When I was young I always wondered about life, where we came from and what else was up there. I used to sit and watch out the window after dark in the winter gazing at all the stars, wondering why some looked so much different than others. One evening I saw a star shooting across the sky slowly leaving a huge trail behind it and i quick ran and got the family to come look at the falling star. I guess I was a little strange, and always have been. I used to always play outdoors while the rest of the family stayed in doors, year round.
After I grew to adulthood it didn’t change much, I spent most of my time outdoors at work and out of work. My son got my interest in what’s up there with his classes on astronomy. I bought a big telescope, but could only see planets and the moon so after learning more on the subject I bought an 8″ reflector. This big telescope wasn’t for magnifying deep space but rather for collecting light and seeing what’s right there in the sky just out of our eyes ability to make out dim lights. I was shocked to see nebula being so large they would take up a good portion of the sky at certain times of the year. I was shocked to see that a lot of the stars were actually galaxies or star clusters. I could see what looked to be clouds, but there was stars in front of them, this was the milkyway galaxy. It one area is a large glow, it was the center of the milkyway. I could see the band go from one horizon all the way across to the opposite, and away from the cloudy band is where the galaxy lay in deep space.
I read enough about astronomy and physics that I could recognize what many of the things were that I was seeing. Once I learned these, it is for life, I can always look up in the sky and recognize what I am seeing, which changes depending on the time of year.
In the winter is the greatest objects to view, you can see the orion nebula rising in the east, the huge red and blue stars were giants that could explode at anytime, and if this happens in our lifetime it will be light even in the night for some time. The stars are wide apart, but they are in the same nebula. This nebuala came from a giant star that already exploded and new stars are being born inside of it. You can even see this with binoculars. that great nebula that you surely have seen photos of is right there every evening if you just take a look. Also coming up in the same area is the 7 sisters, an old nebula where the stars have been born for much longer. In the summer surely you have seen the big and little dipper, well this is deep space where hubble telescope gets all its deep space photos of countless galaxies and quasars (young galaxies). Looking south east you will see a large smudgy star, that would be the largest and closest galaxy andromeda and it is heading toward us at 35,000 miles per second. Some day it will collide with the milkway and pass right on through before gravity takes hold and it could form one galaxy from both. Looking north you will see the north star, it doesn’t move as the earth spins round at night, that’s how they used it to navigate ships at night. All the stars around it circle around but it stays in place because it is straight up at our north axes.
Many answers that man has learned are available for anyone who wonders, but unfortunately very few people have any interest at all.