Get That Life: How I Became an

How to be an astrophysicist?

Astrophysics / October 8, 2019

14316892_10153669019917364_5770643014236425131_nHannah Dalgleish
Stellar Cluster Group
The Harmony

So who is astrophysics girl? Upon first glance people often assume that she studies some kind of arts subject, and is a vegan. To her delight, she will deny both of these accusations, resulting in expressions of horror and immediate recoil. She wishes that people wouldn’t be so terrified of the ‘a’ word, because astronomy really an awesome thing to chat about. Maybe she should stop talking in the third person.

I write. A lot. Maybe to compensate for the fact that I spend most of my time manipulating numbers. I remember my first travel journal, a Looney Tunes book with Tweety on it, written on my first trip abroad at the ripe old age of eight. Off I went, alone, on my first ever flight, and thus a traveller was born. That’s one great way to teach independence. Each line (or paragraph if I was feeling lazy) of the journal was written in a different colour using this really epic mechanical pencil that likely cost my parents the gold fillings in their teeth. The letter ‘a’ was written in the same way as this font because I thought it looked cool. In my teenage years I had a livejournal, back in the day of neopets when all of my friends existed only on the internet. Sometimes I blog, other times I write my journal, but usually I do both – so that I can remember what I’m supposed to be blogging about.

A lot of people ask where I found my passion for astronomy. I’ve thought long and hard about this, and it surprises me to think that the spark was ignited in the likes of a box of which the contents was a cathode ray tube. Nope, I never saw the eclipse of 1999, nor did I even notice that the stars were all different when I lived in Sydney for 6 months. I have Star Trek, Star Wars, and Stargate to thank for the initiation of my intense desire to learn about the wonders of the Universe. This led me to seek out phenomena in the real world, which only spurred me on further. I’ve been to the Arctic Circle and felt the dance of the aurora borealis; gazed at the Milky Way from the summit of Mauna Kea; slept under the full moon in the Sahara Desert; and lost my breath as meteors fell upon the sky from the mountains of Europe. The dream? To become an astronaut. First, I plan to travel every stretch of every continent, seeking out astronomy in all of its different forms.