Astronomy is one of those magical careers that kids dream about all their childhood, before life and reality all too often gets in the way. Yes, entry into professional stargazing is tough. Even those with high grade PhDs have to jostle with many others with equally excellent qualifications, because job openings are so very few.
That said, if your passion is astronomy and you’re determined to make it into something more, there are two paths you could realistically take. Firstly, the conventional route- enter into a science degree with a background in physics, and excel enough to undertake postgraduate studies. This is considered a minimum for professional astronomy- usually either a PhD, masters or possibly first-class honors with a heavy research component. Doing so is nowhere near a guarantee of a job, either- so make sure you have a backup plan in mind as you follow this career path.
Another, perhaps more appealing option to many enthusiasts, is the amateur route to scientific recognition. Set yourself up with some decent equipment, and dedicate a certain amount of your week to studying the heavens. This may sound like an unrewarding approach, but just ask David Levy, a Canadian who has discovered over 23 comets while doing this at his modest home setup.
Astronomy is a tough field to get into the conventional way, but if you have persistence and talent, you can make it one way or the other.
With city lights becoming brighter the star are becoming something that are becoming more difficult for people to see and enjoy there beauty. Light pollution obscures the stars in the night sky for city dwellers, interferes with astronomical observatories and like any other form of pollution, disrupts ecosystems and has adverse health effects. Its something that worries me that some children have never seen the true beauty of a night sky with all the stars shining brightly
Light pollution was something that I took into account when I was looking for a new property to rent. I was very important for me to find a new home that would be big enough for me and my growing family but of course as an amateur astronomer I was searching for a place where I would be free from the bright lights of the city and able to enjoy the natural wonders of outer space.
I was lucky enough to find my perfect home recently a beautiful 4 bed room (one that i have take over as my man cave with my telescope) detached house just far enough outside the city that I can still enjoy my astrology but close enough to the city for me and my wife to commute to work on a daily basis. There is also a great school near by for the kids to attend which has an excellent academic record so are delighted to be sending the children there.
It took a bit of searching and browsing the Internet to find the right place for us but it was really worth it to have this new property that we can all call home and enjoy bringing up our family showing the children the wonders of the night sky with all the stars and planets for them to discover and take a passion in.
Astronomy is something that amazes us all, every since being a small child I have always gazed into the stars wondering what is out there. Are there galaxies filled with millions of intergalactic communities like you see in Star Wars? Or are we all alone here on Earth, the lone jewel of the universe. Well the only way to find out questions to answers like this is to gaze up into the heavens to study what could be.
By day I work for a credit card debt relief company however at night I am an avid star gazer. Taking time as often as possible to bring my son our back and see what celestial miracles we can spot. Fortunately I live in a very rural area, so the light from big cities does not obstruct my view of the stars. As our civilization grows more advanced with technology we will hopefully be able to travel far out into our own solar system and beyond one day. Just imagine what life would be like living in a space station orbiting Jupiter or Uranus? Imagine being part of that first trip to another star system completely and what marvels and scientific breakthroughs are there to be found? Unfortunately most of this talk is the stuff of impossibility, especially right now but our distant predecessors may indeed conquer these feats one day.
Last week in the skies above the UK the two planets Venus and Jupiter appeared as bright as diamonds in the black night. I quickly grabbed a nice warm cup of coffee from my fancy new espresso maker and made for the back garden with the binoculars.
Despite being a vast distance from each other (Venus is closer to the Sun than the Earth and Jupiter is many times further away from the Sun than the Earth) they appeared to be within touching distance of each other.
Venus is the brightest of the two and Jupiter will appear to move past it in a straight line during March.
But there’s more Venus fun to come in this month when Venus makes a transit of the Sun which will, from some parts of the world, appear as a small black disc moving across the disc of the Sun.
What’s more, this year saw Mars pass the closest to the Earth for many years to come. 2012 is proving a great year for planet gazers.
There is nothing more exciting than seeing Mars light up the sky with its red beauty. Even better is finding a great spot in which the stars are bright and you feel closer than ever. In this article I will tell you about the St George Utah area and how amazing it is for star gazing.
I am sure many of you have heard of Utah before but many are unfamiliar with the St George area. St George is approx. a 3 hour drive from Salt Lake City. You can also get to Las Vegas very quickly from the area. Best of all you are right next to one of the most beautiful star gazing sites, Zions National Park.
In this park you will be able to both hike and find spots that you can see the stars for miles. In this region of Utah you will not find any pollution. The lack of pollution will ensure you can see the stars you have always dreamed about. So if you are thinking about making a star gazing trip be sure to put Utah on your list.
I’m certain that there must be lots of people who have wondered what it’s like to look through a telescope but haven’t got round to buying one of their own. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a modern, sophisticated telescope which you could use online? Well the simple answer is – yes there is! All you need is a computer and an internet connection and you have the capability to look through the eyepiece of a telescope online. The best bit is that you can even control it to some extent.
