Newcomer (Score: 60)
Yk Pao School
From the formation of stars to their clustering patterns, astronomy fascinates me because of what it reveals about the principles of science and our place in the universe. Its coherence and cosmic scale help me see the grandeur of time and the smallness of humans, while a seemingly minor observation can serve as evidence for a universal theory. Particularly, studying the topic of star clusters has engrained in me that we are children of the stars – every atom in our bodies was produced in the fusion crucibles of the stars, or in the turbulent death of supernovae. Outside of astronomy proper, literature, especially absurdist literature, has allowed me to view my own life and society through a more universal lens. When viewed from a cosmic scale, every human activity – love, hate, war, construction, social movements – appears bizarre but mesmerizing, like those of ants. Absurdist novelists like those of Albert Camus and Franz Kafka have broadened my scope and added a philosophical dimension to my understanding of astronomy, modern science, and the quest for ultimate meaning.