Ian Mulvany

March 4, 2021

The enduring and astonishing wonder of the universe

#astronomy #galaxies #childhood

My eight year old son had a home schooling lesson this week about astrophysics. I used to be an astrophysicist, and it's kind of burnt into my identity. The school has a week of trying to teach the children about jobs and CVs and thinking about how they might "get a job in science" - rather than encouraging their wonder, and letting them be led by their curiosity.

For the briefest moments I nearly wrote back to the school in dismay, and then remembered, it's not really the school's fault, it's all down to Michael Gove.

But in any case, it was a chance to spend half a day talking to my son about Galaxies. We played with the solar system using the amazing [Celestia app]( https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/celestia-space-simulator/id1500434829), and as we built out to the edges of the Milky Way I started explaining about the local group, and then finally talked out the Hubble Deep Field image:

image.jpeg


This, to this day, still blows me away, each speck of light a Galaxy, unbidden, floating in time, timeless and endless possibilities.