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:


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

About Ian Mulvany

Hi, I'm Ian - I work on academic publishing systems. You can find out more about me at mulvany.net. I'm always interested in engaging with folk on these topics, if you have made your way here don't hesitate to reach out if there is anything you want to share, discuss, or ask for help with!