Friday, August 19, 2016

The TAURUS experience in One Image

The following post is written by 2016 TAURUS Scholar, Isaiah Tristan.  Isaiah spent the summer working with Dr. Brendan Bowler on the detection of host stars for free floating (or wide-orbit) planets.  Now a week out from the program's finish, Isaiah speaks here about a challenge put forth to the TAURUS scholars on day 1 of their program: to come up with a logo or icon that represented their experience and identity.  Isaiah discusses the process of coming up with the logo together, joining a simple bull with the image of a telescope.

While we were trying to create a logo, we each had our own ideas of what it should be. Some of us wanted planets, while others wanted stars or galaxies, and no matter how much we edited, we could not find something that we were all happy with. However, at McDonald Observatory, we all caught ourselves looking out towards the clear, night sky that we had only dreamed of before. Perhaps it was then, when we could hear the dome slowly rotating in the dark, that we found the common ground between us.

A telescope is something we all use, regardless of our interests or specialization in astronomy. It is a perfect representation of what brings us together, both in research and in the reason we became astronomers. It is the tool that aids us in our quest to solve mysteries, many which we have not even discovered, and it helps us to be closer to the heavenly bodies we curiously reached out for. It also acts as a medium between us and the rest of the world, as it lets us share what is out there in our vast universe with others. Telescopes will always be part of our history, and they are a part of the future we hope to build.

The bull represents us, people who were given an opportunity by you and the University of Texas to look out through the telescope and see our hopes and dreams up close.

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