As a collective race, it can be said humans are unique in how we view the celestial world around our world. No other animal looks to the stars for answers, and certainly no other being uses astronomical telescopes to glimpse the heavens. So just what is it about the great sky that fascinates us, and why is it important to nurture enthusiasm with telescopes, space shuttles and star charts?
Putting Ourselves into Perspective
What are we here for? How long can the earth’s resources support us? What’s our place in the vastness of space? Is earth really so fragile? From space, the earth is a tiny, fragile little thing, and perhaps a clearer perspective of our home might lead to greater respect for it.
The Story of the Universe
The human thirst for knowledge is about more than just astronomical telescopes and orbiting satellites. We want to know how long we could survive, what came before us, how the great machine of the universe ticks, and what effect the celestial objects we view through our telescopes from our back gardens have on our lives.
Beauty and Love
American astronomer, Carl Sagan, said of space, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love. ” The beauty and intrigue of the stars unites us as a species. We’re reminded that our universe – our ecosystem – is virtually immeasurable. To see the Milky Way or even our own planet in a photograph – containing us all – is humbling.
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