Seasalt words: Look up by Sarah Cruddas

In this month’s Book Club read, space journalist, astrophysicist and author Sarah Cruddas encourages us to raise our eyes and wonder at the universe all around us.

This season, we have been influenced by artists who drew on the beauty of the world around them. We’re lucky enough to often find ourselves looking out to sea, or even at a stunning setting sun, but we were excited to talk to Sarah and discover more of the wonders and mysteries of the night sky. Enjoy an exclusive video of her reading a favourite section for her new book, Look Up: Our story with the stars, below, and read on for our interview.

“Looking up at the night sky is like looking out of the window of our Earth. Cornwall is an incredibly beautiful part of the world, and has plenty of great dark sky areas, enabling us to get the best possible peak out of that window.” – Sarah Cruddas

Hello Sarah – can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi there! I’m Sarah Cruddas I’m a space journalist, TV host, author and global thought leader in the commercial space sector. I have a background in astrophysics and my passion is to inspire as many people as possible about why space matters.

You have taken great interest in your career in studying the world around you. What in your life inspired this curious nature within you?

I honestly cannot remember a time when I haven’t cared about space. My first memory is of looking up at the Moon. I guess you could say I was just born with this overwhelming curiosity, one that has been fuelled by looking up and wondering what else is out there. Until we can all explore space, exploring Earth is the next best thing.

Tell us about your experiences of visiting Cornwall

I was lucky enough to see the 1999 eclipse from Cornwall, standing in a field near Truro. The clouds parted at just the right moment − an incredible experience!

I’ve visited Cornwall countless times, as I used to holiday in Truro most summers as a child. Some of my fondest memories are of running over sand dunes, bodyboarding, visiting the seal sanctuary in Gweek and of course eating lots of Cornish ice cream and cream teas.

What inspired you to write Look Up: Our Story with the Stars?

I wanted to share why space exploration matters so much and show how so many aspects of our modern lives are connected to space. I also wanted to use the stories of some of the little-known pioneers of space exploration to inspire readers in their own lives, just as these stories have inspired me. Most of all, I wanted to encourage people to step away from screens and look up at the night sky, to feel wonder, awe and curiosity about the universe around us. Space is for everyone: all you have to do is look up.

What can the Seasalt community learn from Look Up? What will they take away from the book?

As the world has changed so much in 2020, Look Up, for me, has taken on a new meaning. The greatest lesson I would like the Seasalt community to take from Look Up is one of hope. With all that is wrong in the world this year, and the challenges we face, space gives us hope for our future. Space exploration has often shown us the best of humanity – what we can achieve when we work hard and push the limits of what is possible, and how in space, countries that are divided on Earth work together to push humanity forward into the universe and to use the vantage point space gives us to benefit all our lives on Earth. More than ever this year has shown us the value of science and I hope the Seasalt community will take comfort in the knowledge that for all the big problems we face today, there are dedicated, hard-working people working to tackle them.

Inspired by Sarah? Read her exclusive piece for Seasalt Friends on star gazing as the seasons change.

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