Sky of the West Slope – through the eyes of young people

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The future of research in astronomy and indeed our own planet Earth is in the hands of our budding young scientists.

Most amateur and professional astronomers share a similar story – having been hooked on astronomy at an early age by seeing Saturn and its rings, or another celestial object through a telescope. And many of these young people became the astrophysicists and space explorers of today.

Encouraging interest in astronomy encourages future scientists from the West Slope.

So what’s on the minds of our potential young astronomers on the Western Slope?

Seven-and-a-half-year-old Dos Rios Elementary student Amy lives up to her last name – Wise. She has been interested in astronomy and other types of science since the age of five. Photos from space taken by the Hubble Space Telescope ignited his love for astronomy.

Amy has just become the youngest member of the Western Colorado Astronomy Club. She and her dad attend meetings and in just one week she’s been on not one, but two shows on the noble subject of gravitational waves!

“I learn about the universe by watching shows like Nova. Some of my favorite episodes have been about the structure of the Milky Way and about Sagittarius A*, the black hole in our galaxy. I also love episodes about the planets.

And how does listening to Western Slope Skies on the radio help you learn more about astronomy?

“I really like Western Slope Skies. I have listened to many episodes. They are really informative and cool. They are completely understandable for young people who want to learn about astronomy.

As for what Amy is doing regarding short-term astronomy….

“My favorite astronomy experience is looking at night sky objects through telescopes. I have a reflector telescope and I like to look at Venus and Saturn. My favorite object in the night sky is the Orion Nebula.

I visited the Grand Mesa Observatory and want to visit the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City. I want to participate in stargazing events and have the chance to see new things in telescopes like galaxies. I draw pictures of the Milky Way and other space objects and one day I want to take pictures of astronomical objects. And I’m really excited to see Mars later this year.”

And as for Amy’s longer term plans….

“I would like to go into space and run a space station on the Moon. Maybe I would like to be an astrophysicist and find out what dark matter and dark energy are. The universe is like the ocean – if little is explored in it. I want to help the Earth have a better and safer future.

Amy often talks about astronomy to friends and other young people and would like to do a school show about astronomy one day.

What advice does Amy have for other young people?

“Maybe when you grow up you can be an astrophysicist or some other type of astronomer.”

Why does Amy love astronomy?

“I like astronomy because the universe is mysterious. But if we learn more about the universe, we can create a better future for Earth. »

When asked if she would rather go to the Moon or Mars, Amy replied ambitiously –

“Both!”

Western Slope Skies is produced by members of the Black Canyon Astronomical Society. This episode was written and recorded by Nancy McGuire and Amy Wise.

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