Monday, December 27, 2010

Astronomy – the dream above

When lying down on a moonless night in the open at night, one is awe stricken by the bright tiny dots studded on the dark sky, glittering mysteriously. A sudden shooting star makes us wonder what that was, was it really a star or something else? This makes one wonder where these stars, how far away from us are and one of the most common questions does anyone lives up there? Are we being watched? Well ask me and I would say yes, because such an enormous world could not have been created just us to watch and get awe stricken.
Ever wondered that our earth is the third planet of a solar system that revolves round a bright star we call sun, which is smellier to those tiny stars we watch above in the sky. And going a little further, our solar system is part of a galaxy consisting of some 200 billion stars or may be a more. And that is not the end, if you may think, since our galaxy is only a part of some 30 or more galaxies called a Local Group. And certainly if it is part of a local group, there have to be more groups elsewhere to. And that’s right, as our Local Group is part of a local super-cluster of over hundred galaxies. This cluster is known as Virgo Super-cluster. And don’t be amazed when I tell you that there are millions of such super-clusters that constitute our universe.
This is the vastness of the Universe the God created from a big bang. Now imagine the vastness of the universe from the fact that after the sun, which is the closest star to our earth, the nest star is 110 light years away from us. Ever wondered what a light year is? I cannot give you the exact measurement, but you can make a guess. The light travels 186,000 miles in second, so basing our calculations on this multiply it with 60 to know how much light travels in a minute, then multiply it with another 60 to know light travel distance in 60 minutes or one hour. Continue to multiply it with 24 to make light travel in a day, then multiply it with 365 for its travel in a year. That is one light year. Multiply it with 110 and that is the distance our next star s located at.
See it mathematically:
186,000 x 60 x 60 x 24 x 365 x 110 = the closet star after the sun
This is astronomy – the science that deals with the study of celestial objects (that includes planets, comets, galaxies, star clusters, nebula beside stars). Astronomy also deals with the phenomena that originate outside the earth’s atmosphere, like the cosmic background radiation.  It is concerned with the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects, as well as the formation and development of the universe.

And needless to say the complexities and richness of its various facets makes astronomy one of the most liked hobbies around the world. The Hubble Telescope has recently sent back photographs of galaxies located at unknown distances in the universe. This is what the hobbyists try to find – a journey into the unknown. Every day, new stars and constellations are found by novice astronomers around the world. If you area sky gazer, take a journey into the un-measurable world of astronomy – you will love it.


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