The big book
December 10, 2012
When I was around eight years old, my parents got me a huge, stiff-paged cardboard book about space. I loved flipping through it, looking at how huge the solar system was. At the fringes of the solar system beyond Pluto, there was a supposed "Planet X", a planet bigger than Jupiter that we had yet to discover. I was skeptical, but it intrigued me. The size of the universe, explained by my mom as being "essentially infinite", really scared me. It interested me, but terrified me at the same time. I hadn't yet made the connection between that book and the night sky, that was to come when I was around thirteen years old when I began watching various YouTube videos about space. A friend showed me Symphony of Science, and that's when I finally learned about Carl Sagan. I read his books and watched the video listed, and the scale of everything finally opened up to me. There was no going back. When I grow up, I want to study the universe and become a science popularizer like him and Neil deGrasse Tyson so I can help show people how amazing the universe is and share my love for it.
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.