Explaining the Universe 

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Through my experience relaying what I have learned about astronomy to my family, I learned a lot about how to explain what you know about star’s to those who do not.  I discovered two very important tools in my effort to effectively explain the stars, the first one being the ability to locate easily identifiable points of reference.  The second tool was having the ability to create and use various metaphors to bring the laws of physics into a perspective that somehow relates to our every day lives, rather than the lives of celestial bodies.  It became pretty apparent that most humans do not know very much about the inner-workings of our galaxy, let alone the universe, and, thus, did not understand just how small our planet really is in the grand scheme of things. 

Above all, I learned that a talented and effective astronomer must also be able to communicate with others efficiently.  Astronomy and astrophysics are topics that are extremely complicated, especially to those who are uninterested by the sciences.  They regularly include concepts that are hard to wrap your head around, even to those with a passion for physics, which are often times due to the incomprehensible size of our universe and its celestial inhabitants.  The universe in which we live in is changing every day and new discoveries are being made all the time.  As any Trekkie would know, space really is the Final Frontier.  There is so, so much left that we must learn about it and our journey doing so really begins with expanding our knowledge of space to others and emphasizing just how important it truly is. 

In addition to the assignment above, I have posted the Apparent Brightness-Distance Nomogram that I used quite often in this class.  This chart would help determine one of three things in relation to stars: the apparent magnitude, distance of the star from earth, and wattage of the star.

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