitchin contended the Anunnaki were active in human affairs until their culture was destroyed by global catastrophes caused by the abrupt end of the last ice age some 12,000 years ago. Seeing that humans survived and all they had built was destroyed, the Anunnaki left Earth after giving humans the opportunity and means to govern themselves. Sitchin's work has not received mainstream scholarly support and has been roundly criticized by professionals that have reviewed his hypotheses. Semitic languages scholar Michael S. Heiser says that many of Sitchin's translations of Sumerian and Mesopotamian words are not consistent with Mesopotamian cuneiform bilingual dictionaries, produced by ancient Akkadian scribes. [33] [34] [35]

    Alan F. Alford, author of Gods of the New Millennium (1996), was an adherent of the ancient astronaut hypothesis. Much of his work draws on Sitchin's hypotheses. However, he now finds fault with Sitchin's hypothesis after deeper analysis, stating that: "I am now firmly of the opinion that these gods personified the falling sky in other words, the descent of the gods was a poetic rendition of the cataclysm myth which stood at the heart of ancient Near Eastern religions." [36]

    Robert Temple Edit

    Robert K. G. Temple's 1976 book, The Sirius Mystery, argues that the Dogon people of northwestern Mali preserved an account of extraterrestrial visitation from around 5,000 years ago. He quotes various lines of evidence, including advanced astronomical knowledge inherited by the tribe, descriptions, and comparative belief systems with ancient civilizations such as ancient Egypt and Sumer. His work draws heavily on the studies of cultural anthropologists Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen. [37]

    His conclusions have been criticized by scientists, who point out discrepancies within Temple's account, and suggested that the Dogon may have received some of their astronomical information recently, probably from European sources, and may have misrepresented Dogon ethnography. [38] [39] [40]

    UFO religions Edit

    Various new religious movements including some branches of theosophy, Scientology, Raëlism, and Heaven's Gate believe in ancient and present-day contact with extraterrestrial intelligence. Many of these faiths see both ancient scriptures and recent revelations as connected with the action of aliens from other planetary systems. Psychologists have found that UFO religions have similarities which suggest that members of these groups consciously or subliminally associate enchantment with the memes of science fiction. [41]

    Among scientists, the consensus is that the ancient astronaut hypothesis is not impossible, but unjustified and unnecessary. The "mysteries" cited as evidence for the hypothesis can be explained without having to invoke ancient astronauts proponents look for mysteries where none exist. [6] Since ancient astronauts are unnecessary, Occam's razor should be applied and the hypothesis rejected according to the scientific consensus. [42]

    Ancient religious texts Edit

    Proponents cite ancient mythologies to support their viewpoints based on the idea that ancient creation myths of gods who descend from the heavens to Earth to create or instruct humanity are representations of alien visitors, whose superior technology accounts for their perception as gods. Proponents draw an analogy to occurrences in modern time when isolated cultures are exposed to Western technology, such as when, in the early 20th century, "cargo cults" were discovered in the South Pacific: cultures who believed various Western ships and their cargo to be sent from the gods as fulfillment of prophecies concerning their return. [43] [ user-generated source? ]

    The ancient Sumerian myth of Enûma Eliš, inscribed on cuneiform tablets and part of the Library of Ashurbanipal, says humankind was created to serve gods called the "Annunaki". Hypothesis proponents believe that the Annunaki were aliens who came to earth to mine gold for their own uses. According to the Enuma Elish story, the Annunaki realized mining gold was taking a toll on their race, and then created the human race as slaves. [44]

    Ramayana Edit

    In Hindu mythology, the gods and their avatars travel from place to place in flying vehicles called Vimana. There are many mentions of these flying objects in the Ramayana, which used by the Lankan king Ravana from Sri Lanka dates to the 5th or 4th century BCE. Below are some examples:

    From Book 6, Canto CXXIII: The Magic Car: [45]

    Is not the wondrous chariot mine,

    Named Pushpak, wrought by hands divine.

    This chariot, kept with utmost care,
    Will waft thee through the fields of air,
    And thou shalt light unwearied down

    In fair Ayodhyá's royal town.

    From Book 6, Canto CXXIV: The Departure: [45]

    Swift through the air, as Ráma chose,

    The wondrous car from earth arose.
    And decked with swans and silver wings

    Bore through the clouds its freight of kings.

