Saturday, July 29, 2006

Astronomy

I am fascinated by the science. The idea of a vast universe of galaxies, quasers, stars, nebulae and planets drives my imagination and sits well with my sense of being. It makes me appreciate G-d even more for the wonder of creation. It was my father who introduced me to the noble science at age six, whetting my appetite to know more about space. I jumped at every opportunity I could and was rewarded by the treasure of a clear sky over Pretoria that allowed for a clear view of the far superior Southern Hemisphere heaven. Orion’s Belt was my favorite constellation with the Southern Cross not far behind. Every time I looked up I would always ask the same questions: Who was out there? Was I looking at G-d? When would we ever travel to the stars? And why is the universe so big? I knew I could never answer these questions myself but it didn’t hurt to ask.
In 1985 my parents bought me my first and only telescope, a reflector, that I still have to this day. I have made great use of it earning my spurs as a sky watcher in earnest when the Southern Hemisphere opened to Halley’s comet in 1986. It was astronomy that fueled my love for science fiction, crystallizing a passion that would drive me with joyous pursuit to the writing of my book: The History of the Future. Even today with the stress of work I always take care to inform myself of the latest developments in the discipline. Always on the lookout for a Patrick Moore book (Moore is a wonderful popularizer of Astronomy - I attended a lecture that he gave in Pretoria in 1984), I often pick up the odd copy of Astronomy magazine and was for a time a member of the Canadian Astronomical Society.

Areas of Astronomy that interest me the most (not in order)

1. Cosmology - Origin of the Universe.
2. Stellar Evolution
3. Galaxy formation
4. The planets of our solar system
5. Mysterious ‘substances’ eg. Dark matter and energy.
6. Comets
7. SETI
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