As far back as human history is recorded, there is evidence that mankind looked to the sky to help understand life on this planet. In recent history however, mankind as a whole has minimized the importance that celestial bodies play in every day life on earth. In an attempt to reengage the local community into the study of cosmology, Milford High School Sophomore Dylan Hilligoss created the Sussex County Astronomy Society Milford Branch. Helping others discover the wonders and importance of the science of the origin of the universe, Dylan brings together individuals the second Tuesday each month at Avenue Methodist Church, to discuss the role cosmology still plays in the human experience.
Dylan’s interest in cosmology grew from discussions he has continued to have with his grandfather over the years. The two look at books and videos and talk at length about their thoughts on the subject. Three years ago while at the family beach house in Broadkill Beach, Dylan and his grandfather happened to come across the Sussex County Astronomy Society and joined them as they looked at the night sky. After attending several society meetings with his grandfather, Dylan decided it was time to start his own version of the society in Milford.
“I like learning about the history of the earth and where we come from,” commented Dylan. “You realize how small we are in the universe and how much we do not know and how much we can still learn.”
According to Dylan the importance of cosmology is not just to look at fascinating events occurring in our universe but to understand our own beginnings. The discussions of the Sussex County Astronomy Society in Milford are on a myriad of topics including looking at the creation of the universe.
“The further you look out into the universe, the further back in time you are,” stated Dylan. “If you look at a galaxy two million light years away, that image is from two million years ago.”
Predications about the future of humankind can also be considered through the lens of cosmology. Dylan states that if our own Earth becomes inhabitable by man-made or natural occurrences, cosmology will point us to the possible futures of mankind.
“Our past tells us that in the Earth’s future there will be something that happens to test the future of mankind,” commented Dylan. “Cosmology and specifically astronomy will better prepare us for the future. We may be looking to visit other planets or even other solar systems.”
On Tuesday, May 13 at 6pm at the Avenue Methodist Church on Church Street in Milford, Sussex County Astronomy Society will host a scavenger hunt throughout the town of Milford to create interest for the group. Participants will be asked to perform tasks in town and collect items as they compete against other teams. The public is encouraged to participate and can contact Dylan Hilligoss at 302-339-7690 or firstname.lastname@example.org.