Humans of Parkland: Matt Moss
Matt Moss is the production manager of the Parkland Prospectus, and though he’s from a small town he dreams of the stars.
Pesotum is a town about 20 miles south of Champaign, with a population of just over 500 people. Moss says that he did not enjoy growing up in a small town but that he is okay with it now.
“Going to a small school was not fun, I guess, because everybody knew everybody,” Moss says.
Now that he is out of school though he appreciates the clear skies that come with small town life.
“The best thing about living out in a small town is that you can see the stars at night,” Moss says. “I’m a big astronomy nerd, so I hate it when I’m in Champaign at night, and I can’t see the stars.”
If he could do anything, Moss would do something related to the stars and outer space.
“If I could I would be like an astronomer or an astronaut, but I don’t have the math skills for that,” he says.
Instead Moss settles for looking up at the sky in his free time and being an amateur astronomer, something he says anyone can be.
“Anybody that looks up at the stars at night is an amateur astronomer,” he says.
One skill Moss has learned from his time studying astronomy is identifying constellations.
“I can identity constellations and stars just by looking up,” Moss says. “Depending on the time of year…you’re going to see different stars.”
His favorite time of year to go stargazing is the winter, and he knows more of the stars visible then than any other time of year.
“I’m not good with summer, but I’m good with winter,” he says. “For some reason the sky looks so much clearer to me in the winter—when it’s not snowing.”
Generally considered an autumn constellation, the Andromeda galaxy is still visible in the winter.
“You can see Andromeda right now, which is speeding towards us at 110 km/s,” Moss says. “It’s going to swallow us in, like, four billion years.”
Despite his love of stars Moss still wishes to move to a big city, though not being able to see the stars is one adjustment he cannot imagine.
“Even though I want to live in a big city someday, I cannot imagine living in Chicago and being like, ‘Oh, the sky is just black.’” Moss says.
One of the reasons he wants to live in big city is because of the view he could get.
“I would want a penthouse apartment, where I could go out on my balcony and look out over the city,” he says.
Moss graduated from Parkland with an associate in arts last semester. He was a writer and editor for the Prospectus before moving up his current position.