Astrono – what???

Tonight was my first class of the semester, Introduction to Astronomy. All three hours of astronomy. I have a headache. Inspite of that, I think it will be an interesting class.

After reviewing how we shall be graded, I was very pleased to find out that the mid-term and final exam are only approximately 40 percent of our grade. The rest is made up with 3 required labs and 4 other options we can choose from (either do more labs, take a trip to a planetarium, go to the local amateur astronomy club’s “Star Party”, or do a research paper [worth 20 points]). Need I say, I jumped right on the research paper and even volunteered to do a 15 minutes presentation to the class (the headache got the better of me!). Naturally I’m going to research Copernicus and Galileo’s discoveries and the historical church’s reactions. I think that will be very interesting reading.

Listening to the professor, who also teaches at Columbia University, I was awed to think about how BIG the world and universe is. When she told us that the light we see from some stars may have taken 10 or more years to get to us, I was dumbfounded. She said that it was even possible that the star was no longer there, having lived its life. Can you imagine that? Some of the stars we see in the sky are “history,” they are the “past” seen in the “present.” That’s tough to wrap your mind around. Ya know?

The other interesting factoid I found out was that Muhlenberg College has a robotic telescope in New South Wales, Australia near their Observatory in Sliding Spring. If all goes right, we may be utilizing the telescope. How cool is that!!??!?!

Truly we are blessed. Continually, God puts things before my eyes and heart which takes my breath away in awesome wonder of His greatness!

More later.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julana
    Aug 30, 2006 @ 21:11:03

    It is mind-boggling.

  2. Jim Taylor
    Aug 29, 2006 @ 20:40:17

    And Pluto is now only a DOG.

  3. raphaelthesinner
    Aug 29, 2006 @ 19:24:37

    I suspect that “10 years” applies only to thye closest stars. The Hubble and other deep filed telescopes are looking almost back to the Beginning TM. That blows my mind.

    In fact, Hubble Ultra Deep Field has looked 95% of the way back to the beginning of time.
    http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2004/28/

  4. Mimi
    Aug 29, 2006 @ 18:10:07

    Wow! I had Astronomy in College – it was fascinating and a lot of work.

    Have you read “Galileo’s Daughter?” it’s non-fiction and goes into what you are talking about.

  5. Anonymous
    Aug 29, 2006 @ 11:25:35

    I love the comment about the stars still shining after they are dead. Reminded me of our Saints.

    Deb

  6. Elizabeth
    Aug 29, 2006 @ 07:28:12

    Just reading about your course makes my head ache……
    But it sounds wonderful !

  7. Ian
    Aug 29, 2006 @ 02:41:29

    I haven’t got to Siding Spring yet, though it’s on my list: I have been to Sydney’s one, some around the world and Mt Stromlo, before the bushfire, down in Canberra (our capital). I love observatories.

    Our world, our universe, is an amazing place: thanks be to God.

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