INTRO: Preparing For Star Gazing

Edward A -

Hi there, and welcome to the first post on my blog! My name is Edward and I’m a big-time space lover! I’ve loved space since I was 9 years old. I’ve spent my free time from since then looking up into the night sky, watching YouTube videos on celestial objects in the universe, and keeping up to date on the latest space exploration news. There’s so much knowledge about the vast cosmos to explore!

However, a thought has always tickled my brain. There’s a huge distance between us and these celestial objects yet we know so much about them. Our own moon is nearly 400,000 km (240,000 mi) away from us.  Mars is 225 million km (140 million miles).  The nearest star to us is over 4 light years away from us. How is it possible to know so much about objects so far away from us? I plan to answer this question and more during my senior project!

For the next few months, I’ll be working at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with Dr. Noel Richardson and one of his graduate students to find out the process of researching astronomical objects from Earth in detail. I will specifically be researching a massive type of star called Luminous Blue Variables (LBVs). I will be utilizing the telescopes at the university to collect data and learn how to process that data in a Python program to give us a better understanding of these massive hot plasma balls. I hope that by the end of this project, I’ll be able to explain the process, data collected, and programs used to those who may not understand space in as much detail. If you’d like to learn more about my project in detail, feel free to check out my proposal here.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll enjoy this journey through the cosmos with me as much as I will!

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    Hi Edward! I find it amazing how you were able to incorporate space into your project. Personally I love looking at the night sky and star gazing, so I am super excited about your project. Just out of curiosity, Do you have a favorite star?
    I really like that your writing already seems very passionate about your project. What makes Luminous Blue Variables special compared to other stars?
    My favorite star has to be Methuselah because it's so strange. It's one of the oldest known stars and it's possibly older than the universe somehow. I'm also intrigued by Betelgeuse because I want to see it go supernova already xD
    Luminous Blue Variables are super massive, slightly unstable, and hot stars that can have a large range of fluctuations of their luminosity. They're very solar active and can even eject large amounts of mass at once. Thank goodness we don't live near one :P

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