One of the best concepts in this area is called the SLOOH Space camera. Now when I first got interested in astronomy there were a few online telescopes in Universirty but they started to get locked down. In fact one at a famous college which I won’t mention became inaccessible until you used some stealth – I found this site called http://www.theninjaproxy.org/ which showed me how to bypass these blocks. But fortunately those days are gone and there are now quite a few online telescopes available around the world.
Very few of them are difficult and you need minimal instructions in how to use them. The SLOOH even has instant imaging technology and a user interface that a child could use very easily. Just fire up your internet browser and you can be looking deep in to the depths of the solar system within minutes. You do have to join their club to use the scope but it actually makes a good gift.
After you are a member then you can use the telescope yourself or join the many group missions that are arranged.Some of the live images you can see are truly stunning.Imagine how incredible it is to see the Andromeda Galaxy on their computer screen.There are more advanced options like the Global Rent a Scope but these are probably not necessary for most people. Using this equipment is incredible, to buy this sort of stuff which would allow you to take images of the night sky would take a lot of money and to use it yourself loads of practice.The SLOOH online telescope is worth checking out if you have even the slightest interest in astronomy – you can find them here – SLOOH Telescope.
We all know that the age of computer have increased its popularity a lot these days, now a person can barely live without a computer or the Internet. It is obvious that computer age makes works, tasks and jobs simple. Traditionally, offices use to store their confidential and important information in the company through writing. They use to write down notes and put in in a secured place or case. Even schools store their important information gathered and analyzed through the manner of writing. It is nice to hear and say that computer age makes all this things and stuffs simple, from gathering, storing and analyzing data, loading them is also added. You can now load the information being gathered into a computer. Here it comes Decision Support System or DSS as it is also called. The Decision support system plays a big role in the process of decision making. You can read a lot more about DSS Decision Support System software here at Decision Support System which analyses and tests the various types of Decision Support Software and explains the basics behind a Decision Support System With that, it can be easy for you to finalized a decision from the data gathered and information that are being analyzed and by simply loading it into computers, then you now have all the information needed. So, it is great and nice to hear that we can now have all the information we want to and this can be very beneficial and useful for Decision support System in Astronomy.
It is very much beneficial for schools to use Decision support System in Astronomy. We all know that astronomy talks scientific study of all the matter. So, you need to have all the important information about astronomy such as dealing with their origin, the energy found in the universe, distribution, movements and composition. With these vast of topics that talks about astronomy, decision support system will be playing a big role in here. It is expected that you will gather data and analyzing data about astronomy and DSS will be a big help. It will store up all your needed information that is being gathered. So, it is not difficult for you to do studies and read all about astronomy which you have been gathered and stored. Astronomy touches many things especially on analytical aspects and decision support system will make all things simple for you as you are using this helpful tool for your analysis.
Something not many people know about me is that by day, I work at a merchant account company helping other businesses accept credit card payments. But I moonlight as a wannabe astronomer; that’s where my real passion is. I am most interested in asteroids. I’ve always hoped that I would be able to discover one and name it after myself but anyone else out there who is also an astronomy buff knows that this will probably never happen. Asteroids are typically named by their year and half-month of discovery. Sometimes they are given a name after the orbit has been confirmed but that’s not always the case.
One asteroid that has excited me most in the past 10 years is 2004 MN4. Astronomers Chesley, Yeomans, and Chodas discovered this one on Christmas Eve in 2004 and it looked like it would collide with the earth on April 13, 2029. Friday the 13th! If this asteroid were to hit earth, it would collide with a land area about the size of Texas and certainly cause a tsunami if it were to land in an ocean.
Luckily for us, further observation of the asteroid’s track revealed that it will miss us but not without providing us a bright glimpse of it. Residents in Africa, Europe, and Asia will get the best look at it and it is said that it will be able to be seen through city lights, to the unaided eye, and it will look like a very bright star.
I’ve already decided that I am going to book a trip to England and stay with my relatives during that time so that I will be able to see it. Yes, I know that it’s a long ways off and I will be over 50 by then, but give me a break! Every day I deal with customers calling me about their merchant accounts and it can get quite tedious. I need to have things to look forward to in order to keep me sane.
Astronomy can tell quite a few things about our natural world.
The wine industry is slowly beginning to use astronomy among other natural disciplines to attempt to guess which vineyard locations would be best suited for their specific brand of wine. As a wine of the month club once told me, vineyard planting is often thought of as an afterthought to where a vineyard owner places their house, but it is quickly the one aspect of their property that they wish they could change.
So how can astronomy help?
