Quotes by astronomer and planetary scientist Carl Sagan on the stars and the cosmos. “We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”

Carl Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was one of the most famous American scientists. He was an astronomer, astrophysicist, studied extraterrestrial intelligence and was an advocate for nuclear disarmament.

Sagan became fascinated by astronomy from a very early age, when he learnt that every star in the night sky was a distant Sun. His parents helped Carl feed his curiosity by encouraging him to read books and find answers to his innumerable questions about science.

His passion for science earned him four degrees in physics, astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Chicago. The impressive number of articles and books he wrote made the Universe clearer to the ordinary person.

Sagan was part of the original group that helped NASA with missions to Venus, Mars and Jupiter. His work received numerous awards and honors.

Sagan shared his enthusiasm for science in his television series Cosmos, which was one of the most watched shows in TV history. Eighteen years after Sagan’s death, Cosmos was brought back to TV, this time hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Here are 60 Carl Sagan Cosmos and Love Quotes. An American Astrophysicist Best Known as the Author of Cosmos and Pale Blue Dot.

Carl Sagan quotes from Cosmos

The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff.

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.

What a marvelous cooperative arrangement – plants and animals each inhaling each other’s exhalations, a kind of planet-wide mutual mouth-to-stoma resuscitation, the entire elegant cycle powered by a star 150 million kilometers away.

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.

For me, it is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

There’s as many atoms in a single molecule of your DNA as there are stars in the typical galaxy. We are, each of us, a little universe.

Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgement, the manner in which information is coordinated and used.

What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years.

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

When we look up at night and view the stars, everything we see is shining because of distant nuclear fusion.

The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.

If I finish a book a week, I will read only a few thousand books in my lifetime, about a tenth of a percent of the contents of the greatest libraries of our time. The trick is to know which books to read.

You are worth about 3 dollars worth in chemicals.

We humans look rather different from a tree. Without a doubt we perceive the world differently than a tree does. But down deep, at the molecular heart of life, the trees and we are essentially identical.

A galaxy is composed of gas and dust and stars – billions upon billions of stars. Every star may be a sun to someone.

It is said that men may not be the dreams of the god, but rather that the gods are the dreams of men.

Every thinking person fears nuclear war, and every technological state plans for it. Everyone knows it is madness, and every nation has an excuse

By looking far out into space we are also looking far back into time, back toward the horizon of the universe, back toward the epoch of the Big Bang.

Carl Sagan quotes from Pale Blue Dot

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.

Preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.

If we become even slightly more violent, shortsighted, ignorant, and selfish than we are now, almost certainly we will have no future.

Even today the most jaded city dweller can be unexpectedly moved upon encountering a clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling stars. When it happens to me after all these years it still takes my breath away.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.

The visions we offer our children shape the future. It matters what those visions are. Often they become self-fulfilling prophecies. Dreams are maps.

For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness.

I do not think it irresponsible to portray even the direst futures if we are to avoid them we must understand that they are possible.

If we continue to accumulate only power and not wisdom, we will surely destroy ourselves. 

The burden of such a responsibility is heavy, especially on so weak and imperfect a species as ours, one with so unhappy a history. Nothing remotely like “completion” can be attempted without vastly more knowledge than we have today. But, perhaps, if our very existence is at stake, we will find ourselves able to rise to this supreme challenge.

We tend to hear much more about the splendors returned than the ships that brought them or the shipwrights. It has always been that way.

Travel is broadening. It’s time to hit the road again.

Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood.

Where are the dreams that motivate and inspire? We long for realistic maps of a world we can be proud to give to our children.

We must surrender our skepticism only in the face of rock-solid evidence. 

On the scale of worlds — to say nothing of stars or galaxies — humans are inconsequential, a thin film of life on an obscure and solitary lump of rock and metal.

Carl Sagan quotes on love

For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.

In the vastness of space and the immensity of time, it is my joy to share a planet and an epoch with Annie. [dedication to his wife]

It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it.

The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.

In all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.

Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.

Carl Sagan science quotes

Not explaining science seems to me perverse. When you’re in love, you want to tell the world.

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.

Science cuts two ways, of course; its products can be used for both good and evil. But there’s no turning back from science. The early warnings about technological dangers also come from science.

Then science came along and taught us that we are not the measure of all things, that there are wonders unimagined, that the Universe is not obliged to conform to what we consider comfortable or plausible. 

Science has carried human self-consciousness to a higher level. This is surely a rite of passage, a step towards maturity.

Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact.

Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Many passengers would rather have stayed home.

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.

The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what’s true.

Science needs the light of free expression to flourish. It depends on the fearless questioning of authority, and the open exchange of ideas.

We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.

At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes — an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.

I know of no area of human endeavor in which science has not had at least one important thing to say.

I wanted to be a scientist from my earliest school days. I’m not sure I even knew the word science then, but I was gripped by the prospect of understanding how things work, of helping to uncover deep mysteries, of exploring new worlds.

I don’t want to believe. I want to know.