Astronomy in the newspapers, on television, and via the Internet
is a series of mysteries about the greatest of size, the astonishingly
distant, and the fantastic in power.
The subjects range from the more close at hand, suitable for
most of us to be readily involved with our eyes, binoculars, and
telescopes; and the more distant, for which years of study are
Close in space and time to us are the lunar domes and the lunar
transient events, the possibility of comets watering the earth,
meteor showers, collisions that ruined the dinosaurs and sparked
evolution, Martian water, space weather and solar activity. Most
everyday people can extend their own senses in involvement with
Specialists in astronomy go where Everyman cannot. The professionals
venture far beyond our immediate senses by using special devices
to knowledgeably study stellar giants, tiny but mighty energy
sources, gamma and x-ray bursts, explosions of stars, and great
intergalactic masses occupying immense distances within the universe.
Nowadays the amateur can still be a part of a long tradition of
assistance to the professional astronomer. This assistance is
rendered by the use of robotics for telescopes for constant observation
of inconstant objects though the amateur has for a long time assisted
or dominated in the study of variable stars. The hunt for comets
has amateurs in the majority. The resourceful amateur today uses
CCD,"go to" equipped telescopes, electronic time signals,
and various positioning, math, and database software. It is fun
and lots of it.
The professional's activities are burdened by a governance of
physics, esoteric mathematics, enormous mounds of data analysis,
and competition for use of the more glamorous scientific instruments.
It is work and lots of it.
Both amateur and professional seek a beauty in whatever aspect
of the Cosmos occupies their time. The professional's work involves
the fundamental and the exceptional in the abstract. The amateur's
fun is without need of theoretical intervention and places the
amateur as an immediate constituent during the astronomical session.
The Space Guy- Astronomy Briefly is intended for the general
public. The site attempts to inform visitors to its URL about
the knowledge both amateur astronomers and professional astronomers
have acquired or are acquiring.