Our five senses are faulty data-taking devices, and they need help.
Not only are we in the universe, the universe is in us. I don’t know of any deeper spiritual feeling than what that brings upon me.
So what is true for life itself is no less true for the universe: knowing where you came from is no less important than knowing where you are going.
The value of science is not simply what the next model of the iPod you will buy next week, but its real value comes about when it’s time to distinguish reality from everything else. And to be scientifically literate is to be trained in what it is, to recognize your own frailty as a data-taking device.
Like no other science, astrophysics cross-pollinates the expertise of chemists, biologists, geologists and physicists, all to discover the past, present, and future of the cosmos—and our humble place within it.
The telescope… is a conduit to the cosmos.
There are photons that have been traveling for 30,000 years, and I’m…snatching them from this journey and planting them into my digital detector. And then I started feeling bad for the photon, and I said maybe it wanted to continue but I got in its way. But then I said, no, those are probably happier photons than the one that slammed into the mountainside that will go unanalyzed and will not contribute to the depth of our understanding of the universe.