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Astronomy – Why? #912470
07/27/16 02:55 AM
07/27/16 02:55 AM
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Mona - Astronomy Offline OP
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Astronomy is an ancient science, and today a popular profession and pastime. But what attracts people to astronomy? What's special about it? Here are some answers to this question in the words of astronomers through the ages.

Astronomy – Why?


Mona Evans
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Re: Astronomy – Why? [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #912487
07/28/16 04:30 AM
07/28/16 04:30 AM
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Mona - Astronomy Offline OP
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Astronomer Phil Plait, who blogs as the Bad Astronomer, writes:

Quote:
I have to smile wryly when I hear people try to distinguish art from science. The Universe is both, Folks. You may try to tear them apart, but you cannot, for the artistry of the Universe is forever intertwined with how it works. They drive each other; the science is why the art is beautiful, and the art is one of the reasons we pursue the science.


Mona Evans
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Re: Astronomy – Why? [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #912527
07/29/16 03:52 PM
07/29/16 03:52 PM
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David Gross, theoretical physicist, says:
Quote:
The main reason why people should care about research in fundamental physics is the same reason they care about astronomy and cosmology. People, children, want to know what we're made out of, how it works, and why the universe is the way it is.


Mona Evans
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Re: Astronomy – Why? [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #912563
07/31/16 05:13 PM
07/31/16 05:13 PM
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It's not quite a reason for astronomy, but it's a quote from Galileo that I quite like:

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.


Mona Evans
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Re: Astronomy – Why? [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #912568
07/31/16 08:08 PM
07/31/16 08:08 PM
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So true.

Originally Posted By Mona - Astronomy
It's not quite a reason for astronomy, but it's a quote from Galileo that I quite like:

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.

Re: Astronomy – Why? [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #912600
08/02/16 03:54 AM
08/02/16 03:54 AM
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Jan Christiaan Smuts (1870-1950) was a military leader, prominent statesman of South Africa and the British Commonwealth, and philosopher. In speaking of the work Spencer Jones had done at Cape Town observatory, he said,
Quote:
It is work that does not bring dividends, but for those of us who look beyond material values and want to know about the Universe, who feel the mystery of life and to whom Nature makes a profound appeal, it is of more value than all the diamonds of Kimberley and all the gold of Johannesburg.


Mona Evans
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Re: Astronomy – Why? [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #912666
08/05/16 12:19 PM
08/05/16 12:19 PM
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Quote:
But my most favourite pursuit, after my daily exertions at the Foundry, was Astronomy. There were frequently clear nights when the glorious objects in the Heavens were seen in most attractive beauty and brilliancy. -James Nasmyth

James Hall Nasmyth (1808-1890) was a Scottish engineer, artist and inventor. He was the co-founder of a company that manufactured machine tools. Nasmyth was successful enough to retire at the age of 48 (Wow! Envy!), and he moved to Penshurst, Kent in southern England. There he built his own telescope and developed his astronomy and photography. Nssmyth is known for the book containing his observations of the Moon.


Mona Evans
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Re: Astronomy – Why? [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #912714
08/07/16 10:08 AM
08/07/16 10:08 AM
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American astronomer Jill Tarter is the former director of the Center for SETi Research. SETI is the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Tarter has devote her career to this area of astronomy and if you've read Carl Sagan's novel Contact or seen the film with Jodie Foster, Tarter was the inspiration for the heroine Ellie.

Quote:
“We, all of us, are what happens when a primordial mixture of hydrogen and helium evolves for so long that it begins to ask where it came from.” ― Jill Tarter


Mona Evans
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Re: Astronomy – Why? [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #931246
07/11/19 11:14 AM
07/11/19 11:14 AM
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Some miscellaneous thoughts . . .

From Isaac Newton:

"We build too many walls and not enough bridges."
"I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people."
"Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy."

The third one is rather amusing because Newton had a knack for creating feuds and starting quarrels - tact was not his strong suit! I wonder if this is a mistaken attribution.

"Astronomers, like burglars and jazz musicians, operate best at night."
— Miles Kington, Journalist

"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

"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

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
— Albert Einstein


Mona Evans
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Re: Astronomy – Why? [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #931249
07/12/19 01:40 AM
07/12/19 01:40 AM
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Mona, these were funny. About Isaac Newwton: ""Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy."

The third one is rather amusing because Newton had a knack for creating feuds and starting quarrels - tact was not his strong suit! I wonder if this is a mistaken attribution."

Perhaps he knew tact was not one of his gifts.


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