Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join ASA or sign up
Sign In


Forgot your password?

Haven't registered yet?

Calendar

11/20/2014 » 12/14/2014
The de Chardin Project, Toronto, ON

1/7/2015 » 1/9/2015
“Science and Religion in the Local Church,” Cambridge, England

1/13/2015
“Identity, self-esteem and the Image of God,” Cambridge, England

1/17/2015
Agriculture: Science & Christian Ethics, Paris, France

2/7/2015
2015 Winter Day Conference - So Calif Christians in Science

CWIS: Christian Women in Science
Group HomeGroup Home Blog Home Group Blogs
CWIS is an affiliate of the American Scientific Affiliation and is open to all interested Christian Women in Science.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: CWIS  Lynn Billman  STEM  Ruth Bancewicz  science education  astronomy  biology  ASA  CWIS Board  Jennifer Wiseman  Karen McReynolds  Mary Anning  physics  Ada Lovelace  Alice C. Linsley  American Association for the Advancement of Scienc  Amy Julia Becker  Amy Simpson  Anges Giberne  Archaeology  Arden Wells  Bible  Biblical Anthropology  chemistry  Christa Koval  climate change  computers  CWIS goals  CWIS logo  Dorothy Boorse 

Bronwen Todd: Future Astronomer?

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Thursday, January 02, 2014



Hi.


My name is Bronwen. I am seven years old. I am a girl. I would like to be a Space Scientist when I grow up. I am interested in this because I am in love with science! I love science because it is very interesting and awesome. I would like to explore outer space so I can discover and name some planets.  I wonder how many planets are not named yet. I bet 100’000’000’000! Well, probably more.


I would like to learn how fast the earth moves. I want to learn if oxygen can be made in space. I know that the universe is super large and that it is still expanding like a balloon that you blow up.


Another reason that I think it is important to study space is because we can learn about the history of the universe.


My family loves science too. We read science books, watch science shows, and even tell science stories. I was talking about this report earlier to my family and they told me I should write this down.


I hope that some girls my age will read this and get interested in science.



Bronwen Todd


Tags:  astronomy 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

A Quaker Astronomer Reflects

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dr Ruth Bancewicz

 

As a young child I detected the cosmic microwave background – the radiation left over from the Big Bang. That doesn’t mean I was a child prodigy, it just shows that we had an old fashioned dial TV. About 10% of the static in between channels is caused by the remnants of that first explosion. I am staggered that even a five year old can detect the whisper of the universe’s origins.

The Astronomer Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell shared this fact during her presentation at the Wesley Methodist church as part of their Science Meets Faith lecture series this month. It was a fascinating talk, and she was very honest about her own faith and how her science had affected her beliefs.

In the beginning, said Bell Burnell, all of space, matter and energy was contained in a space smaller than a grain of sand. Then time began with bang, and space unfurled like a new leaf from its bud. As space expanded and the radiation from the big bang cooled, energy converted into mass and particles formed. After millions of years, those particles came together and began to form stars: immense flaming balls of gas fuelled by nuclear fusion reactions.

The first stars were made of hydrogen and helium, and when they had burnt themselves out they exploded, scattering their waste products across the universe. Those waste products included new elements, and when our own third generation star was formed there was enough carbon, oxygen and other elements around it to form rocky planets like Earth, and for life to develop.

These vast timescales always send my mind reeling. Bell Burnell said there is a sense of awe when she does Astronomy but you can’t think about the vast size and history of the Universe all the time, or you wouldn’t be able to function normally!

Astronomers noticed a long time ago that the Universe is still expanding. What they found more recently is that is the very distant galaxies are now much further away than expected. The expansion of Space is speeding up, and no one is quite sure why. When the galaxies eventually accelerate away from each other faster than the speed of light, everything outside of our galaxy will be invisible. So in a few billion years, we will appear to be alone in the universe.

This is a pretty bleak picture, and it gets bleaker when you realise that eventually all the hydrogen will be used up, having been converted to other elements, and no new stars will be able to form. There will only be black holes left. The long-term prospects for humanity are poor. The short-term prospects are also poor if you step outside a space ship without the right protective gear! The Universe is – outside of the thin atmosphere of our own planet – a deadly place.

So where is hope? Jocelyn is a Quaker, and it was interesting to hear how she made sense of this scenario. I didn’t agree with everything she said, but it was good to hear someone taking the history of the universe seriously when thinking about God’s character. She said that God either isn’t able or chooses not to be in day-to-day control of the world, but being present before God in worship is an encounter ‘beyond words’ that puts things in perspective.

I am unwilling to share more of what Bell Burnell said about her faith, partly because her lecture was not recorded and made publicly available, and partly because she made a point of saying that her thinking is still evolving. She did use a number of poems to explain her feelings, and I think this one by Michael Leunig reflects the tone of what she said very well.

 

Love is born with a dark and troubled face

When hope is dead

And in the most unlikely place

Love is born:

Love is always born

 

Source:  Science and Belief


Tags:  astronomy  Ruth Bancewicz 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Focus on Jennifer Wiseman

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Sunday, November 17, 2013


 
 

Jennifer J. Wiseman is an astronomer and a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation. She holds a bachelor's degree in physics from MIT and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Harvard. After research fellowships at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the Johns Hopkins University, she joined NASA in 2003.

Dr. Wiseman discovered periodic comet 114P/Wiseman-Skiff while working as a research assistant in January 1987. It was discovered on two photographic plates that had been taken on December 28, 1986, by Brian A. Skiff of Lowell Observatory. Wiseman and Skiff confirmed the comet on January 19, 1987. Comet 114P/Wiseman–Skiff is believed to have been the parent body of the first meteor photographed from Mars.


Jennifer Wiseman is chief of the ExoPlanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory in the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA Goddard Space.

Jennifer Wiseman's affection for astronomy began with late-night stargazing walks with her parents on their Arkansas farm. Besides working as an astrophysicist, Jennifer is a public speaker and one of the country's top leaders on science policy. She has written here about how ASA members can help young Christians in the sciences. 
 

Tags:  astronomy  Jennifer Wiseman 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)