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The Journey Begins
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Neil de Grasse Tyson Hi, I'm Neil de Grasse Tyson and I have the coolest job in the universe!
I'm an astronomer. As Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, I study and teach astronomy. That's the science of planets, moons, stars, galaxies, comets and other fascinating stuff.

As a kid, I used to visit the Hayden Planetarium for the star shows. I also studied the night sky with a telescope from the roof of my apartment building. I knew I would be an astronomer when I grew up.

By studying astronomy, I have learned lots of mind-boggling things.

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There are more than 700 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. The Sun is one of them.
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Around 13 billion years ago, everything in the universe was contained in a tiny ball that could fit in the palm of your hand! Almost all the atoms that make up your body were once inside stars that exploded billions of years ago. So, in a way, you're stardust!
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Astronomy is a BIG subject. It's full of gigantic objects, enormous distances, incredible speeds, and extreme temperatures. Astronomers estimate that the universe is billions of years old. The temperature inside the Sun is millions of degrees. Light from distant stars can travel for millions of years and trillions of miles before it reaches us.

Astronomers' questions are also big: "How did the universe begin?" "Is there life on other planets?" By using careful observations and tools, astronomers have learned a lot about our solar system, our galaxy and beyond.

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How have astronomer learned so much about places they can't travel to?
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