• Corpus ID: 55503910

The Surprising History of Claims for Life on the Sun

  title={The Surprising History of Claims for Life on the Sun},
  author={Michael J. Crowe},
  • M. Crowe
  • Published 1 November 2011
  • Physics
Because astronomers are now convinced that it is impossible for life, especially intelligent life, to exist on the Sun and stars, it might be assumed that astronomers have always held this view. This paper shows that throughout most of the history of astronomy, some intellectuals, including a number of well-known astronomers, have advocated the existence of intelligent life on our Sun and thereby on stars. Among the more prominent figures discussed are Nicolas of Cusa, Giordano Bruno, William… 

Extraterrestrial Life as the Great Analogy, Two Centuries Ago and in Modern Astrobiology

Mainstream ideas on the existence of extraterrestrial life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries are examined, with a focus on William Herschel, one of the greatest astronomers of all time.


William Herschel's solar model in which the Sun was believed to be a dark solid body surrounded by two atmospheres, of which the outer was luminous, continued to be accepted by astronomers well into

William Herschel and Comets

In this paper I examine the observational and theoretical researches of William Herschel on 21 comets that he observed over the period 1781–1812. His sister Caroline’s comet discoveries, especially

The Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Antiquity to 1900

This chapter provides an overview of the Western historical debate regarding extraterrestrial life from antiquity to the beginning of the twentieth century. Though schools of thought in antiquity


  • Tourism Social Science Series
  • 2019



Sir William Herschel

The work of William Herschel so far transcends that of all others that it would be fair to describe him as the originator of this class of investigation.

The Sun

The present volume is regarded as a considerable expansion of his chapters on the sun in that work, with additional matter, giving an account of the recent solar discoveries, and has been very judiciously done.

XIII. Observations tending to investigate the nature of the sun, in order to find the causes or symptoms of its variable emission of light and heat; with remarks on the use that may possibly be drawn from solar observations

  • W. Herschel
  • Physics
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
  • 1801
On a former occasion I have shewn, that we have great reason to look upon the sun as a most magnificent habitable globe; and, from the observations which will be related in this Paper, it will now be

A Cycle of Celestial Objects

THERE can be, we think, little doubt that the publication of Admiral Smyth's “Cycle of Celestial Objects” powerfully stimulated a taste for astronomy amongst amateurs in this country. It was popular

XIV. Astronomical observations relating to the sidereal part of the heavens, and its connection with the nebulous part; arranged for the purpose of a critical examination

  • W. Herschel
  • Physics
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
  • 1814
In my paper of observations of the nebulous part of the heavens, I have endeavoured to shew the probability of a very gradual conversion of the nebulous matter into the sidereal appearance The

John Elliot and the inhabited sun

Summary In July 1787, Dr John Elliot, apothecary and scientist, assaulted Miss Mary Boydell in the streets of London. Elliotś defenders sought his acquittal on the grounds of insanity, and cited as

Exploring the Sun: Solar Science since Galileo

'Recipient of the American Astronautical Society'sEugene M. Emme Award.' "This is a book written from the point of view of a historian interested not only in science itself, but also in the factors

Auguste Comte's blunder: an account of the first century of stellar spectroscopy and how it took one hundred years to prove that Comte was wrong!

In 1835 the French philosopher Auguste Comte predicted that we would never know anything about the chemical composition of stars. This paper gives a broad overview of the development of stellar

More Worlds Than One: The Creed of the Philosopher and the Hope of the Christian

Preface Introduction 1. Religious aspect of the question 2. Description of the solar system 3. The geological condition of the earth 4. Analogy between the earth and the other planets 5. The sun,

A Theory of Natural Philosophy

IN the time of Boscovich the line of demarcation between the philosopher and the physicist or mathematician was much less clearly marked than it is to-day-perhaps it is better to say than it was a