Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An Awesome Birthday Present

I forgot to write about this.

The weekend that I got my telescope, when my dad and my cousin brought it to me, I got another present from my cousin and his lady friend. It is a book.

Normally, my heart sinks at the idea of getting a book for a present. In actuality I frankly love books, I'm an avid collector of miscellaneous books and series, but when I get a book for a present, I'm a little disappointed. I'm like a kid. I want a toy. Book? Blah!

But this one is a bit different. It's quite up my alley, considering how I'm now getting more into astronomy. And it comes with an additional cool factor attached.

The book is titled, The Very First Light: The True Inside Story of the Scientific Journey Back to the Dawn of the Universe. It is written by John C. Mather, and John Boslough.

The coolness factor lies in the fact that John Mather is the 2006 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics.

And he signed my copy!

How. Awesome. Is. That!

(I will try to review the book at some point later on, stay tuned).

Class in Descriptive Astronomy

For the last 3 weeks I've been going to a class given by the AAA, or Amateur Astronomer's Association of NY. The fee of $75 covered the class for non-members, and threw in membership as well.

I have taken 2 astronomy classes in college, and enjoyed them to a large degree. Though I don't relish the thought of having to do any math, the basic equations back then were not really hard at all, if you could remember back to high school physics class.

But the AAA class is a descriptive class, meaning that you don't have to do any math. It's really a bit like the Discovery channel science programs. So generally it is non-technical, though obviously it is a science class.

One thing that I do feel needs improvement is the pace of the class, and certainly more detail would be appreciated by yours truly. But time is generally short, and even an hour-and-half class is pushing the limits of some people's attention, mine included.

But if you get a chance, and your local astronomy club gives lectures or a class on topics you'd like to learn more about, please take the opportunity to learn more about our solar system and the galactic neighborhood in which we live.