I have a thing about space, something I share with my oldest. It’s not quite a passion, but it’s more than an interest. Part of it is just awe over how mind-blowingly vast and weird space is, and part of it is wonder at how tiny, fragile, and short-lived creatures like us are determined to uncover its secrets. Even if it means spending years building robots to be our vanguards, launching them at the precise right time, and hoping that they can nail that landing when they’re supposed to.
Why, yes, I am talking about Curiosity’s landing on Mars this August. If all goes well, the rover’s touchdown should look like this:
Last week, we discovered a great iPhone/iPad app called Star Walk. Basically, you can take your phone or tablet outside on a starry night (or hey, even in the day!), hold it up in any direction and it’ll tell you what stars and planets you’re looking at–or would be looking at if the sun, the earth, random trees or your neighbor’s pink-turreted house were not in the way. Very fun.
In the mood to help discover new exoplanets for future robotic missions to explore? Look no further than Planet Hunters. I’m planning on setting Sir I. loose on it once life permits.
Do you go stargazing? What do you find fascinating about space?
Space, the final frontier. Yes, it fascinates me. The emptiness. The possiblitiy of life of some sort elsewhere – can we really be the only life in the Universe? And what is that life like? How did pure energy ‘condense’ to form solid matter? So many questions! 😀
I have a thing about the moon at present, and an iGoogle gadget which shows me the phase of the moon every day.
I’m fascinated by the weird and wacky physics we find at the extremes, even if I have a hard time wrapping my head around them. And space is a good place to find those, that’s for sure!
Ever since I was a little girl, when my dad explained to me exactly how far away the stars are–so far that their light takes years to reach us, and, in fact, that the light I was seeing might be from a star that has long since sputtered out–the stars have felt like my link to immortality. The fingers I use to type these words, the metal that makes up my laptop were all once part of a star, and will be again long after we are gone. This concept never stops blowing my mind!
That, and the fact that the moon’s tidal pull upon the oceans was the impetus for life to leave the ocean and take up residence on land, fascinates me.
Who says astrology is a myth? Our fate is guided by the moon, the stars and the planets in more ways than we can imagine. I love nothing better than a starry night!
Was it Carl Sagan who said we are all made out of stardust? It is a rather lovely way of putting it.