Hey kids, a special “thank you” for being so awesome with Season 2 of CCPL Astronomy Club. Your questions were fun, razor-sharp, and most importantly, led to more questions. I love that about science. There’s almost never a “because” answer. If we ask why the sky is blue, we might learn about Rayleigh scattering, when a photon hits an oxygen or nitrogen molecule, causing it to re-emit blue light.
“Okay, but what’s a photon? And why does it do that?” (If you’re curious about that, check out the branch of science called quantum mechanics.)
(And if anyone ever tells you “because I said so”, don’t believe them.)
See, when we talk about the stars, black holes, planets, and light, and you’re curious and excited about the universe, I see all the things you could be. Maybe you’ll be an astronaut, an astrophysicist who studies black holes, a scientist who figures out time travel, a banker who makes a ton of money and buys lots of telescopes, or “just” someone who takes a walk when the sky is clear and the moonlight is beautiful.
(Hey, maybe you’ll be all of these things. Who knows!)
That’s a good thing for us grownups to see. It’s nice to have a reminder to be excited and curious about our beautiful universe. It’s important for us to remember that we all should reach for the stars, in whatever way that is, at whatever age we are.
By you being amazed, that means that everyone can get amazed. Thank you for that.
I hope you have a fantastic summer. Go to the library, check out books on quantum mechanics and astrophysics, constellations and space exploration, science fiction, and aliens, and anything else you think is cool. See if you can find a pair of binoculars around the house, or for a few dollars online. (I just picked up some 10×50 “Skygenius” binoculars for about thirty bucks.) They’re great for scanning the summer sky. Watch the moon and dance of the planets. Get up in the middle of the night to see Jupiter and Saturn. Talk your parents into going camping to watch the Perseid meteors. Check out YouTube videos about the speed of light. Is time travel possible?
There’s a lot to discover out there. Let me know if you have any questions along the way.
Ask your parents for help emailing: Joshurban[at]protonmail[dot]com
Have fun in your travels, and never stop asking “Why?”
It’s been so much fun!
∼ Clear skies,
Josh Urban is an author, speaker, and space nerd. His website is www.JoshUrban.com
Thank you all for a wonderful Season 2 of our CCPL Astronomy Club! If you would like to learn even more about any of the topics we covered this year check out some of these awesome books you can get from the library as well as some other great resources we have available for you!