The Most Astounding Fact (Neil DeGrasse Tyson)

This. This brief clip speaks to me in ways that no other film, book, piece of music or any other piece of art ever has before. What he says about our past, and more importantly, what he implies about our collective future is indeed, astounding. And I agree with him, when I look up at the stars, I do not feel small in comparison. I do feel like I’m a part of something that is huge, eternal and in a constant state of flux.

“What intelligent being, what being capable of responding emotionally to a beautiful sight, can look at the jagged, silvery lunar crescent trembling in the azure sky, even through the weakest of telescopes, and not be struck by it in an intensely pleasurable way, not feel cut off from everyday life here on earth and transported toward that first stop on the celestial journeys? What thoughtful soul could look at brilliant Jupiter with its four attendant satellites, or splendid Saturn encircled by its mysterious ring, or a double star glowing scarlet and sapphire in the infinity of night, and not be filled with a sense of wonder? Yes, indeed, if humankind — from humble farmers in the fields and toiling workers in the cities to teachers, people of independent means, those who have reached the pinnacle of fame or fortune, even the most frivolous of society women — if they knew what profound inner pleasure await those who gaze at the heavens, then France, nay, the whole of Europe, would be covered with telescopes instead of bayonets, thereby promoting universal happiness and peace.” — Camille Flammarion, 1880

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