Thursday, May 31, 2012

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Hello!   Welcome to Light Echoes.  This blog was started as a writing exercise and an outlet for some of the things I think about a lot but don't often spend time articulating.  I hope that a lot of this stuff will be interesting to other people, but I'm also hoping to re-learn to write for fun -  it's not something I've done in a long while.

So, a little about me:  I'm a student about to graduate from Big State University with a degree in astronomy and physics.  I'm going to graduate school for astrophysics next year, at another state university.  For anonymity reasons, I'm keeping the names of these schools to myself.  My name is (obviously) not Caroline Herschel - but as an aspiring female astronomer, I admire both her work and her determination.

I am a scientist, a feminist, and a Christian.  If these sound like uncomfortable bedfellows to you, you're right:  these aren't necessarily identities that inherently get along with each other.  I've spent a lot of time negotiating the boundaries between these groups and figuring out where each of them fits into my life.  Much of the content here will deal with these identities - both individually and where they intersect.

The name of the blog comes from my favorite astronomical object:  V838 Monocerotis.  This is a variable star of more or less unknown origin, and it has a well-known light echo around it.  In addition to all of the scientific questions it provokes, it's just a beautiful object, and that's mostly what I love about it.  It's in the picture with this post - the image comes from the Hubble Space Telescope, and is available via the Wikimedia Commons.

Thanks for reading!