“Looking at the stars and galaxies helps us understand how our universe came into being and how it works. For example, knowledge of the Sun helps explain stars. Studying other stars gives insight into how the Sun works. As we study more distant stars, we learn more about the Milky Way. Mapping our galaxy tells us about its history and what conditions existed that helped our solar system form. Charting other galaxies as far as we can detect teaches lessons about the larger cosmos.There is always something to learn in astronomy. Each object and event tells a tale of cosmic history.
In a very real sense, astronomy gives us a sense of our place in the universe. The late astronomer Carl Sagan put it very succinctly when he stated, “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”