Why Care About Astronomy?

Babak Tafreshi (TWAN), ESO Ultra HD Expedition

The Milky Way seen above the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory. Image Credit: Babak Tafreshi / ESO

I need to get something off my chest. A month or so ago I was sitting in a classroom surrounded by 10 peers. For the first time this semester we had the opportunity to spend the entire day discussing astronomy. And I was thrilled to dive into that brilliant subject, which I have adored for most of my 26 years.

But it didn’t take long before the day turned sour. Most of my classmates touched on one common theme: why should we care about astronomy when it has no practical applications? It’s a concern I have seen time and time again from students, museum guests, and readers alike.

So dear world, here is why you should care.

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© Shannon Hall for Universe Today, 2014. |
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Meteoric Evidence Suggests Mars May Have a Subsurface Reservoir

According to recent findings, the water that once existed on Mars' surface could be found underground. Credit: Kevin Gill

According to recent findings, the water that once existed on Mars’ surface could be found underground. Credit: Kevin Gill

It is a scientific fact that water exists on Mars. Though most of it today consists of water ice in the polar regions or in subsurface areas near the temperate zones, the presence of H²O has been confirmed many times over. It is evidenced by the sculpted channels and outflows that still mark the surface, as well as the presence of clay and mineral deposits that could only have been formed by water. Recent geological surveys provide more evidence that Mars’ surface was once home to warm, flowing water billions of years ago.

But where did the water go? And how and when did it disappear exactly? As it turns out, the answers may lie here on Earth, thanks to meteorites from Mars that indicate that it may have a global reservoir of ice that lies beneath the surface. (…)
Read the rest of Meteoric Evidence Suggests Mars May Have a Subsurface Reservoir (496 words)


© mwill for Universe Today, 2014. |
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