I’m a big fan of actually looking up at the night sky, whether that is with the naked eye, with binoculars or with a telescope. There’s so much to see. And every single night is different. From the other solar system planets to meteor showers, and from the mighty constellations to distant galaxies, there’s something for everyone.
I also like getting out and about to introduce more people to the night sky. I’m a regular participant in ‘star parties’ and other astronomy outreach activities. And my aim for the near future is to get involved in ‘sidewalk astronomy’ by taking a telescope out locally to where people can use it.
I’m interested, too, in the broader field of astronomy, from the giant telescopes that we use to learn more about the universe to the search for new worlds around distant stars. This is where writing about astronomy comes in handy, as I get to contact astronomers around the world and quiz them about their work.
I also have a growing interest in the way in which different cultures and societies interact with and relate to the night sky. And the daytime sky, for that matter. This is part of the field of cultural astronomy, which lies at the boundary of anthropology and astronomy, where the Earth and the heavens collide.
And I’m learning more, too, about the field of archaeoastronomy, which looks at the ways in which the heavens have influenced the construction of monuments and structures in ancient cultures. It’s a fascinating subject – like turning my telescope around and staring back at the activity here on Earth.
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