Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes were the quintessential naturalists. Maybe all children are by default. Anyway, he eloquently sums up a sentiment many astronomers–and other scientists–feel about the natural world.
Profound orientation. Understanding our place in the cosmos through direct, close observation, informed by a basic understanding of the structure and scale of the universe, from our solar system to distant galaxy clusters.
What keeps these astronomers enthralled, I wondered, sometimes for many decades, by the universe as revealed by their telescopes?