Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

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tamarshall
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by tamarshall » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:55 pm

Babaonet, you say, "I realized that only science is true and can answer my questions." While I have a good bit of faith in science and it's ability to describe what we see, I'm not sure I would go so far as to say that only science is true. In fact, if we look at the history of science, we can view it as the history of mistakes. I tend to take what science says as provisionally true given the limits of what we know at the time and assume that it will be "wrong" sometime in the future as we gather more data.

As for answering questions, science has its limits here as well. Actually, I look at science as generating, rather than answering, questions. Thanks for your post as it made me think about this topic.

magnejohansen
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by magnejohansen » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:31 pm

I became interested when i stumbled upon the Introductory Astronomy course on iTunes. And then also by APOD. Great stuff. Btw thank u for that!

babaonet
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by babaonet » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:34 am

Dear Tamarshall, you are absolutely right to say that history of science is full of errors and mistakes. For instance, Aristotle said that the earth was stationary and that the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars moved in circular orbits around the earth. Even Ptolemy also thought so. Now every one knows that its not true. But N. Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo proved that its not the Earth rather the Sun is stationary and earth, moon etc. Are moving in circular orbits around the sun. Now think who made the mistake and who and how made it correct? Those were scientist who through scientific process and experiment revealed the truth.
"Science is a systematic way to reveal 'the truth' behind physical and natural world through observation and experiment."
so dear friend, when I said "I realized that only science is true", I actually mean the above.

tamarshall
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by tamarshall » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:06 pm

Hi Babaonet. Agreed that Kepler et al figured out where Aristotle was wrong; and Einstein figured out the flaws with Newton. You are right that science as a communal activity aims at a better understanding of the empirical world. I guess what I'm thinking about is using the word "truth" in connection with science. As I think about it, "truth" is a concept that, at least to me, is a pragmatic concept in science, i.e. "if it works, it's true."

So, we see theoretical physicists making truth claims about the nature of reality bc the mathematics works, i.e. it makes good predictions. My problem is that a lot of things that are not "true" also make good predictions. You mention Aristsotle and the geocentric theory. Of course we know the earth is not the center of our solar system but the geocentric model as modified by epicycyles makes very acccurate predictions on the position of planets.

So, my problem with "truth" and science is that if theories that are wrong can make accurate predictions, then theories we think are right (that is, true) bc they work can also turn out to be wrong. I wish I could understand the math behind all of this bc that would make feel more confident in what I say. However, I am just an ordinary person trying to figure out things based on a language, math, that I don't understand. Given that, I wonder if I should even worry about this stuff but I do.

This so cool, isn't it? Take care.

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mtbdudex
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by mtbdudex » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:49 pm

Q: How did I become interested in astronomy?

Various turning points:
Born 1962, vividly remember 1969 Moon landing, skylab, etc.

Grade school cub scouts ;Building model rockets

4th grade (1971-1972): Listening to Moody Blues "In Search of the lost chord" while drawing pictures of space ships, rockets
....thinking is the best way to travel......http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Search_ ... Lost_Chord

Reading Ray B, Asimov, and the rest of the sci-fi biggies of the 70's.

Anyone who has watched the movie "Local Hero", and "gets it" understands.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085859/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Hero

scirx
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by scirx » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:39 pm

:?: Hello, I am Cory and a new member. Several years ago, I found a picture of a bubble within a bubble on a leaf in an experiment running on the ISS and wrote a discrepant event lesson plan, "Where Was This Picture Taken?". I believe it was 2003 or so. I have not taught astronomy for the past couple of years and the link to the picture is no longer valid. I searched APOD line by line and did not have much progress on NASA media folders.
Does anyone remember seeing that picture and have a clue if it is active somewhere? I sure could use it again.
Thanks ahead.

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Iron Sun 254
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Iron Sun 254 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:07 pm

I became interested in astronomy at such an early age I don't even remember what got it started. My mother was a nurse and my father an insurance agent, neither of whom had any interest in it. It's possible my uncle who eventually became a physicist introduced me to it but, again, if he did it I don't remember the incident. I just know I always was interested. In first grade, the teacher wanted us to give a report on "something" every week and I happily gave a report each week on the (then) eight other planets in the Solar System. In second grade, I was correcting a teacher who insisted that "it was cold on the north pole and hot on the south pole." I've had a love of it my whole life and had intended to make it my life's work, except for a bad experience at college scared me off so now I have to be satisfied with just loving it on the side lines.

keitha0000
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by keitha0000 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:33 pm

