Cosmic Canvas: W?adys?aw T. Benda's Earth

Strange cosmos. Universal History Archive/UIG/Getty

Here's a wonderful slice of cosmic art for you: A 1918 charcoal illustration depicting the Earth with the Milky Way and moon by Polish American painter W?adys?aw Theodore Benda (1873-1948). According to the Library of Congress, it was published in "The Future of the Earth" by Belgian author Maurice Maeterlinck, though information about the book in question is not forthcoming. Who are the watchers? What are they here to observe?

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.