So, why Astronomy?

Pleiades
Pleiades, or “Seven Sisters”. Taken from Creative Commons licensed material. Photo from Jim Keller (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimkster/). No changes made to the original image.

He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south. (Job 9:8-9)

When I was 8 years old, I wanted to be an astronaut.  I used to read quite a few biographies of different astronauts and dreamed of being up in the stars.

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Copyright info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Neil_Armstrong_pose.jpg

As the years went by, however, I never did get to go up there.  Life happened.  I found myself in a career helping people as a social worker and pastoral counselor.

Oh, don’t get me wrong.  Going to the moon is still written down on my bucket list.  If science creates a way for this overweight arthritic body to get up there for free (I am a social worker, after all), I’m there.  But, it isn’t likely.  So, for many years, I kept my eyes down here on Earth, looking at different sights here, getting caught up in the rat race, politics, all the usual mundane yuck.

One night, in my mid-40s, however, I looked up.  I noticed the stars again, and considered the vastness and relative timelessness of space.  I considered how caught up I had been in building my life and dealing with the problems here on Earth and forgot about how truly insignificant those problems are compared to the vastness of space, as well as the vastness of God’s love in creating the expanses of the universe.

So, I started to think about the stars again.

Later on, I happened across a listing for a local Star Party.  A Star Party is a public service provided by amateur astronomical societies to cultivate interest in astronomy.  My teen daughters were bored out of their minds one weekend, and I had read that we were expecting a meteor shower, so I invited them to a Star Party in Delaware.  We had so much fun that I kept my eyes peeled for another one.  After the second one, I certainly was hooked, and my youngest wanted to explore it with me.

I kind of went about getting involved a little backwards by starting with a telescope first (really, one should start with the naked eye to get a bearing, or at most binoculars).  However, once I did that, I fell in love with the timelessness I dreamt about as a child that I was experiencing as a father.

Oh, I’m a rank beginner.  But, I enjoy every opportunity that I do take to do this.  I’ve also found others who do this and am slowly learning about the hobby (see the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers site).

This blog will hopefully do a good job at showcasing my progress.

Reflections and Refractions on Astronomy, God, and Life

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