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Word of Art: Stelliferous

Stelliferous (adj.) [ste-lif-er-uh s]

Having or abounding with stars.

The nature of stars and the changing night sky has fascinated humans since the beginning of mankind. Almost every recorded civilization associated the celestial bodies with myth and wove them into their religions. 

1860 Great Meteor by Frederic Church

We know now that rather than being dead Greek heroes or the ceiling of the world,  they are gaseous bodies; however, the night sky has not lost its uncanny ability to stir a sense of spirituality. It is both terrifying and beautiful to think about how small we are compared to the whole of existence.

Nocturne in Black and Gold – The Falling Rocket by James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Design for The Magic Flute: The Hall of Stars in the Palace of the Queen of the Night, Act 1, Scene 6 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Based on the position of Earth and the rate at which light travels, about 10% of the stars that the naked eye can see right now have already been destroyed or died out. Things must die or be destroyed in order to make room for the new ones. This inspires in us, the viewer, a deep feeling of melancholy which is so characteristic of images of space.

Starry Night over the Rhône (Nuit étoilée sur le Rhône) by Vincent van Gogh

Our Banner in the Sky by Frederic Edwin Church

So go outside tonight, look up, and see how the stelliferous night sky makes you feel.
 

By Sammie Seibert

Sammie Seibert

Contributor