Astronomy for all
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Sunday October 31st 2010

13 reasons why Astronomy is so cool

Why is astronomy so cool? When you look at some of the concepts being wrestled with in cosmology and astronomy it is truly mind boggling. I decided to write this article after watching the video at the end of this article.  I wanted to expand on the video with some additional facts and give pointers to sites that discuss the ideas further for those who wish to follow up on them.  There is so much to know about astronomy and so much that we don’t know.

I watched a video by Carl Sagan recently where he discussed the nature of science. I may be over simplifying things a bit, but the basic message was that if we assume we cannot know something, this surely this only holds us back, and stops us looking.  Astronomy and cosmology dares to asks the big questions. Where did we come from.

The role of  science is to keep an open mind and to seek answers. Everything can be challenged and we need to evolve our understanding. We constantly redefine our understanding of the universe and the world around us.  Science doesn’t have all the answers, but it drives the process of questioning and learning.

So with that in mind I thought it would be fun to share a few of our current theories and observations. Maybe in 10 years I’ll remember to come back and take another look and see what has changed. I’m not trying to convince anyone that these facts are true or correct, but they reflect sciences current level of understanding (based on my research, but feel free to point out any errors!). I’ve tried to supply links to sites that discuss the science behind these claims so you can explore further.

The universe is approximately 13.7 Billion years old.
CMB_Timeline150-wmap-w200-h200

The universe is flat and has no edge in 3 dimensions and there is no center to the universe. images (1)

We can detect only 5% of all Matter and Energy that we believe exists.

contents
We can only see .0000000000000000000000000001 of the light spectrum with our eyes.

console-07
Most of the matter in the universe was destroyed in the big bang when matter and antimatter annihilated each other.

matter_antimatter

The only thing that can travel faster than the speed of light is the expansion of the universe.

hubbledeepfield-250x250

The largest known star is VY Canis Majoris; a red hypergiant star in the constellation Canis Major, located about 5,000 light-years from Earth

vycanis

Most star systems contain two or more stars. Our system is the rarity. Polaris for example is a triple star system.

polaris

The Andromeda galaxy is the most distant object visible to the naked eye.

Andromeda
The universe spans 93 Billion light years containing 100 Billion Galaxies

We have found oxygen atmospheres around a white dwarf star, the size of Earth.

White dwarf with oxygen athmosphere

The Sun contains over 99.8 percent of the total material (mass) in our solar system, while Jupiter contains most of the rest.

Planets2008-small

The star “Lucy” in constellation Centaurus is actually a huge cosmic diamond of 10 billion trillion trillion carats.

lucy6a00d8341bf7f753ef00e54f8c28408833-800wi

Here is the video that inspired this article. Well worth a watch. Astronomy is better than fiction…. Enjoy.


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One Response to “13 reasons why Astronomy is so cool”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jezon, paul. paul said: Nightsky.ie Blog: 13 reasons why Astronomy is so cool – Why is astronomy so cool? When you look at some of the conc… http://ow.ly/1661O7 [...]

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