What we do know, and what we can assert without hesitation, is that the universe had a beginning. The universe continues to evolve. And yes, every one of our body’s atoms is traceable to the big bang and to the thermonuclear furnaces within high-mass stars that exploded more than five billion years ago. We are star dust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out – and we have only just begun.
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON
Why ponder the Universe?
Yea sure. The universe has always been there. Or so at least it seems. I want you to subdue your inflated ego and REALLY try to conceptualize that amount of time. Go ahead and give it real thought. Alright, now try to imagine…roughly 13.8 billion years. I’ll let that sink in a moment while you sit there, humbled and looking mighty dumbfounded like, Sloth.
Literally since the dawn of time itself, the universe has been incredibly busy expanding. The omnipresent force we call Gravity, has been bending light and the very fabric of space-time. Pulling stars together to form galaxies and unique planets. (Inter) Stellar clouds of gas and space dust called Nebulae hold a key part in the maternal role of birthing and creating stars so they too can join the cosmic light show spanning the heavens and eternity, re-defining our perspective of what immortality is. The largest known star ever recorded in the known universe, UV Scuti, has been predicted by scientists to be equivalent to 5 billion of our Suns. 5 billion Suns. Although UV Scuti has reshaped what’s possible with stars of its sheer mass and caliber, it will meet its inevitable starry death adoring the night sky with a beautiful explosion called a Super Nova, spreading its chemical elements throughout the galaxy. While our solar system has one lonely and somewhat average star, but out in the vast cosmos some planets with horse-shoes shoved so far up there black holes are lucky enough have a binary star system where they’ve been gifted two stars, with the luckiest of the bunch having a triple star system. In our little corner, the Milky Way, we’re home to approximately 200 million stars and an unknown amount astronomical bodies like planets because they’re actually quite difficult to find due to the interfering luminescence of well, stars. Rotating quarterly on a billion years around a colossal black hole the Milky Way creeps towards another one of its full revolutions. Some theories believe the cause of Earths annual ice ages are linked to our solar systems location in one of the Milky Ways’ tendrils. The universe has been growing exponentially all the while maintaining a lead similar to Usain Bolt running the 100m dash, and every now and then it takes a proverbial dump on man-kinds self claimed understanding of relativistic physics, quantum mechanics, and mathematics. Which by the way, have yet to be categorized into a general theory of everything.
Yea sure that’s kinda like whatever and all, but what has the universe ever done for me? I sometimes find my self asking why the universe has yet to dedicate a gaseous cloud to my sole being, made entirely of alcohol. Simply acknowledging the assholery I bring to the table (probably because people’s minds would collapse under such a euphoric feeling and frankly well… you’d die). So why would I ponder its existence…
A wise astrophysicist once said that “The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you”. And well, it probably doesn’t. In fact, it still doesn’t make sense to astrophysicists, theoretical physicists, and curious minds worldwide. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever ponder the laws that govern it and what holds it all together, how it came to be, or even our place in it. Our great ancestors once knew our sky in a way we never have. Using the sky as a calendar by tracking the summer and winter solstice, or by using the stars as a celestial map. Inquisitive minds combined with wandering eyes, held by heads tilted and looking upwards have been scanning the night sky for centuries. Staring up and gazing into infinity as the stars ignite themselves each and every night as they burn in all their chaotic glory. Since the early 17th century break-through of Galileo’s telescope, the general understanding we’ve accumulated over the ages have allowed scientists and inventors to manipulate the governing laws of nature, advancing our technology more and more, with no foreseeable end given a decent amount of time. These technological advancements push the boundaries of what we’re capable of as a species. NASA, being the clever and capable people that they are, have sent multiple figments of Earth and Earthly relics out and directly into this seemingly lonely universe. Using the gravitational forces of neighboring planets, NASA managed to slingshot a few pods into the cosmos, named Pioneer and Voyager. Containing Elvis records, the layout of our solar system including our position in the Milky Way, the structure of an atom, and the probable eerie sound of a human heart beat to unacquainted ears.
With all that being said, these “advancements and discoveries” have fallen victim to our ape-ish tendencies like fighting and war, birthing ideas like atomic bombs…but we’ll avoid that conversation…
Have our natural curiosities failed us recently? Are we so distracted in today’s society that we’ve forgotten to look up and wonder? Where has our curiosity taken us recently?
It’s taken us to the couch, wondering what happens next on Bachelor in Paradise. I’m not insinuating anything by that (or am I), simply…stating that we shouldn’t forget to pay attention to the unfolding story of the universe. This story is one of the greatest narratives ever told, with an ending nowhere to be seen on the galactic horizon…. other than the Big Crunch. But we won’t talk about that just yet.
To all y’all who watch Bachelor in Paradise….