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Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » What got you into astronomy?
What got you into astronomy?
StarDroidDate: Tuesday, 27.05.2014, 14:47 | Message # 1
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See thread title. I can easily remember being a nine year old kid back in the early nineties, reading books about the Solar System when my fourth grade class went to the library on Thursday. I don't remember exactly what got me into it to be honest but I do know that it did and still does have an influence on me. Just seeing those planets, their moons and reading about how far away from the sun they were. I was always like, "How can these planets be so huge and be so far away? How can the Sun maintain a gravitational hold on a celestial body so far away?" Those books taught me about humility, really: the Earth is so huge, relative to us, but to other planets - not so much.
Then when I got older I started getting more into astronomy, into reading about galaxies and such. I remember reading about how the Milky Way is 100,000 light years across, and how, by no means is it a huge galaxy. And even with around 400 billion stars, there were many, many galaxies out there that put our Milky Way to shame. Can you imagine, a galaxy 65 million light years away, and 450,000 light years across, potentially containing over a trillion stars? Can your mind comprehend that sense of size and scale? Mine cannot. I remember reading about the massive, endless voids between galaxies, millions or even billions of light years of just...empty space. The thought of that mystifies and terrifies me if I sit and think about it for too long.
But the question was, what got you into astronomy? I guess the answer now is: everything really.
 
RockoRocksDate: Tuesday, 27.05.2014, 16:56 | Message # 2
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Well, when I was 6 or 7 years old, I first got really interested in space. I previously had a variety of other interests (aircraft, flags/geography, monkeys...). I don't remember much of it, but I do remember reading various books and I also got some special kind of interactive 'board', which had a lot of trivia about the planets of the Solar system on it (Pluto is classified as a planet on it). It contained amount of moons, distance to the sun, diameters, mean temperatures etc. of all planets. Apparently I was able to remember a lot of it at the time. However, I was back then sometimes very scared by certain objects in space, like black holes, supernovae, meteors and other objects that would be dangerous (if they were near Earth). And even though I now know that the danger these things pose to Earth is almost zero, I was then sorta frightened by it. My fear of it, and other things eventually lead to no longer being interested in astronomy (at least that's how I remember it).

However, approximately one year ago, I somehow got interested again in astronomy and space (this also lead to my overall interest in science). I do not really remember what got me into it again, but Celestia played a role in it. I used the program very much, and liked it a lot, I downloaded tons of addons for it and even made a few.

But later on, I found SpaceEngine, on a post on Tumblr (can't remember where), and I liked it a lot. I eventually made this forum account too, along with tons of spaceships... my interest in astronomy and science has been there for a while and will likely not go... smile





I will be inactive on this forum for the time being. Might come back eventually

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apenpaapDate: Tuesday, 27.05.2014, 20:37 | Message # 3
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For me it is extremely hard to remember, since I was about 3 years old. But from the few memories I have that reach that far back and things my parents have told me, it was because of the planetarium at the local zoo. It has a big dome where the night sky can be projected on, and they regularly also do projection shows there. As it happened, when I was a little kid, there was a show called "Sesamstraat en Melkweg" (Sesame Street and the Milky Way) which was about mr. Aart, Tommie, Ienemienie, and Pino (four characters from Dutch Sesame Street) accidentally getting blasted off into intergalactic space in mr. Aart's car after he made a mistake fixing it; so they drive back to Earth aided by a friendly alien.

Since I was three years old, I of course loved that show and wanted to watch it every time we were at the zoo. And of course I wanted to know more about space, and so I read a lot of books about it when I was a kid, and I don't think my interest ever stopped.

For those who speak Dutch, here's the audio of Sesamstraat en Melkweg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGAI3vcXTkI





I occasionally stream at http://www.twitch.tv/magistermystax. Sometimes SE, sometimes other games.
 
FastFourierTransformDate: Tuesday, 27.05.2014, 21:26 | Message # 4
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When I was 6 years old my Father told me about the existence of atoms. I was so amazed by the fact that could be true and no one around me seemed to know that I started to leve Science. Because of my love of Science, one day when I was 7, a friend of my father brought me a program called Redshift. i was impressed by the fact that humans could know so many things about billions of objects in the sky, i was shocked by the fact that we where capable of predicting the motion of all the thing in the solar system and by the idea there are other worlds that I started to learn more and more.

