Australian astronomers announced an astonoshing new discovery this week. A team led by astronomers at The Australian National University has discovered the oldest known star in the Universe, which formed shortly after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.
The discovery has allowed astronomers for the first time to study the chemistry of the first stars, giving scientists a clearer idea of what the Universe was like in its infancy.
"Science is the key to our future, and if you don't believe in science, then you're holding everybody back. And it's fine if you as an adult want to run around pretending or claiming that you don't believe in evolution, but if we educate a generation of people who don't believe in science, that's a recipe for disaster. We talk about the Internet. That comes from science. Weather forecasting. That comes from science. The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong." -Bill Nye
We see it on every astronomy site we go to "Join your local astronomy club to get involved in star parties and astronomy in your area." I think "My area, what astronomy club?" Last year I drove almost two hours to Alachua County Florida to enjoy a star party the Alachua Astronomy Club had put together. I was not disappointed. As soon as I got out of my car my eyes were fixed upward where tears of joy overwhelmed me as I gazed upon billions of stars I could never see where I live. Telescopes were lined up with lines of people waiting to get a glimpse of the cosmos. As I listened to conversations around me I felt as if every thought in my head got out and became the people around me. Every conversation was filled with deep questions about the universe.
2013 was a great year for astronomy. I want to thank our two admins Vaibhav Stargazer and Pavlína Fryszová for putting together each week This Week in Astronomy. Together we want to share our favorite astronomy news stories from each month of 2013. What new wonders will we discover in the next year? What amazing cosmic journeys are waiting to happen? Happy New Year from Stellar Eyes!
"Somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known!" -Carl Sagan
When you're in love, you want to tell the world. I've been in love with science, so it seems the most natural thing in the world to tell people about it. Perhaps the depth of love can be calibrated by the number of different selves that are actively involved in a given relationship. -Carl Sagan
"In physics the truth is rarely perfectly clear, and that is certainly universally the case in human affairs. Hence, what is not surrounded by uncertainty cannot be the truth." ― Richard P. Feynman
"We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet." ― Stephen Hawking