Learning About Astronomy: “Our Space”

I first got acquainted with astronomy in my first year of college, Astronomy 101.  Not being very good at science topics nor at math, I opted for astronomy to take the easy way out.  But astronomy quickly became a passion for me.

Have you ever looked up at the sky and became full of wonder as you observed the stars?  That is the feeling, magnified one hundred fold, of taking a closer look at space.  The planets, the stars and all that space entails is yours for the taking when you peak through the eyes of a high powered telescope and actually get a grip of what is out there.

For most who are serious about astronomy, you will want to get a telescope that can help you to see the glorious stars and planets in the sky.  You can purchase a very inexpensive one or go all out and spend a fortune if you really want to get a good view.  Many chose to start small and work their way up to more professional equipment.

It is important to choose a great place to look.  If you have access to a spot that is away from the city lights, that is optimal.  Rural areas at higher elevations offer the best of the best in star gazing so take advantage if you live in an area as such.  If you don’t have good access, you might want to plan a special trip so that you can experience space at its finest because the further you are away from distracting lights and the higher up you can be, the better.

It is fun to look but it is even more fun to study up on it.  Finding out about the constellations and the names of the stars will add interest to your hobby.  There are maps of the stars that explain what is what that will guide you in knowing what you are viewing and make it all the more fun.

Learning about Greek mythology enhances this hobby.  Can you find the formations that ancient men worshiped?  When the Greeks set out to create calendars, a spark of interest in astronomy was ignited.  As time progressed, a love affair began with countless stories originating from space like that of Pegasus who was, as mythology goes, gifted a spot in heaven by the god Zeus.  Orion is another Greek constellation.  Orion is an unusually bright and distinct constellation and the story behind it is of the hunter Orion who was extremely handsome and skillful.

Astrology is the combination of astronomy and pseudo-science, the belief that the stars and planets and the activities of space make a direct impact on the way humans behave.  The way the stars were aligned upon a person’s birth and how they line up each day, is thought to play a very important role in their behavior.  Many people turn to a horoscope to find out such things but it is all based on astronomy in the long run.  It is interesting to spot the constellations that are important in astronomy like the scorpion outline with the red stinger being the star Antares.  That is what prompted the sign of Scorpio.  There are many other intriguing astrology based figures in the sky as well and it is interesting to find them and hear the story behind them whether you believe in astrology or not.

Astronomy can be a great hobby whether you just dabble in it for an occasional meeting under the stars or if you go so far as to spend millions on your equipment and design a space room for yourself as many have done in the past.  It is fun that can be shared by young and old alike.  The hobby has been around for hundreds of years and the instruments are constantly being improved upon to make them more powerful, accessible and even more affordable.  Astronomy is a great hobby that is perfect to pursue if you would like to know a little more about “our space”.

Updated: February 3, 2015 — 9:13 am
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