The benefits of astronomy for our world

Most people don’t care too much about space, because unless it lets us go to Mars or wield lightsabers, then it’s up in space and we ground dwelling humans have far better things to do. I know I have better things to study about than what’s above my head.

However, the study of the stars doesn’t just have to do with what’s above us, advancements up in the stars can and have affected the terrestrial life of humans, and some can even argue we wouldn’t be the humans that we are today without them.

For one thing, astronauts inspire competition, and the space race that caused the first moon landing was an example of the type of completion astronomy inspires in people. Sometimes you just need a rival to push you that little bit further.

 

Modern technology

Some people have said that the tech in a current iPhone is the same amount of tech used to launch the moon mission, and they are right. Most of the technology in the iPhone wouldn’t be possible without the mission to the moon.

The camera of the iPhone is called a charge coupled device, which was first created for astronomy purposes before becoming cameras. Computer languages such as Forth, which is used as a tracker for packages, was created for a telescope and even certain types of film used by the medical industry were created to look at the sun.

GPS and medicine

The satellites that track GPS movements often use the stars and other space-based bodies to keep positions accurate. In addition medicine technology often takes cues from the space telescopes in order to solve the mysteries of the human body.

For example, medical tools that produce images put their findings together into one large image, and space telescopes do the same thing. The cleanliness when building a telescope has also been adopted by the medical community in order to keep their equipment sterile.  

X-rays

When I say X-rays, people think of dentist offices, doctor’s appointments, and airplane security but never space. But space is often the starting point for X-ray technology, and many of the scanners and cameras designed to scan the night sky are aimed at luggage instead.

X-rays were used in telescopes, and often, most items in space give off x-rays that scientists can track. This tracking often leads to new discoveries of celestial bodies that people didn’t know existed before.

A bigger impact than we thought

The science and engineering that goes into almost every aspect of astronomy also trickles its way down into our daily lives and helps to create things as common as our phones or a GPS system, and without the advances in astronomy, how many current discoveries just wouldn’t exist?