20 Provocative Astro Quotes

Many perspectives on the pleasures of the night sky.

Seronik - twilight stargazer

Gazing into the beginning of everything, we are young once again. Photo courtesy Gary Seronik

So much can be summed up in a single line. I have collected several thousand quotes in my files relating to astronomy and stargazing, many of which I’ve sprinkled throughout my books Celebrating the Universe! and Celestial Harvest.

Here are a few favourites that speak to getting back to basics and the joy visual observing:

The celestial actors are in place, a serene majesty washes over the stage, and I can almost hear the music of galactic trumpets in their opening bar.
Walter Scott Houston

I would rather freeze and fight off mosquitoes than play astronomy on a computer.
Ben Funk

To me, astronomy means learning about the universe by looking at it.
Daniel Weedman

All galaxies deserve to be stared at for a full fifteen minutes.
Michael Covington

Every tint that blooms in the flowers of Summer flames out in the stars at night.
J.D. Steele

I became an astronomer not to access the facts about the sky but to see and feel its majesty.
David Levy

The feeling of being alone in the universe on a starlit night, cruising on wings of polished glass, flitting in seconds from a point millions of miles away to one billions of light-years distant is euphoric.
Tom Lorenzin

. . . the fun of sight-seeing, the sheer joy of firsthand acquaintance with incredibly wonderful and beautiful things.
Robert Burnham

One gentle dose of starlight to be taken each night just before retiring.
Leslie Peltier

The study of the heavens from a purely aesthetic point of view is scorned in this technological age.
James Muriden

To me, telescope viewing is primarily an aesthetic experience.
Terence Dickinson

Time spent with 2-billion-year-old photons is potent stuff.
Peter Lord

I am because I observe.
Thaddeus Banachiewicz

When you’re in the observer’s cage of the 200-inch . . . it’s romantic, beautiful, marvellous.
Jesse Greenstein

[Visual] observing all seems so natural, so real, so obvious. How could it possibly be any other way?
Jerry Spevak

A night under the stars rewards the bug bites, the cloudy skies, the next-day fuzzies, and the thousands of frustrations with priceless moments of sublime beauty.
Richard Berry

And there’s always that special pleasure in knowing that, when you look upon that distant light, it has travelled all those light-years — such an incredible journey — just for you.
Ken Fulton

To gaze into space is to embark upon a spiritual quest, an experience of awe and wonder.
Roger Ressmeyer

How can a person ever forget the scene, the glory of a thousand stars in a thousand hues . . .
Walter Scott Houston

Gazing into the beginning of everything, we are young once again.
Ron Evans.

Do you have a favourite brief quotation you’d like to share? Feel free to add it in the comments section below.

James Mullaney has logged over 20,000 hours of observing time, and published more than a thousand articles and 10 books on stargazing. His latest is Celebrating the Universe!

Categories: Observing the Sky
6 comments on “20 Provocative Astro Quotes
  1. Ken cramb says:

    We are not here because of the Universe , the Universe is here because of us !

  2. Ron Duff says:

    Memorized this years ago,,and yet ,it seems more relevant every modern day,,,we need more sublime and magnificent thinking and speaking on this planet today.

    “The contemplation of celestial things will make a man both speak and think more sublimely and magnificently when he descends to human affairs” – Marcus Tullius Cicero – AD 63

    • Mark T says:

      Just reading “SPQR : a history of Ancient Rome” so very much appreciate the Cicero quote.

  3. Eric Rachut M.D. says:

    The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork (Ps 19:1).

  4. Bruce K says:

    Star light, star bright…

  5. Ian Baines says:

    To stare upward in wondrous awe
    to feel so small and alone,
    Yet know instinctively
    That we are part of something
    Unfathomable, yet
    It speaks to our soul.

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