    Erich von Däniken discusses the Ramayana and the vimanas in Chapter 6 of Chariots of the Gods? suggesting that they were "space vehicles". To support his hypothesis, he offers a quotation which he says is from an 1889 translation of the Mahabharata by C. Roy: "Bhima flew with his Vimana on an enormous ray which was as brilliant as the sun and made a noise like the thunder of a storm". [46] [47]

    Book of Genesis and Book of Enoch Edit

    The Book of Genesis, Chapter 6 verses 1-2 and 4, states:

    When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.
    The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them.
    — Genesis 6:1–4 (New International Version)

    Many Christians consider these groups to be the different families of Adam and Eve's children. Another interpretation is that the Nephilim are the children of the "sons of God" and "daughters of humans", although scholars are uncertain. [48] The King James Version translates "Nephilim" as "giants" (or Gibborim). Ancient Astronaut proponents argue that Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in order "to be godlike", and this was the first step in human evolution. [ citation needed ]

    The first part of the apocryphal Book of Enoch expands and interprets Genesis 6:1: that the "sons of God" were a group of 200 "angels" called "Watchers", who descended to Earth to breed with humans. Their offspring are the Nephilim, "giants" who "consumed all the acquisitions of men". When humans could no longer sustain the Nephilim, they turned against humanity. The Watchers also instructed humans in metallurgy and metalworking, cosmetics, sorcery, astrology, astronomy, and meteorology. God then ordered the Watchers to be imprisoned in the ground, and created the Great Flood (or the numerous Deluge myths) to rid Earth of the Nephilim and of the humans given knowledge by the Watchers. To ensure humanity's survival, Noah is forewarned of the oncoming destruction. Because they disobeyed God, the book describes the Watchers as "fallen angels". [49] [ original research? ]

    Some ancient astronaut proponents argue that this story is a historical account of extraterrestrials visiting Earth, called Watchers because their mission was to observe humanity. Some of the extraterrestrials disobeyed orders they made contact with humans, cross-bred with human females, and shared knowledge with them. The Nephilim were thus half-human-half-extraterrestrial hybrids. [50] [ better source needed ]

    Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman argue that modern UFOs carry the fallen angels, or offspring of fallen angels, and that "Noah's genealogy was not tarnished by the intrusion of fallen angels. It seems that this adulteration of the human gene pool was a major problem on the planet earth". [51]

    Von Däniken also suggests that the two angels who visited Lot in Genesis 19 were ancient astronauts, who used atomic weapons to destroy the city of Sodom. [52]

    Marc Dem reinterprets the Book of Genesis by writing that humanity started on another planet and that the God of the Bible is an extraterrestrial. [53]

    Book of Ezekiel Edit

    In the Old Testament, Chapter 1 of the Book of Ezekiel recounts a vision in which Ezekiel sees "an immense cloud" that contains fire and emits lightning and "brilliant light". It continues: "The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures". These creatures are described as winged and humanoid, they "sped back and forth like flashes of lightning" and "fire moved back and forth among the creatures". The passage goes on to describe four shiny objects, each appearing "like a wheel intersecting a wheel". These objects could fly and they moved with the creatures: "When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose". [54] [ original research? ]

    In Chapter 4 of Chariots of the Gods?, entitled "Was God an Astronaut?", von Däniken suggests that Ezekiel had seen a spaceship or spaceships this hypothesis had been put forward by Morris Jessup in 1956 [55] and by Arthur W. Orton in 1961. [56] A detailed version of this hypothesis was described by Josef F. Blumrich in his book The Spaceships of Ezekiel (1974). [57]

    Elsewhere in the Bible Edit

    The characteristics of the Ark of the Covenant and the Urim and Thummim have been said to suggest high technology, perhaps from alien origins. [58]

    Robert Dione and Paul Misraki published books in the 1960s describing the events in the Bible as caused by alien technology. [59] [60] Barry Downing, a Presbyterian minister, wrote a book in 1968 arguing that Jesus was an extraterrestrial, citing John 8:23 and other biblical verses as evidence. [61]