I was very interested on the planet Mars, I loved it, I knew the geography and history of another beautifull world!!!!
One day when I was 15, my new computer broke because of a virus. An informatic came to my house to repair the computer and by gift he left me all the Cosmos episodes by Carl Sagan. At the beggining I was like if all that Carl said was trivial or too elementary but at the end of the series I realized that the knowledge was not so importante as the transfer of knowledge. Carl was a genius of pedagogy. Thanks to Carl I started to realice how beautifull is Science in reality so I learned more and more untill today, I am studyng Physics at the University in Madrid.

There are many contributions that have build my passion for astrophysics but those are maybe the most relevant in my life.
 
midtskogenDate: Tuesday, 27.05.2014, 21:30 | Message # 5
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I can't say I've ever got deeply into astronomy. It's just something I've always been exposed to, as it is an interest of my father, who did a master's degree in astronomy, has built is own observatories and reflectors, and spent countless nights observing variable stars.




NIL DIFFICILE VOLENTI


Edited by midtskogen - Tuesday, 27.05.2014, 21:50
 
UnnamedDate: Wednesday, 28.05.2014, 01:03 | Message # 6
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I got into astronomy a few years back when i saw a star comparasion video, but then i forgot about it.
I don't remember how i found it back or something to make it interest me.





Intel® Core™ i5-3210M CPU @ 2.50GHz 2.50 GHz 750 GB hard drive 4 GB RAM intel ®HD Graphics 4000 1GB video; oh and i use a lot of commas
 
WatsisnameDate: Wednesday, 28.05.2014, 02:54 | Message # 7
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I'm not entirely sure how/why my interest in the natural sciences was sparked; nobody else in my immediate family is involved in them. My mother was an editor for the CIA, my father was a marine who went on to work for the Department of Defense, and I have an older brother who does theatre lighting. All I know is that by age two I showed more interest in playing with numbers than with toys, and enjoyed reading nonfiction books more than being told children's stories. I wanted to learn everything about how the world worked.

My parents nurtured my curiosity by providing me with books on weather, chemistry, physics, space, mathematics, etc. One day I came across a book on the solar system and was totally mesmerized by images of the planets taken by the early generation of spacecraft. I was amazed at the fact that there were whole other worlds out there, each very unlike our own.

Eventually I came into possession of a small telescope to play around with. Of course I had no idea what I was doing -- no sky charts or knowledgeable adult to guide me or anything. The moon wasn't out either, so I just pointed it at random stars, of which one particularly golden one happened to be revealed as a disk with a thin line running through it.

"Holy crap I just found Saturn." And I was hooked. smile





 
Starsky396Date: Wednesday, 28.05.2014, 17:57 | Message # 8
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SpaceEngine got me into astronomy. Still learning the ropes however.
 
Billy_MayesDate: Wednesday, 28.05.2014, 19:57 | Message # 9
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I've always been interested in it. I had two great space books when I was very young,
and my dream job was to be an astronaut.
It slightly faded over time, until I got into playing Kerbal Space Program and Space Engine, that re-ignited it.





AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2 GHz Quad-Core - AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB VRAM - 4GB RAM - 1680x1050 75 Hz Samsung screen
 
Destructor1701Date: Friday, 30.05.2014, 02:29 | Message # 10
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I've been a Star Trek fan for as long as I can remember - literally, one of my earliest memories is the Enterprise-D docking at Starbase 74.

For years I had a passing observance of any notable space news, but I regarded reality as "too boring" next to the fictional world of Star Trek - I figured I had been born too early.

I'm trying to remember what exactly sparked my current interest - a lot of things happened at the same time. I've always been interested generally in science and physics - I remember talking about the physics of black holes to my school friends, and theorising about the nature of reality and subatomic particles with college buddies. I always avoided studying those subjects, though, in case I lost interest... which is an idiotic attitude that I really regret now.

Anyway, I think it was the debut of MelodySheep's Glorious Dawn video that sparked my current fascination. I can still listen to that song over and over, it's so bloody brilliant and inspiring.

That lead to me watching Cosmos - a life-changing documentary if ever there was one!

On foot of that, I dusted off my brother's old telescope from the attic, and it wasn't long before I blew 600 Euros on importing my own telescope.

Nowadays I'm obsessed with space, the enormity, complexity, and reality of it. As far as actual astronomy goes, I'm still little more than an enthusiastic amateur, but, as Carl would put it, the sky calls to me.

From atoms to galactic superclusters, every aspect of it excites me, and humanity's efforts to explore our awesome cosmos now compare much more favourably with Star Trek!







Edited by Destructor1701 - Friday, 30.05.2014, 02:30
 
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