Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick
mckitterick

science and the divine

Here's a beautiful photo of the eclipse that was visible yesterday mostly in the Middle East. This reminds me of the last one I saw, here in Lawrence, about 12 years ago. I helped the Astronomy department help the public watch the eclipse through filtered telescopes and various hand-held filters.

But one of the most magical things for me was the tiny crescent-shaped light shadows. A tree's leaves create thousands of interference lenses, so the light coming through the tree makes little crescent lights like the one in this photo rather than a smooth lighting or a set of pinpoints as usual. Same's true for shadows.

The magic held by celestial objects, revealed through various means of astronomical observation... this is what has always drawn me to astronomy and much of science. When I was an adolescent, I first experienced the divine at the altar of my telescope, late at night in the quiet dark.

So many people misunderstand science. Done properly, it brings one closer to the divine.
Tags: astronomy, religion
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