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!