Stargazing at the sky at night, we start thinking unintentionally: what lies there? What is the order of things there? Which part in such frightful majesty can we take? One might have compared stars with millions of eyes watching at us from space. All of this is just lyricism when we are talking about Astronomy. Scientists from all over the world gaze into stars and make discoveries that amaze us every day. What does Astronomy do and why do we need it?
Astronomy is a science, which explores the formation of our Universe. Particularly disposition, motion, corporeity, origin and evolution of celestial objects and systems. Owing to astronomy, we learn the laws of nature and observe the evolution of our world.
Here are some quotations about Astronomy and Cosmology
“Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.”
– Socrates, Philosopher
“To set foot on the soil of the asteroids, to lift by hand a rock from the Moon, to observe Mars from a distance of several tens of kilometers, to land on its satellite or even on its surface, what can be more fantastic? From the moment of using rocket devices a new great era will begin in astronomy: the epoch of the more intensive study of the firmament. “
– Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky, Father of Russian Astronautics, (1896)
“Astronomy is useful because it raises us above ourselves; it is useful because it is grand… It shows us how small is man’s body, how great his mind, since his intelligence can embrace the whole of this dazzling immensity, where his body is only an obscure point, and enjoy its silent harmony.”
– Henri Poincaré, in La Valeur de la Science (1904)
“Cosmology brings us face to face with the deepest mysteries, questions that were once treated only in religion and myth.”
– Carl Sagan, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980)
“Cosmology is peculiar among the sciences for it is both the oldest and the youngest. From the dawn of civilization man has speculated about the nature of the starry heavens and the origin of the world, but only in the present century has physical cosmology split away from general philosophy to become an independent discipline.”
– Gerald James Whitrow, Theories of the Universe (1958)
“Cosmology is a science which has only a few observable facts to work with.”
– Robert Woodrow Wilson Conclusion of his Nobel lecture
“The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination, but the combination is locked up in the safe.”
– Peter de Vries, novelist
“Astronomy is perhaps the science whose discoveries owe least to chance, in which human understanding appears in its whole magnitude, and through which man can best learn how small he is.”
– Georg C. Lichtenberg, German scientist, satirist and anglophile.
“General space — that sea of ether which has no shores, and stretches on, and on, and arrives nowhere; which is a waste of black gloom and thick darkness through which you may rush forever at thought-speed, encountering at weary long intervals spirit-cheering archipelagoes of suns which rise sparkling far in front of you, and swiftly grow and swell, and burst into blinding glories of light, apparently measureless in extent, but you plung through and in a moment they are far behind, a twinkling archipelago again, and in another moment they are blotted out in darkness; constellations, these? yes; and the earliest of them the property of your own solar system; the rest of that unending flight is through solar systems not known to men.”
– Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger