Wondering about wild grapes

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wondering what astronomy has done for you?

If you think that the science of astronomy hasn’t done anything for you, you have another think coming.  As you know, I have some telescopes and every once in awhile I like to look out into space.  My teachers back in grade school were predicting that when they told me to pay attention and quit gazing off into space.  So, what has all this space gazing done for you?  Well I am going to tell you about some of them.

Let’s look at Einstein first and his general theory of relativity.  Back in 1971, scientists decided to test his theory by loading cesium atomic clocks in jet airliners which flew around the world, once eastward and once westward.  I am not going into details but the experiment worked and from it the global positioning system we so much depend upon today was born.

Astronomers trying to detect signals from evaporating black holes (predicted by Stephen Hawking) developed equipment that turned into today’s wireless internet.  Now, I bet all of you have used these two systems and some of us (me included) depend on them a lot.

There are many more technologies that we use and take for granted today that was born from astronomy or our small ventures into space.  Some have been very helpful in the medical world.  A study of the Sun’s chemical composition turned into a treatment for cancer and in constructing the James Webb Space Telescope, technology was created to enable physicians to optically map your eye almost instantly instead of hours like it used take.  So you see, the spin offs of astronomy have affected everyone.  There are many more advances to its credit, but I have things to do.  So you all have a great day now, you hear?


  1. Shoot, that's just the tip of the iceburg... Just check out some of the stuff we gotten from NASA programs

    NASA Spin offs in everyday life

  2. I took an astronomy class this semester and expected to be amazed. Well I was and then I wasn't. I was by the subject however, the way the teacher set up the actual work: homework, exams, discussion boards (online class); I became so frustrated that the subject no longer holds that fascination for me. I'm hoping it will come back after this class is done. Now I gotta go take an exam that has nothing in common with the text and try to figure out just what he is asking....

  3. I hadn't thought about star gazing in this light, but it's certainly an interesting outlook!

    You have a great day!

  4. Ben, a lot more came from NASA than from just the astronomy part.

    Kellie, astronomy is a lot more fun when you go out at night and look through a telescope. The first few time, make sure there is someone who can show you the ropes. Even better, find a local star party or astronomy club.

    HJ, actually you don't want a lot of light when star gazing (grin).