Keith Allingham, a tech marketing guy in Canada.
I became interested in astronomy reading some of the great articles (with great photos and artwork) in National Geographic magazine in the late 60s and early 70s; I still have most of them. My parents then gave me a copy of the Flammarion Book of Astronomy (anyone remember that one?), which I read cover to cover, and still cherish today. In university, it became obvious that I had neither the smarts nor the attention span to be a mathematician, so an astro career was out of the question. But it remained, and continues to remain a core interest of mine (for 50 years and counting.

keitha0000
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by keitha0000 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:07 pm

tamarshall wrote:... my problem with "truth" and science is that if theories that are wrong can make accurate predictions, then theories we think are right (that is, true) bc they work can also turn out to be wrong...
This so cool, isn't it? Take care.
I don't think anyone needs to understand the math behind this thought- I'm sure that everyone knows its true. And its healthy to always keep it in mind...

And yes, it is cool.

The Alien
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by The Alien » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:56 am

Greetings! I was ecstatic to have discovered such a place as Starship Asterisk* because from my experiences I have encountered few people who share an interest in Astronomy as I, let alone an entire community centered around the topic :) Anyway, onto my introduction.


Who am I? Some video game geek who takes his residence in Washington state. How exactly did I discover my interesting for Astronomy? I can not recall any specific even that got me hooked (this seems to be a common answer among this thread), but if I were to make a rough estimate when, I would say either 6-7 years of age. When I wanted to expand my knowledge on the subject I would usually read books or watch TV shows. I remember The Planets being a favorite of mine back then. As I mentioned above, I am an avid gamer, therefore, I don't spend half the time I used to researching Astronomy :| I should really change my working habits if I want to pursue this field as a career choice...

just carl

Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by just carl » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:03 pm

I've been interested in Astronomy since I was in grammar school way, way back in the 40's. Used to take the bus to the Adler Planatarium with a friend. Back in those days it was completely free all the time.
I sure wish with the item, photo of the day, on top of the well written information about the photo, there could be a second photo showing or pointing out what is being explained. For example todays photo shows a lot of stars and the description is about seven of them. So just which is the seven? I looked and looked and still not sure. I guess I could spend the rest of the day trying to find out but why not have a second photo with notations such as what is what. Many of the other photos of the day are like that where there is a great explanation but one that only a trained expert can figure out. Some statements such as the large blue cluster next to the small blue cluster is a star cluster. Nice is you already know which is which and what is what.
As I mentioned todays photo is an example where I really don't know which stars are being discussed.

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Case
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Case » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:11 am

just carl wrote:there could be a second photo showing or pointing out what is being explained.
Like this?

Rouzbeh
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Rouzbeh » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:08 pm

I started by taking a photo of the Moon with a regular SLR camera. I was hooked from then!

Mactavish
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Mactavish » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:21 pm

It started in 1953 while stationed in upstate New York. One weekend I drove down to Corning to see the Glass Museum that I had heard some raving comments about. (If you’ve never been there, don’t pass up the opportunity if it arises!) There, standing on edge, some 16 feet high, and dramatically backlit, was the first casting for the 200” mirror for the Hale telescope. And, I thought, this is just one part of a telescope? WOW! I wonder what the telescope must look like.

Fast forward about 15 years. I had since moved to San Diego and, again, thought about a weekend jaunt to someplace of interest. Recalling my visit to the Corning Museum, why not Palomar? Upon entering the dome, this humongous machine was simply overwhelming. But, where was the mirror? Not what I expected! Of course, the guide explained the entire contraption, and I stood there in awe with bulging eyes and my mouth hanging open. Then on into the photo exhibit area. Here, numerous images taken through the Hale scope (and the neighboring Schmidt scope) shifted my imagination into high gear. This is what astronomy is all about? Again, WOW!

Fast forward again about 30 years. A major discovery: APOD. Now, I’m not an astronomer… and science, physics, and mathematics belong to another special type of earthling. But, APOD is a part of my daily diet. So is Starship Asterisk*. The images, explanations, links, and discussions are fascinating even if much of it is over my head (no pun intended). I wouldn’t know what to do with a telescope even if I could afford one. But no need with APOD. The fantastic images are right here on my desktop. Not just Hubble, Spitzer, Mauna Kea, Paranal and the other big guys, but the so called “amateurs”, far too numerous to mention, who contribute their brilliant works to APOD.

Thanks to Robert and Jerry. I hope NASA stays in business for a while. Makes me feel like at least some of my taxes are going to a worthwhile cause.

