Out of Nowhere

This essay is about how my passion in Astronomy bloomed further in the past years.

Similar to the Bigbang, some things – if not all – in our life occur out of nowhere. It just happens without you and me being aware of it. Most of the time, we only fully understand what actually happened at the end.

Flying Kite

I was outside our house when something unusual caught my attention: A kite-like pattern of stars at the top of our neighbor’s house. To an eleven year old child, such an awesome sight would certainly arouse curiosity. Since then, I started to search for and read books about stars. I learned that they define regions in the sky called constellations. I also found out that the group of stars I saw that night was the Big Dipper, a part of the big constellation Ursa Major. At a young age, I already knew how to navigate the night sky and I had also identified 9 constellations including their brightest stars.

First Glimpse

I received my first serious telescope – a 6″ Newtonian Equatorial Reflector – 5 days after my 21st birthday. It was my greatest gift ever. A few days later, I aimed the scope at the full moon and was awestruck by its beauty. Its darker areas appeared smoother compared to when seen with the naked eye while its craters were sharply marked as if the impacts happened just days ago. My dad, who was then beside me, noticed my amazement and also took a peek through the eyepiece. He was so astonished to see the moon that big and bright. From then on, my dad and I spent time together through night observations. It was because of this quality time that together, we had our first glimpse of the planetary objects in the sky – Jupiter and its moons, Venus, Saturn and Mars.

Astronomy at their Side

The Geminids last year was one astronomical event our organization couldn’t afford to miss. We hosted a public viewing of it and, to our surprise, more than a hundred people came. To a person who avoided leadership responsibilities due to lack of self-esteem, handling such a huge crowd seemed impossible. Incredibly, I was able to face my fears; I taught a few people about stargazing, and I even set up the telescope so that they could see Saturn. I never knew I could do it. During that time, the things which kept me moving were people’s eagerness to see shooting stars and planets, their smiles and laughter as they witnessed this cosmic beauty, and also my dream of sharing to others the joys of Astronomy. This fulfilling experience inspired me to pursue Astronomy either as a lifelong hobby or profession. It was certainly the most unforgettable astronomical experience of my life.

The Bigbang theory explains that the universe appeared out of nowhere and later evolved from simple elements to clusters of galaxies millions of light years across. Likewise, the moments I’ve recounted here are manifestations of how my life was unexpectedly changed by Astronomy – from knowing nothing about the skies above to sharing the joys of Astronomy with others. At this point of my life, I’ve realized one thing: I want to become an astronomer and share my memories and experience with the world.

Currently feeling: satisfied

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~ by Stella's Gaze on July 25, 2008.

2 Responses to “Out of Nowhere”

  1. i just want to ask if you’re handling an stargazing activities, like looking up the planets,universe using telescope. If yes, when and where? Thank u s0 much

    • I usually join public observations organized by local astronomy organizations. 🙂 I also bring my telescope. As of now, I can’t observe because of the weather. 😦

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