The galaxy is expansive, dark, unknown. It seems so distant and far away, yet it is a massive system that literally bounds all of us together with each other, the planets, stars, moons, even intergalactic dust, gas and cosmic rays. Maybe even other life forms. But in this mystery and darkness we find curiosity and light. The galaxy makes us feel scared and excited, innovative, adventurous and dangerous all at once — this mix of feelings making the galaxy even more intriguing to the human race.
But more importantly, we were inspired by our own personal hero: David Bowie, the original Starman.
How best to understand the galaxy, you ask? You can look at it through the lens of a telescope at the Clinton B. Ford Observatory, and use physics and photometry to discover the secrets of the universe (More Than A Telescope, page 23). You can study the alignment of the stars and planets and how it affects our daily lives (Written in the Cosmos, page 18). You can look at the galaxy through the lens of religion, searching for answers in the texts and tenets of the world’s major faiths (Realms of Spirituality, page 21). Or you can put your imagination to the task, like our local starman Rod Serling, who used the supernatural to talk about issues here on earth through The Twilight Zone (Down To Earth, page 29). There are a million ways to look at the millions of stars that make up our Milky Way Galaxy — and you can look for a million years without ever finding all the answers.
But the question we want the answer to most? In the words of David Bowie, “Is there life on Mars?”