Maxfield Parrish’s landscape of a still winter night gives us a feeling of tranquility.
As you look at this picture, you’re on a planet spinning at 1,040 miles per hour, or .3 miles per second. (That’s at the equator. You can calculate your own personal speed by multiplying the cosine of your latitude by 1,040). The earth spinning beneath your feet is at the same time hurtling around the sun at 18.5 miles per second. In addition, your entire solar system is cartwheeling around the milky way at 140 miles per second. Even at that incomprehensible speed, it will still take 250 million years for you to complete a single rotation around the galaxy.
Pitted against these immense facts, this small square image controls your psychological outlook and gives you a feeling of calm.