Mactavish
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Mactavish » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:42 am

scirx wrote::?: Hello, I am Cory and a new member. Several years ago, I found a picture of a bubble within a bubble on a leaf in an experiment running on the ISS and wrote a discrepant event lesson plan, "Where Was This Picture Taken?". I believe it was 2003 or so. I have not taught astronomy for the past couple of years and the link to the picture is no longer valid. I searched APOD line by line and did not have much progress on NASA media folders.
Does anyone remember seeing that picture and have a clue if it is active somewhere? I sure could use it again.
Thanks ahead.
Cory: Maybe this is what you're referring to: http://www.archive.org/details/MSFC-0601201

TheKadieNebula
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by TheKadieNebula » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:50 pm

Honestly, I can't remember, I always had a love for astronomy and building stuff. I think it was just recently I actually considered it as a field I wanted to go into, something more than just a hobby. I can't wait till I get my first telescope :D

DJE44
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APOD Starship Asterisk* new member

Post by DJE44 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:36 pm

Greetings all, new member here. I have been an avid APOD viewer for several years now, and never knew there were forums dedicated to the site! So great to be on board, and looking forward to discussing APOD with everyone. :)

-Drew

http://www.drewjevans.com/astronomy

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owlice
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Re: APOD Starship Asterisk* new member

Post by owlice » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:13 pm

Drew, welcome aboard!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

GWARmachine
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Re: Introduction

Post by GWARmachine » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:54 am

Hello??? I was trying to find a message board or thread or something where people introduce themselves. Surely this isn't the one...with only three posts? Hello though!

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owlice
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Re: Introduction

Post by owlice » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:28 am

The "Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?" thread is in The Handbook.
Welcome to Asterisk!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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orin stepanek
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Re: Introduction

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:43 pm

johnpatrick wrote:This is John Patrick from Florida. I am 36 years old. I am very happy to join here. In this forums there's are lot of things to learn and share. I have registered here very interestingly! Thanks, :D
GWARmachine wrote:Hello??? I was trying to find a message board or thread or something where people introduce themselves. Surely this isn't the one...with only three posts? Hello though!
Welcome Johnpatrick and GWARmachine! 8-)
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

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Ann
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Ann » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:04 am

I'd like to introduce myself. Astronomy is a very personal thing to me. When I was eight years old, in 1963, my grandfather told me that the world was coming to an end very soon. I felt as if reality itself was rapidly closing in on me and shrinking toward its own immolation point.

Then in 1969, when I was fourteen, I saw the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. I really liked movies that ended happily, and this one was quite disturbing. I had nightmares about the astronaut that fell out of his spaceship and would keep falling through space for an eternity. But when the other astronaut entered a black hole, or whatever it was, and was engulfed by streaks of light and color, I got a sense of falling through eternity myself, and I was exhilarated in a way that beat anything I had ever experienced in any roller-coaster.

So I went to the library and borrowed a book about space, and this book told me that all stars were suns. I went out that night and looked at the stars, and I told myself that all these tiny points of light were as bright as the Sun, and I asked myself how far away they had to be to look as faint as they do. And suddenly all of reality just expanded outwards to distances I couldn't imagine, and I was surrounded by eternity again, just standing there in my street.

After this, I started taking a great interest in looking at the sky and learning the constellations. One winter night I got outside with my parents' binoculars and searched for my first deep-sky object, the Andromeda galaxy. I had had to lie down on the ground to keep my arms sufficiently steady, and lying there and feeling, as it were, the entire Earth beneath me, and looking up in the sky at the yellow, diffuse blob that was the Andromeda Galaxy, added a new dimension to eternity to me. Not to mention the fact that I was absolutely certain at that moment that I was looking at the home of some intelligent beings somewhere inside that diffuse yellowness a couple of million light-years away.

Then in 1973 (I think it was), space suddenly took on yet another fantastic quality to me: its otherworldy beauty. The Voyager 1 pictures of the incredible intricate shapes and magnificent colors of the cloudtops of Jupiter had me gasping with joy.

And after that, I slowly started collecting magazines about space, looking at pictures, buying books, reading, trying to understand, joining an astronomy club...and eventually, of course, finding this site, and suddenly having a wealth of images to look at, breaking news items to read about and threads to post my comments in. I have been at it quite avidly now for a year and a half or so.

Ann
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owlice
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Re: Wanted to say hi to everybody

Post by owlice » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:15 pm

Welcome to Asterisk!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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neufer
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Re: Wanted to say hi to everybody

Post by neufer » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:39 pm

Art Neuendorffer

brooxyfereige
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Hello Everyone

Post by brooxyfereige » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:47 am

Hello everyone,
I've just signed in on asterisk.apod.com,but still trying to figure out how things work here...

Have a very nice weekend you all,

Cheers