Why Astronomy?

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Our safari guides enjoying the Transit of Venus in 2004

We are a way the universe can know itself.  This is my comfortable way of paraphrasing a wonderful statement by Carl Sagan.

Many people, young and old, ask “Who am I?  Why am I here?”

Sometimes I think that we humans are the mouth of the universe that’s asking the same questions about the cosmos.

Sometimes I think we humans are the eyes and

Difference between science and religion

ears of the cosmos that are trying to collect evidence to answer those questions.

Sometimes I think we humans are the brains that can discover the laws of physics that rule the cosmos and the brains that can appreciate the beauty all around us.

Why are we here?  How did we get here?  Are we alone?  We are stardust that can ask those questions, that can search for answers.

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Earth globe right-side-up in South Africa

We can learn how the constellations and planets move across our sky.

We can study our Sun and the members of our solar system.

We will make sense out of the light from stars.

We will be awed by the number of galaxies in the universe.

We may be humbled at our place in the space and time of the universe.

The author worshipping on June 8, 2004

School starts today.

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