For my free inquiry, I have chosen to explore the topic of astronomy. I decided I wanted to spend my inquiry exploring stargazing and astronomy because it’s a topic where I feel my knowledge and experience are not as strong as my interest. My grandfather loved astronomy and shared his passion with me as I was growing up. I can’t remember a time I visited my grandparents house when there wasn’t a stack of astronomy magazines on the coffee table. His interest in the topic was mostly scientific, and while that is an important element, I want to focus on some of the other aspects of the topic.
I decided to use this week’s blog post to work through some of the questions I have and consider where I might go with this inquiry. Here are a few topics I want to consider as I develop my project.
- Myths and Legends: Where did the constellations get their names and where do the myths about these characters come from? Do different cultures have different stories about the stars? How have these myths been adapted into other stories throughout time? Do they still resonate?
- Religion: What do people believe about the universe and how has this been influenced by what we can see in the night sky? How have astronomical discoveries challenged religious belief?
- Navigation: When and where were the stars used as a primary means of navigation? How does this type of navigation work? How might it still be useful in light of modern technology?
- The History of Astronomy: How did our understanding of astronomy develop based on scientific discovery? How did this change what people believed about the world? What historical factors have influenced the drive and perhaps resistance to explore space?
These topics are all interrelated of course, and I anticipate that I may generate more questions as I continue with my inquiry. I’d also like to document my own experience with observation whenever the sky is clear enough. My overall goal is to learn as much as I can about this topic to ultimately be able to draw some meaning from what I can see and observe with my own eyes.