    Some ancient astronaut proponents such as Von Däniken and Barry Downing believe that the concept of hell in the Bible could be a real description of the planet Venus brought to Earth by extraterrestrials showing photos of the hot surface on Venus to humans. [ citation needed ] Proponents of the hypothesis state that 'God' and 'Satan' were aliens that disagreed on whether or not human beings should be allowed the information that is offered by the tree of knowledge. David Childress, a leading proponent of ancient astronaut creation hypothesis, compares this story to the Greek tale of Prometheus, who gave mankind the knowledge of fire. Ancient Astronaut proponents believe the biblical concept of Satan is based on a misunderstood visit by extraterrestrials. Erich von Däniken posited that the descendants of extraterrestrials had children with hominids, and this was referred to in the Bible as the "Original sin." Von Däniken believes that the biblical great flood was punishment after an extraterrestrial 'God' discovered that earthbound, fallen angels were mating with ape-like early humans. [62]

    Irish Book of Invasions Edit

    Childress and others have written that the passage in the Book of Invasions describing the arrival of the Tuatha Dé Danann in Ireland, records "the arrival of aliens in spacecraft with cloaking devices" at Slieve Anierin. The text states “so that they were the Tuatha De Danand who came to Ireland. In this wise they came, in dark clouds. They landed on the mountains of Conmaicne Rein in Connacht and they brought a darkness over the sun for three days and three nights". [63]

    11 Short Inspiring Space Quotes

    Looking for motivational quotes and meaningful sayings about outer space? Find here an amazing quote collection and deep thoughts said by the greatest minds and world famous people.

    Stargazing at a beautiful night sky, one cannot help but start thinking of endless space and beautiful starts, – this thought has always made me smile. Never stop looking up

    “The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.”

    – Carl Sagan
    Famous American astronomer, cosmologist and science popularizer

    ”When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon, I cried.”

    – Alan Shepard, American astronaut
    talking about his time on the lunar surface
    during the Apollo 14 mission in February 1971.

    You may like: Famous Space Movie Quotes collection from SpaceQuotations

    “It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

    – Buzz Aldrin
    The actual first words spoken from the surface of the Moon,
    when Apollo 11 landed, July 20, 1969.
    Over six hours later, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface
    and uttered the immortal line “That’s one small step for [a] man,
    one giant leap for mankind”.

    “The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent.”

    JULY 1969, A.D.

    The words on a plaque left on the Moon
    by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong.

    “The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.”

    ”I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”

    – Neil Armstrong, famous American astronomy scientist
    on looking back at the Earth from the Moon in July 1969

    “I’m coming back in… and it’s the saddest moment of my life.”

    Edward White, American astronomer
    expresses his sorrow at the conclusion of the first American spacewalk
    during the Gemini 4 mission on 3 June 1965.

    “Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”

    Famous expression used to tell someone you love them a lot.
    In a sense of “more than anything” or “more than anything else.”
    The idea is using the distance from the Earth to the Moon and
    the return trip (or 455,000 miles or so) as a way to measure someone’s love.

    Milky Way Quotes

    That may be how you see yourself, but the rest of the world would be hard to agree. You shine brighter than the Milky Way.
    Now there are those who might try to take that from you, but you don't have to give it away. Keep on shining Pattyn.
    And when the right young man comes along, he'll love you all the more for giftin' this sad planet with your light.&rdquo
    ― Ellen Hopkins, Burned

    &ldquoThis Voyager spacecraft was constructed by the United States of America. We are a community of 240 million human beings among the more than 4 billion who inhabit the planet Earth. We human beings are still divided into nation states, but these states are rapidly becoming a single global civilization.

    We cast this message into the cosmos. It is likely to survive a billion years into our future, when our civilization is profoundly altered and the surface of the Earth may be vastly changed. Of the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, some--perhaps many--may have inhabited planets and spacefaring civilizations. If one such civilization intercepts Voyager and can understand these recorded contents, here is our message:

    This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination, and our good will in a vast and awesome universe&rdquo
    ― Jimmy Carter

    &ldquoNow, almost one hundred years later, it is difficult to fully appreciate how much our picture of the universe has changed in the span of a single human lifetime.

    As far as the scientific community in 1917 was concerned, the universe was static and eternal, and consisted of a one single galaxy, our Milky Way, surrounded by vast, infinite, dark, and empty space.

    This is, after all, what you would guess by looking up at the night sky with your eyes, or with a small telescope, and at the time there was little reason to suspect otherwise.&rdquo
    ― Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing

    Watch the video: What Do Astronauts Do? (May 2022).