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Like climbing a mountain, the journey into astronomy requires effort, but the view from the top is amazing to behold. 3 4 Chapter 1 Why Learn Astronomy? 1 The place where we reside in the universe— our cosmic address: Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Group, Virgo Supercluster. We live on Earth, a planet orbiting the Sun in our Solar System, which is a star in the Milky Way Galaxy. The Milky Way is a large galaxy within the Local Group of galaxies, which in turn is located in the Virgo Supercluster.

Away from the smog and glare of our cities, however, the patterns and rhythms of the sky are as easy to see today as they were in ancient times. 12) and the planting and harvesting of the crops.

The answers we are finding to these questions are often far more wondrous than our predecessors could have dreamed. They are changing not only our view of the cosmos, but our view of ourselves as well. Glimpsing Our Place in the Universe Most of us have a permanent address—street number, street, city, state, country. It is where the mail carrier delivers our mail. But let’s expand our view for a moment. We also live somewhere within an enormously vast universe. What then is our “cosmic address”?

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