Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sense of Anticipation and Discovery.....

So what do I mean by a "Sense of Anticipation and discovery".

One of the mysteries of life is our seemingly small and insignificant place in such an extrodinary expansive universe, it causes us to ask questions. How did I get here, where did I come from, how do I make sense of all this.

Whilst much is made of the seeming dipoles of our approach to these questions, either from a spiritual perspective or a scientific perspective, the overwhelming driver in both approaches is our curiousity and thirst for knowledge.

Every child dreams and asks questions. Ask any parent - some of those questions are curly ones. When I was at school science was about asking the big questions! These questions were often controversial, never seemed to be capable of giving all the answers, and required study, discipline, debate, and yes more questions.

Asking questions is a healthy thing, it helps us to extend our own perspective, it challenges the status quo and regularly uncovers new truths.

The mission of AARTScope is to create an environment where people have the tools to keep asking questions, build their own dreams of making discoveries, and as amateur astronomers following up and assisting with data for professional astronomers, creating the anticipation that perhaps we too could discover something that no one else has seen or experienced before. Thus the passion for Amateur Astronomy is born, one of the few sciences where amateurs can and regularly do make a real contribution.

Take our anticipation and discovery test. (Disclaimer: I am not suggesting any bizzarre theories here and/or being disrespectful to the traditonal indigenous dreamtime stories) But lets ask the question, and see if it stimulates your sense of anticipation of discovery by causing you to ask more questions.

Question: Can you name the four photos below, and what do you observe.

Again, I am not suggesting any bizarre theories here, but there are three objects in four photos, one is from a different level of zoom and appears twice. The objects are: the Pollack Crator on Mars, the Martian Moon Phobos and Uluru in the middle of Australia....can you guess which one appears twice? I must admit I was struck by the similarities, to the point where it created the, "I wonder if", question that drives the passion of all scientists and others who dare to ask.

What the Hubble has taught us, what the Huygens Probe revealed on Titan, what the Kepler Space Telescope is about to reveal - the more we look, the more we find! It constantly astounds us and causes us to ask more questions.

How is your sense of anticipation and on it, and ask more questions!

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