As we continue to be better at tracking meterorites and asteroids, will we be able to pinpoint where all kinds of solar events happen? Long term could a vineyard owner know which some level of comfort that the suns rays will be slightly hotter on one side of their vineyard over the summer? If they had a bunch of small pieces of information like that, the general quality of their wine would increase greatly.
Astronomy as I hope you’ve realized, can help with a lot more than simply saving the Earth from imminent destruction at the hands of an asteroid.
Since our civilization’s official arrival into a period we can finally call “the future” with the release of the iPhone, we’re going to have to start struggling with some important questions about technology. Questions like: will robots replace our labor class? What will we allow the robots to do? And who builds the robots – Mexicans?
With preparedness in mind, I’ve put together five predictions about technology that will probably come sooner rather than later.
1. Designer Babies (Like in “Gattaca”)
Scientists will one day crack the genetic code and be able to mold your children for you – do you want dark or light hair, what color eyes, how tall should they be, etc. If there’s a gay gene, you can also ensure your son or daughter will be 100% straight.
This is an extremely tough moral issue to deal with. Even an atheist has to wonder about the ramifications of abandoning the DNA that shaped us. Though we could potentially become a race of superhumans, it’s difficult to predict what home-grown qualities we might lose, such as the natural balancing of gender (I assume the Chinese will become a 100% male nationalitu and subsequently die out).
What will probably happen, though, is the government will regulate it well before it becomes popular enough to affect things on a mass scale. The religious right won’t allow scientists to play God, and in the future, there would be quite the controvery between pro-Gattacas and anti-Gattacas, kind of like the stem cell debate.
2. A Unified Field of TV, Phones, and the Internet
I remember when I first saw YouTube technology on a regular web page – I couldn’t believe someone had put a TV on their web page. The quality of YouTube video will get better – good enough to put on TVs.
Microsoft, always the visionary, will try to get in on this, until your computer and your TV cease to be separate things. You can turn on NBC on your computer, minimize it, and then play World of Warcraft. You’ve already played DVDs on a computer at some point, right?
This will allow you to transfer shows and games easily between TVs, as well as download videos and video games from Blockbuster.com instantly. Tell me this doesn’t make you the least bit excited about the future.
Your major communications will also be conducted on these TVs, including the use of webcams for Star Trek-like communications potential.
3. A Decline in the Labor Class
Did you watch the Democratic AFL-CIO debate recently? Tons of union workers showed up to complain about how the unions should wipe their butts and powder them afterwards whenever there are layoffs. I think some people even wanted to continue to get paid after a layoff. What?
Imagine this old-school, post-New Deal generation of idiot, lazy labor-class members losing their jobs to robots. You know it’s inevitable. You don’t have to pay robots after you build them.
The futurist Paul Saffo said that solar technology is the way to go for energy: only the labor costs are too high. Once robots become economical, we can have vast fields of solar panels in deserts maintained by robots. Other energy industries would have massive layoffs.
Like with the current outsourcing of U.S. jobs to Mexico and overseas, the labor class will complain, politicians will make empty promises about fixing it, but the problem won’t be stopped, simply because capitalism dictates that robots are better labor-class workers. This would hopefully lead to an education revolution in which everyone admits humans need to learn things that AREN’T useless in order to impact the robot-powered economy. Some union members will probably die once the teat of the Labor Union runs dry.
4. Nanobots Will Increase Quality of Life Exponentially
Speaking of dying, nanotechnology will be able to prevent it for long periods of time. If you’re unfamiliar, nanotechnology is basically microscopic-sized robots that can be sent in your bloodstream to fix problems: theoretically, they’ll be able to eat up cancer, scrub your arteries clean, and repair nerve damage. If you lose an organ, the geneticists will grow a rat with a human kidney on its back.
Once nanobots reached an advanced level, it’s conceivable they could help with nutrient ingestion (allowing you to eat McDonald’s and only extract the vitamins and healthy calories; no longer will you have to worry about what to eat & what not to stay healthy or to keep your cholesterol ratio under control ) and muscle hypertrophy – building up your muscles without you ever having to exercise, replicating the process your body already naturally does when you work out.
These are really far off, I think – way past the Unified Internet Field. But it’s fun to imagine, and quite possible that people would eventually have to die in car accidents or get struck by lighting if they don’t want to live 1,000 years.
5. Impending Disaster will cause Space Technology to Spike
Necessity is the mother invention, and nothing says “necessity” like a 5-mile-wide asteroid headed toward Earth. Should a possible disaster befall us, the United States will finally get serious about NASA. We’ll be so strong in space by the time the Asteroid gets close that we’ll easily shove it aside.
Subsequently, after some years of preparation, we’ll find that space isn’t as hard to deal with as we thought – once you give it an honest effort. Whoever leads the charge on the asteroid will be the dominant space power on Earth for years to come, and will make First Contact with the Vulcans some time in the 21st Century.