Astronomy is super cool

I worked for the astrophysics department of a state university for about a year. It wasn’t an astrophysics-related job; I mainly took care of their website, along with miscellaneous other projects I could cook up. Working with the content on the website, I got to see what the various professors were working on.

I enjoy “hard” science and often find it cool and exciting, but I’ve never been particularly passionate about it. However, getting a glimpse of real astrophysics research on the leading edge of the field gave me a bit of appreciation about just how incredible space really is.

Orion Nebula
Photo credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team

I learned about gravitational waves, redshift, cosmic background radiation, infrared astronomy, and much more. Regularly viewing imagery from advanced telescopes, especially nebulae, I was struck with just how much is going on in the universe all the time. All sorts of lively processes play out on an unfathomable scale with a huge menagerie of celestial objects, each one unique and able to teach us something.

Sometimes the universe outside of Earth, devoid of any known life, is characterized as “cold”, “dead”, or “lifeless”, but that really doesn’t feel fair when you learn about all the activity that takes place on a cosmic scale. It’s a beautiful dance that defies our efforts to wrap it up in a way that is succinctly meaningful to humanity. For this reason, I have a deep respect for the work of astrophysicists & astronomers, and the mystery their object of study evokes.

Do you enjoy learning about space? Is there a field you don’t know a ton about but have a special appreciation for? Have you learned about a topic by unconventional exposure through a job? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​