As I began my journey of looking into the night sky, I quickly realized just how fragile our human race is. When you look up there into the heavens, just as I did, do you not see how small we are? Do you truly understand the power of the universe and just how exciting it can be? Come with me on a journey which will take you light years away from our home. Venturing into a dark spot near my area of residence was enough to block out the blinding city lights of the never ending city life. It is good for one to sit back and relax in the serenity of the night sky once in a while.
You begin to appreciate the earth more, even your very own existence upon this planet we call home. In our summer season if you look directly overhead you should be able to see a star called Vega. Now Vega is in the upper most right corner of a star constellation called The Summer Triangle. It is quite easy to spot.
On the next available night, go outside, and look straight up. You should see three distant stars apart from each other, which form a giant triangle in the sky. Just by finding this constellation you probably now know more than most of your friends do about the night sky. I must say learning about the night sky is quite an adventure. Would you ever have imagined there are so many stars just within our own galaxy? The excitement of learning is much more abounding in astronomy then it is in say, mathematics. It is a real live breathing object upon which we are studying.
Here is another easy star constellation to pick out. Try finding four stars which form a square. This square is not any old square though, it is the Great Square of Pegasus. It should be down more towards the horizon on the lower left of The Summer Triangle. You can also notice two little stars sitting next to each other near there.
Those two little stars are called Aries. Sitting there at night, staring up into the sky, really began to make my mind ask questions. Have you ever felt that urge to know more, to know the answers to the universe? I am sure you all have.
Looking up into the abyss made me feel something that I do not feel everyday of my life. It is a different feeling, a feeling of wonder, and joy. It is also a feeling of overwhelming excitement to know that we are just a tiny speck in a universe which is made up of billions of stars. Most folks know of the Big Dipper. I have known that constellation since I was a little kid and I still find it interesting to look at it, even to this day. Looking up at the Big Dipper you notice that it looks like a giant kitchen pot of some sort.
It also has a long handle shape. This shape points towards a star named Arcturus. Arcturus is somewhat orange in color compared to other stars. The two stars on the right side of the pot within the Big Dipper point to the North Star. The North Star is famous for one main reason; it does not turn but rather seems fixed in the sky.
The North Star is also the end star on a constellation called the Little Dipper. The Little Dipper is upside down on top of the Big Dipper. Our galaxy, The Milky Way, is only one of tens of billions of galaxies. It is a spiral galaxy containing one hundred billion stars. To travel across the galaxy would require one hundred thousand years at a speed of five trillion, eight hundred million miles per year.
The universe began almost 14 billion years ago in a blazing explosion of energy called the Big Bang. Galaxies which were formed during the aftermath are still moving away from each other at increasing speeds. Our solar system is almost five billion years old.
Our sun is now in middle age and one day, about five billion years from now it will die, and our earth will die with it. Do not let this fear of a dying earth put off your hopes of learning about the bright lights which look down upon us. Always set aside a few minutes to gaze upon the universe which holds our very own existence. With excitement comes a yearning for knowledge and with knowledge comes joy. Let your joy take on a whole new level of life. Be confident and happy knowing you can name what shines down brightly upon us.
So get on outside and try for yourself just how easy and enjoyable it is to lay back and study the stars.
© 2006 -- Adrian Barrett -- Germany | Deutsch Online