As the day dies, on the promontory of a mountain at the forefront of the universe, a dome opens. In the reddish opening is a telescope with unusual dimensions. Moments later, the giant’s bright eye comes to life, looking towards infinity. Mechanically we follow his movements and a question comes naturally to our mind: What hides the firmament?
There was a time when this question was debated from a strict philosophical point of view, even metaphysical. But since the man “perched on the shoulders of giants” as Newton says his investigations allowed him to access the back of the cosmic scenery. These discoveries allowed the scientists to deduce a series of theories that explain somehow – rather well – the behavior of Nature and the cosmos.
Despite our sometimes very austere laws, we can only marvel at our understanding of the spectacle of the Universe. We delight in its beauty and somewhere in us, we preserve this look of the poet.
Astronomy remains a science of adventure. We travel almost half of the Earth to observe an asteroid occultation in an atoll of Polynesia; it is sinking in the Antarctic continent to collect meteorites untouched by chemical waste; stratospheric ballooning to witness an exceptional solar chromospheric eruption in ultraviolet radiation; we emigrate to the desert of New Mexico to listen to the music of the stars and to discover another form of life in the universe; we settle on snowy summits at more than 4000 m of altitude to carry out a good program of astronomy. Finally, we do not hesitate to put our men on the Moon, cameras fists!
This adventure of heaven and space is current. Thanks to telescopes, radio telescopes and especially satellites in orbit around the Earth pointed to regions of the sky inaccessible from the ground, the astronomer allowed himself to imagine that everything was now accessible to him and his thirst for knowledge in was increased tenfold.
Sometimes after more than a century of questioning, investigation and analysis, comparing his results with those of researchers in other disciplines, the astronomer finally discovered what formed the Meteor Crater and the Crab Nebula, he has understood the true nature of comets, he knows the past of the solar system and knows that the Sun will eventually go out, he knows how to interpret the rhythm of pulsations of the heart of pulsars, he understands the music of the aurora and the whistles of the geomagnetosphere of Jupiter, he knows that star Eta Carina is suffering and will eventually explode, he observed brightly colored nebulae and hotter than the surface of the Sun, he saw a primitive galaxy older than 13 billions of years, stars shining like a hundred thousand suns (Pistol), he saw storm winds on Mars that raised sand at over 500 km / h, cyclones on Jupiter as vast as the Earth he discovered exop lanets on which perhaps flows liquid water and even discovered a diamond star (V886 Centaurus)!