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Gentry Hunsaker


PHYS 1040

Conversation Paper


Astronomy Conversation Paper

In this paper I will be reflecting on the results of my astronomy conversations with the

three people I chose. The three people I chose to have this conversation was with my dad, my

best friend and my older brother. I chose to my dad because he knows a little bit about

astronomy. He had to teach the astronomy merit badge to his scout group. He had to learn about

the basics of astronomy to be able to teach them. I next decided to have this conversation with

my best friend because I value his opinion and I thought it would be interesting to find out what

he knew. The last person I had an astronomy conversation was with my older brother. He has

taken an astronomy class and already knows quite a bit about astronomy so I decided he would

be an awesome candidate. I chose to discuss black holes, the big bang theory, and the formation

of stars. I chose these three topics because it was something that I was interested in and thought

others would be as well.

Black Holes

When I discussed black holes with my dad I asked him a variety of questions such as,

What do you think a black hole is? He didn't know very much about black holes, he would tell

me what he thought they were, what it does, how it forms and more like that. I would then

respond and tell him what the actual answer to all of my questions were. He thinks that there is

another galaxy inside of the black hole, I thought this theory was really interesting. My dad
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thought that our sun would be able to turn into a black hole and suck the earth in but I told him

that this was not the case. Our sun is not big enough to become a black hole and even if it did

become a black hole, its gravity would stay the same and therefore, we would stay in the same


I discussed black holes with my friend. He thought that black holes were a concentration

of gravity and if you fell into one, you would be crushed. He told me that he heard somewhere

that our sun could turn into a black hole and if it did we would be sucked into it. He believes that

you cant see a black hole but it can be a portal to the other side of the universe. It could lead to

other dimensions. I told him what would happen if you fell into a black hole, that you would be

stretched out if you fell feet first. He said that black holes can move and suck things in that get in

their path.

I discussed black holes with my older brother, he told me how black hole is a spot in

space with a large gravitational pull. He said the bigger the mass, the stronger the gravitational

pull. I told him that when more and more things are sucked into the black hole, the greater its

mass gets therefore the stronger its gravity.

The Big Bang Theory

I next decided to discuss the big bang theory with my dad. He believed that the big bang

theory started from a single star that exploded and caused matter to come together to form

planets and other stars. He believes in the religious aspect of the big bang theory as well. He

believes that god had a hand in creating the universe, he believes that the big bang theory

happened the way scientist have said but just that god helped getting the process started. I

thought that theory was really interesting. I explained to my dad that the big bang happened

billions of years ago and that it started from the size smaller than an atom. I explained of the
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energy that cant be destroyed in the universe. My dad doesn't believe that time and space have

anything to do with each other and I do.

I had a conversation about the big bang theory with my friend. He believed that the big

bang theory started from a single star that exploded and made the entire universe. He believes

that god was the one who created the explosion and created everything in the universe but he

also believes in the science aspect of it. He believes they go together.

When I talked about the big bang theory with my brother he couldn't decide whether the

big bang theory started from a star or an atom. He decided by the end that it was energy that

exploded and created everything in the universe. We talked about the fabric of space and how

space is like planet lying on top of a bed sheet, the bigger the mass, the more impact its going to

have on the fabric of space.

Star Formation

The last subject that I discussed with my dad was the formation of stars. He believed that

a star forms like the big bang started. He told me how he thought a star started from a something

the size of an atom and exploded into a star. I told him about the clouds that come together to

form a star and then he decided to change his theory of how stars form. He continued to tell me

that stars can burn out and turn cold when they die. He said that stars have gravity and have the

ability to suck matter into them. He also told me that a star creates nuclear fusion and that all

stars are made of gas and molten rock.

The last subject I talked about with my friend was how stars were formed. He thought

that stars were born from clouds of gas coming together and creating an enormous amount of

energy and pressure until it compressed to a single thing. He said that a star being born is called a
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supernova and a nebula is when a star dies. A shooting star is a falling star that gets caught in a

gravitational pull according to my friend.

When I talked to my brother about stars dying he told me how he thought stars are made

up or energy and hot gas. He told me that stars never move but they can pull things towards them

with their gravitational pull. He told me we can see stars dying from earth. From there we got a

little off topic and started talking about how some people thought that the moon landing was a

hoax but I got back on topic and we talked about supernovas.

In conclusion these discussions that I had with three different people went how I thought

it would. I had the discussions in a variety of different places and at a variety of different times. I

discussed astronomy with my dad when we were out at lunch at Zupas, April 20th. Our

conversation lasted for 35 minutes. When I had the astronomy conversation with my best friend

we were at his house on April 9th. Our conversation lasted for 20 minutes. When I had the

astronomy conversation with my brother we were in his apartment on April 18th. Our

conversation lasted for 30 minutes. I did research on the three topics discussed before I met with

each of these people. The conversations followed my plan pretty well. Each of my participants

were kind of surprised that I chose them and wanted to know more about my assignment and

what was expected of them. After the discussion all three had told me that they had learned quite

a bit. I was surprised how much all three of these people already knew about astronomy. I was

learning a lot from them. If I were do this assignment again I would skip the big bang theory. It

ended up going off topic and went more to the religion side than I expected.
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Works Cited

"A Star is BornA Star is Born." The Outer Planets: A Star is Born. LASP, Aug. 2007. Web. 21

Apr. 2017.

Dunbar, Brian. "What Is a Black Hole?" NASA. NASA, 21 May 2015. Web. 21 Apr. 2017.
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Williams, Matt. "Big Bang Theory: Evolution of Our Universe." Universe Today. Fraser Cain, 18

Dec. 2015. Web. 21 Apr. 2017.