Your earliest fascination may have started unawares when you were a young child. On a fine, warm summer’s night, you were allowed to spend a little extra time out yonder in the family backyard. Your father was around, and it seemed as though his fascination for any possible theories of the universe ran a lot deeper than yours. Perhaps there were things he knew that you did not. And so you proceeded to ask him the obligatory questions. Because you were so awestruck, and you had given up trying to count them yourself, you thought you would ask your father in the meantime.
Daddy, just how many stars are there in the night sky. You said ‘night sky’ because at that point, you had no inkling that there was anything such as a universe. And you were a little startled or surprised at your daddy’s answers. It only seemed to start making sense to you once he proceeded with his best possible explanation. Son, I really have no idea just how many stars there are in the universe. Quite possibly thousands, we have no way of telling. You see son, just like babies are born every day, and old folks pass away, there are all these new stars being born while many others just disappear, like a candle flame being extinguished.
It was the first time you heard that there was any such thing as a universe. So, at the first opportunity, you proceeded to your school’s library to find out more. It was heavy, confusing reading indeed, but the pictures were rather pretty, but nowhere near as pretty as the stars you saw one fine summer’s night in your backyard when you were just a young kid, hungry to find out more about the growing universe.