Saturday, April 25, 2015

Astronomy Talk #1

Okay, so this is a new feature where I talk about anything astronomy, since now. Because, you know, STARRY stories.

Which is probably going to turn out unsuitable for this post, since I'm not really going to talk about stars, as in, uh, stars. Like the Sun. Or Sirius. Or Antares. You know what I mean, right? I'm hoping you do.

I've always been fascinated by astronomy stuff. A few years back I discovered the strong tie between astronomy and physics, which is kind of inevitable. Dark matter, dark energy, red shift, quasars, The Chandrasekhar limit, quantum mechanics, the infamous Higgs Boson (Here's a hilarious joke: One day Higgs Boson walks into a church. The priest said, "You're not allowed here you sacrilegious thing, calling yourself God's Particle JUST GO AWAY GAH." The Higgs Boson frowned and said, "But without me how can you have mass??" uh, back to physics), cosmic inflation, black holes, string theory, extra dimensions, oh my. Utterly cool stuff. At that time I thought it was so cool and would be awesome to study that when I grow up.

Time passed. Little me grew up. I've read numerous news articles about those stuff, and wanted desperately to understand. Unsurprisingly, I didn't understand much of it. It's just hard to understand things that lack so much "in-betweens" like the theories they're based on, the calculations or the maths in the article for non-scientists like me. For example, I know one of the properties of Einstein's theory of relativity is that travelling at different speeds can result in having different experiences of "time". This didn't come from nothing, did it? I suppose it came from a bunch of calculations, and I got stuck. Any reasons? a) this ain't high school math b) you say, "learn it yourself?" *counts all the pages of online learning programs, Wikipedia, videos and news and quits after counting to thirty* I'm trying to but there's too much to absorb c) I also have to study for school, in case you didn't know. Time, o time.

About a week earlier, I found a series of articles all about planets, satellites in the solar system, and what it would be like to live there. (They're truly fascinating. Go read them. It may take some time though. ) It kind of rekindled my love for the Solar System and reminded me of how I fell in love with astronomy in the first place. My first contact with astronomy was actually more like earth science or geophysics. All those about eclipses, measuring Earth's diameter, Earth's core and elements, tectonics and later Kepler's Laws and Lagrange Points. I kept interest on them, but I just sort of turned my attention towards theoretical physics. Theoretical physics is cool and awesome and, admit it, sounds intelligent, but now I started to feel that it's a bit...distant? while geophysics and planets in the Solar System feels a lot closer. And even though they're *relatively* closer, there's still so much unknown and they're are actually faraway as hell. (See how long it takes Dawn to actually reach Ceres? And Ceres is still in the asteroid belt!) There are so much remained for humans to discover, and they're no less mysterious or amazing. The hexagon on Saturn! The bright spots on Ceres! And Mars! Heck, we don't even know how our Moon formed! I also like to think that studying the Solar System might help with finding and knowing more about exoplanets. Who knows?

So yeah, I'm shifting my interest in astronomy from theoretical physics to...uh, planetary science? Yep, planetary science. Which still has to to with stars, but a big part of it is about the planets (and satellites and asteroids). That doesn't mean I'm quitting other stuff, no. It's always good to read all kinds of topics, I suppose. I still love my nebulae and constellations, and dark matter is just too cool to not be curious about it. (gosh, how many times did I use that word to describe dark matter? Hey, do you know that the theoretical particles for dark matters are actually called WIMPs? Its an acronym, but still...scientists have a weird sense of humour. (I originally wanted to say "dark sense of humour"...but I'll spare you for this time XD))

The point is, having a thing to actually focus on is an easier way for me to set my goals and prevent information overload. (Seriously, space.com sends newsletters about once in two or three days with about 10 space news in each one. How am I supposed to read them all? I do subscribe to a lot more websites and blogs, you know.) I like how it is now :). Yay for astronomy!

Thanks for reading my ramblings! Comment? I always appreciate comments! :)
Have a nice day. :))) (that's a triple smile, by the way. don't you ever think it a smile with a double chin. never. okay i might have had the thought once or twice never mind)

4 comments:

  1. Hi Mel(should I call you that?) I'm a guy from Mauritius and I'm happy to have discovered your blog. I don't have a blog of my own. I post book reviews on Goodreads, and I admire your ease with ideas and language. Hope to read more of your fascinating entries on science. :-)

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    1. Aw, thank you so much! I don't post science stuff exclusively, though it does fascinate me to no end. I also write about life and books! I'm glad that you like what I write :) .
      By the way, I'd like to check out your reviews on Goodreads too. Give me a link to one of your reviews, eh?

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  2. I look forward to reading your book reviews and your journal entries. I don't have the urge for now to read your past posts (sorry), but I'll be here waiting for each new post of yours.

    I'm posting my review of a thriller called The Forgotten. It's not my best but it's the one with the most likes...

    https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/486352486?book_show_action=false

    You can, of course, check out any of my input at Goodreads. Take care.

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    1. Whoa, no need to feel sorry for that. My past entries are so cringe-worthy that I don't mind you not reading them anyway, aha.
      Thanks for the link!

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