Monday, February 04, 2008

when sunspots look like painting...

sunspots from pouchet's universe

a beautiful little engraving of sunspots from pouchet's "the universe", 1883. here, the sunspots not only resemble the graphic forms of henri michaux, but pouchet's explanation of them, reeks wonderfully of poetry.

"when they were first pointed out, some theologians maintained that the pure and radiant star (the sun) was perfectly immaculate, and that its pretended blemishes only existed on the glasses of the telescopes of astronomers... but though the existance of these is an incontestable fact, yet their real nature is as yet very imperfectly explained. some maintain that they are only holes in the luminous envelope of the sun, which allow us to see its dark strata. others think they are clouds of vapor, which wander over the surface of this immense globe of fire..."

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