"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
"Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another."
— Plato, Philosopher
"The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens."
— Anaxagoras, Philosopher
"Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day, but when I follow the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth; I ascend to Zeus himself to feast me on ambrosia, the food of the gods."
— Ptolemy, Astronomer
"The strongest affection and utmost zeal should, I think, promote the studies concerned with the most beautiful objects. This is the discipline that deals with the universe's divine revolutions, the stars' motions, sizes, distances, risings and settings . . . for what is more beautiful than heaven?"
— Nicolaus Copernicus, Astronomer
"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, Physicist
"Do not look at stars as bright spots only. Try to take in the vastness of the universe."
— Maria Mitchell, Astronomer
"I am just learning to notice the different colors of the stars, and already begin to have a new enjoyment."
— Maria Mitchell, Astronomer
"Astronomy taught us our insignificance in Nature."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Poet
"Astronomers, like burglars and jazz musicians, operate best at night."
— Miles Kington, Journalist
"For my confirmation, I didn't get a watch and my first pair of long pants, like most Lutheran boys. I got a telescope. My mother thought it would make the best gift."
— Wernher von Braun, Rocket Engineer
"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science."
— Edwin Hubble, Astronomer
"I'm sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It's just been too intelligent to come here."
— Arthur C. Clarke, Science Fiction Writer
"The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us—there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, or falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries."
— Carl Sagan, Astronomer
"If it’s a new planet, sign me up. I’m tired of driving around the block, boldly going where hundreds have gone before in orbit around earth—give me a place to go and I’ll go."
— Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist
"To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit."
— Stephen Hawking, Astrophysicist
"Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away, if your car could go straight upwards."
— Sir Fred Hoyle, Astronomer
"Space is for everybody. It's not just for a few people in science or math, or for a select group of astronauts. That's our new frontier out there, and it's everybody's business to know about space."
— Christa McAuliffe, Teacher and Challenger Astronaut