Astronomy Stars and The Skies
For as long as human beings have existed, we have also gazed up into the night at the sparkling lights above in wonder and awe. In ancient days, the stars and planets were imbued with magical significance, and their movements were used to plan important community events and religious rituals. Today, the mysteries of the stars are being slowly uncovered, and the stories that the skies tell us are being used to illuminate the history of the universe. Yet even in this day of science and fact, a large number of people still consult their daily horoscopes, looking to see what the planetary motion means in their lives. Although we now know that stars are made of plasma, the glistening orbs have not lost their magical influence on humans.
Study the skies with astronomy and you will quickly learn to put your own problems into perspective. Nothing makes you feel smaller than learning about the true size of our universe. Look up on a clear night to see a bright, blurry arm of the Milky Way, our home galaxy – and then realize that our galaxy is just one out of a hundred billion. It is a number too big to logically understand, and that sort of scale is just one of the thrilling aspects of the study of astronomy.
Astronomy Links and Resources
NASA – This list of astronomical resource sites is intended as a resource for users who have a general interest in astronomical topics. http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/outreach/webstars.html
National Sciene Foundation -This collection of lessons and web resources is aimed at classroom teachers, their students, and students’ families. http://www.nsf.gov/news/classroom/astronomy.jsp
European Southern Observatory – The ESO education and Public Outreach Department (ePOD) supports science communicators, and especially those communicating astronomy with the public through different products and activities. http://www.eso.org/public/
NASA – Astronomy Picture of the Day’s Educational Links http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/edlinks.html
Want to get closer to the stars? You can buy a telescope and look out your window, charting the movements of the starts and planets and watching for shooting stars and comets. You can also book a private jet flight and literally get closer to the stars, zooming high above the earth’s surface for a totally new perspective on the planet.
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