The beauty and majesty of a starry sky is indeed awe-inspiring to the beholder, and one must look up to see and wonder at its splendor. The universe has always been my laboratory containing untold mysteries in the depths of space. The jewels of the night sky march across this panorama with smooth and gracious transitions as the earth spins without compromise. Day after day we are reminded that time is artificially induced and the patience of the cosmos commands our attention to what is really important. Familiar figures in the sky take shape connecting stars of a constellation. Our unaided eyes alone reveal the dim glow of the Milky Way stretching across our view, while streaks of light from a meteor shower require nothing more than our eyes and attention. As they become more adapted, glowing clouds of gas and dust along with glittering clusters of stars like diamonds set in black velvet begin to emerge out of the darkness. The serene and calm appearance of the night sky can be misleading as we realize the dangerous and abundant violence throughout the universe in the form of exploding stars, intense radiation, and extreme heat and cold. They beckon us to inspect them more closely. Even a small pair of binoculars will reveal hundreds of stars in the seeming void of dark space. Striking colors inhabiting the rainbow are seen in these tiny points of light. In the deep regions of the cosmic ocean there are things that defy imagination just waiting for their story to be told in the light path of a telescope. The ice crystal rings of Saturn look unreal and the dance of Jupiter’s four brightest moons remind us of Galileo’s first view of them four hundred years ago. The craters upon the lunar landscape are truly breathtaking, while faint fuzzy patches of light inspire curiosity. Larger telescopes gather more light, allowing us to see even deeper into space. Remote star clusters are resolved through their core, each with distinction, and distant suns show evidence of both their birthplace and deathbed in ghostly swaths of gas and dust, the colors of these telling of their chemical composition. Very far-away “island universes” called galaxies come in a variety of shapes and sizes within gigantic clusters themselves, each containing hundreds of billions of stars, gas and dust. Astronomy is truly an incredible experience for young and old alike. You are put into the role of a discoverer, seeking out new places never seen before, and are able to venture into realms you could never go to from your own backyard. To build such an instrument that would take us there without even leaving the ground is a joy unspeakable.
Simply In Awe
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Kevin Manning encourages everyone to Look Up to the Stars and get a bigger perspective.