Thursday 22 July 2010

Young Astronomers

Don't ask me why, but the Young Astronomers website has taken me on as a writer. They obviously haven't spotted my secret zimmer frame! (Well, of course they haven't, I hide it behind the computer screen.)

Anyway, just to let you know my first article is up. (They interviewed me a couple of days ago and you can find that here.) I have quite a few articles in mind, but the first I chose to write about was something that had been brewing vaguely in my mind for a while - misleading words in astronomy, such as planetary nebula and indeed the Big Bang.

The Young Astronomers are the most lovely bunch of young people I've had the fortune to come across, and that's coming from someone who really enjoyed teaching (including the troublemakers!). But I do hope the grown-ups will read it as well. For one thing, it's easy to underestimate how much teenagers can understand, but we often find them up there with lots of so-called "adult" ideas - which you'll certainly be finding there on the website. For another, as the Persian poet Sa'adi wrote, "Education makes old men's hearts young again". It drives me crazy that it's so hard to get into adult education - when so many adults are much keener to learn than many younger people who are forced, unsuitably, to stay in school. I expect many of these very same younger people later do want to learn . . . when perhaps it's too late. I do hope that with the rise of the Internet, nothing need be too late any more.

Thanks to the Young Astronomers for bringing me on board, and much more for the very important work you're doing! May you inspire the young and old to reach skywards.


Codenix said...

Test comment as requested by @PenguinGalaxy

Alice said...

Thanks! For those wondering, I thought the comments may have been broken (it wouldn't be the first time).

Steph Ashley said...

the most lovely bunch of young people I've had the fortune to come across

You should fit right in then! :)

Sakib said...

Zimmer frame?!!! You look exactly 25 years old! Great that you've got more writing opportunities, great choice of first article! Personally I'm glad that planetary nebulae are called planetary nebulae, astronomy is "strange" in the fact that so many different things are named after their appearance! I love the names of planetary nebulae, the Eskimo Nebula and Medusa Nebula sound a lot more amazing than PM2-42 or M1-75! When I was a kid, I found the names of galaxies and nebulae to be really magical and evocative!

Alice said...

I'm 28, Sakib hon, and joking :-) ;-) I love mysterious names too. I'd just had this collection kind of building up in my mind for a while!