At least in part, people are attracted to subjects where they can identify at a basic level with the people who do it. The extraordinary aesthetic of the natural world is not obvious to someone who never leaves the inner city. Appreciation of the elegance and power of physical law is an acquired taste.
When we look out into space, we're looking back in time; the light from a galaxy a billion light-years away, for instance, will take a billion years to reach us. It's an amazing thing. The history is there for us to see. It's not mushed up like the geologic record of Earth. You can just see it exactly as it was.