Today's topic is: Stargazing
When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut. True, I also wanted to be a firefighter, a teacher, a cop, a secretary, a paleontologist, an ice skater, and Alexi Lalas. But nothing has kept me as fascinated or as in awe as the stars have. Some of my happiest moments have been spent looking up at the night sky, wondering at the beauty of the universe and marveling at the awesomeness of science.
My grandfather took my sister and I to go look at Hale-Bopp in '97 and I can remember being ridiculously excited as I peered through the binoculars at the trail of the comet. Much later, when I was in college, he and I went deep into the country and pulled over to the side of the road to try and catch a meteor shower. Even though we didn't see any meteors, the sheer magnitude of stars in the sky was breathtaking.
It isn't just stars or comets that fueled my passion for looking at the sky. In high school my family took my friend Kristy to Beaver Meadow's observatory so that we could all use a telescope to see Saturn and Uranus. It's humbling to know that there are objects orbiting around our sun that are so large that your own puny planet could fit inside of them...several times.
The universe is staggering and staggeringly beautiful. Wherever I am, whether it's in the middle of a light-polluted city or standing in a field in the middle of nowhere, I like to look up at the stars and see how many I can find/identify. It's a peaceful sort of feeling and an exciting one. I don't need a religion or any other outdated mode of explaining the world to appreciate what I'm seeing. I think it's even more impressive that the universe had no creator and that natural, scientific processes are responsible for the beauty around us.
Woah, one full week of posts. Can I do it again next week? Only time will tell. :)