Why Astronomy?

iPhoto Library 126
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

document-6_2
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.

iPhoto Library 216
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.

document-1_2
The author worshipping on June 8, 2004

School starts today.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s