Amateur Astronomy Under The Big Sky
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  • The Astronomer

    Posted on November 17th, 2010 fredbirk 1 comment

    ‘The Astronomer’

    It appears my reputation as ‘The Astronomer’ precedes me.  Here is an example.  I was at the office of my dentist.  Everybody there knows already of my interest.  During the examination Tanya (name changed), one of the technicians, walked by and asked

    “Hey Fred, how are the stars these days?”

    Fred: “Good, they are still there”

    Later I thought I needed to amend my simplistic answer.

    F.: “Actually, somewhere out there in the vast universe some stars have exploded in the meantime, they are called novae.”

    Now Dr. Perry (name changed) is interested.

    P.: “Will the sun explode too?”

    F.: “No, it will not, it is not massive enough. But, it will toward the end of its life turn into a red giant and swell in size to the orbit of Mars and most likely consume the four inner planet including Earth.”

    P.:“Whow, when will this happen?”

    F.: “In about four to five billion years.”

    P.: “Ah, that’s good to hear, that’s a long time out.  But if ‘we’ still inhabit Earth at that time we better make sure we have left the planet.”

    F.: “We have four billion years to learn how to practice interstellar space flight”

    P.: “Yeah that is a good justification of space flight.”

    There is always an opportunity to ‘spread the word’.  I have practiced this for a long time and always enjoy it.  If we all do this kind of thing, slow but steady, we might make a tiny dent every time that we have this opportunity.

    F.B. 11-17-2010


    One Response to “The Astronomer”

    1. Yes, I agree. It is always refreshing to engage in intelligent discussion about our planet, our solar system, our universe. We need to nurture the dialog at every opportunity and encourage everyone to ask questions and engage. I believe that SMAS provides us with a forum to do just that.

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