Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog 7: The Science Behind Nature

Sunset at Maumee Bay, OH
According to Carlson one needs scientific knowledge to appropriately appreciate nature. Although I believe there are many different ways to experience the natural world, I can’t deny that having some scientific information enhances the experience when viewing any given landscape. I found this to be true after taking a class in astronomy. I’ve always found sunsets to be particularly beautiful. Without any scientific knowledge one can still be in awe of the spectacular display of color. However, when I learned the reason for the red hues is due to the fact that when the sun is low in the sky its light is passing through more of the atmosphere, therefore, both the blue and red light becomes scattered. As whereas during the daytime the light passes through less atmosphere, meaning less a chance for particles to scatter, and because blue light scatters easily that is what color the sky appears. After obtaining this knowledge, I began to look differently at the common sunset. It is as if I now value the complexity of the seemingly simple beauty. It could be somehow related to the science of relationships. The more you know about someone the more you will appreciate or depreciate them. The more you know about the natural world the more you will appreciate or depreciate its beauty.

The Moon, Venus, and Jupiter

Similarly, the starry sky always appeared interesting to me. However, now that I have taken the class it takes on a whole new meaning. For example, last night the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter were all aligned in a triangle shape. If I had not known, I would have simply thought these two solar objects were just bright stars near the moon. Although, because I have studied these fascinating planets, the fact that the small, bright specks in the sky were such a short visible distance away from the moon it made the experience all the more meaningful. 

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