Single Status Update
So today I read a book I hadn't read in a great while, Cosmos, by a certain Carl Sagan. Personally I think it's one of the coolest books ever written, partly because I'm in love with astronomy and even if I wasn't such a fan of it, then I would still like Cosmos. It's just a really good read. Pick it up and read it today or tomorrow or some time, I guarantee you'll like it. Reading all this and that about galaxies and planets and shit got me to thinking, which can be dangerous. Here my thoughts as follows:
I love space, I think I've proved that by reading most of Cosmos today. It is so fascinating. Why is it fascinating you say? You really have to ask? Go outside on a clear night and look up, that's all you have to do. A starry night sky, with a full moon, is one of the most beautiful things you can ever see. And here's something to think about: you know how people have been talking for years and years about inventing a time machine? Space is the ultimate time machine. Why? Because we're here, and all those galaxies, stars and planets are OUT THERE - really out there. Light, as fast as it is, takes time, real time, to get here to our eyes so we can see these things. How much time? It depends. The nearest star to our sun is Proxima Centauri. It's a mere four light years. But here's the thing. A light year is at or around six TRILLION miles. Let me repeat that: six TRILLION miles. Promixa Centauri is four light years away. That comes out to about twenty four trillion miles. If New Horizons wasn't going to Pluto but was going to Promixa Centauri instead, it would take literally tens and tens of thousands of years to cross that distance. Imagine: all that blackness, all that silence, all those stars in all directions, every one of them light years and light years away. It simply breaks the human imagination to conceive of such distances and such time scales. It's scary but it's true.
Space does not fuck around when it comes to making things huge and far, far away. Take the moon as another example. It's the nearest celestial body to our Earth, but even so, it's over 240,000 miles away. If you could somehow walk up to the moon, taking a step every second (or something like that) it would take you over a decade to get to the moon. And again, it breaks the human imagination to imagine such things. When you look at an image of the Andromeda galaxy, you're not seeing that galaxy as it is right now. You're seeing as it was in the distant, distant past, over two million years ago. There are loads of galaxies, where, when their light left to begin its voyage to Earth, our Sun hadn't been born, let alone our solar system. How's that for a mind fuck? There are galaxies so far away that, even if you were to live for the next, say, five hundred years, their light would still be well, well upon its way, and so you still wouldn't see them - even after five hundred years. But five hundred years is a flash in the pan, cosmically speaking. Let's try five hundred thousand years. After all that time had elapsed, those galaxies' light would STILL be on its way here. Alright then, how about five MILLION years? That light would STILL be on its fucking way here. What I'm trying to get across is that space is absolutely positively can't deny it at all one hundred percent and then some tee totally motherfucking MASSIVE.
Oh and it's really pretty too ;)