I have made a number of references in my posts to the morning stars who sang at the birth of creation. Now, according to this Telegraph article, astronomers will be able to look at the first stars and to explore what the first cosmic ocean was like in the distant past. What a time to be alive!
Lord Martin Rees, the astronomer Royal and a professor of cosmology at the University of Cambridge, added: “Lofar is the first of these next generation telescopes and a pre-cursor to the Square Kilometre Array, which will spread have a huge collecting area.
“Telescopes like this can help to produce a three-dimensional map of the ionised and unionised hydrogen in the universe, which is a rich source of information about what happened during these early stages of the universe when the cosmic dark ages ended and the first stars formed to light the universe up again.”
If you are searching for a good book on cosmology, I would recommend Lord Martin Rees’ Before the Beginning: Our Universe and Others. Just under 300 pages, this book is loaded with facts. I found it to be a fascinating introduction to cosmology.
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Nobel Prize winner and the Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, is quoted on the last page of the above book before the Notes:
The pursuit of science has often been compared to the scaling of mountains, high and not so high. But who amongst us can hope, even in imagination, to scale the Everest and reach its summit when the sky is blue and the air is still, and in the stillness of the air survey the entire Himalayan range in the dazzling white of the snow stretching to infinity? None of us can hope for a comparable vision of nature and of the universe around us. But there is nothing mean or lowly in standing in the valley below and awaiting the sun to rise over Kinchinjunga.
Sometimes, you must stand in the valley in order to see the sky above the snowy peaks. Above the sky are the heavens. Our gaze will encompass the vastness beyond our reach.
Perhaps, if we listen carefully, we will hear the first songs of creation through this array of radio telescopes. Now is the time to think about our place in the cosmos. However, we should ponder first the lost dreams of Aidenn. For it is there we begin our cosmic journey.
G. D. Williams © 2011