Thursday, December 4, 2008

The cosmos and human society

I had my final class with new material last night. I am truly saddened. I loved this course and the teacher was so passionate and energetic on the subject. If I were 18 and I took this class I would be on my way to becoming an Astrophysicist. The final lecture last night was like a movie cliffhanger of real life. We were just getting started on the cool stuff about the universe, planets, solar system, galaxies and such and the course is over? No!!! We just touched on each subject, but I want more information! I want answers!

Some cool items (well, I think they are anyway):

-The sun is comprised of mostly hydrogen and helium with other elements. Stars are born from the dense collection of matter in space (matter after a star as blown up etc) , some if the chunks of other stars were absorbed by our sun. Like iron for example. The cool thing is. We are in fact part of nature and the universe. What do we have a little bit of within each cell of our bodies? Iron.

-The elements Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen - all crucial to life - are found in roughly the same proportions in comets and human beings


-It takes 8 minutes for the light from our sun to hit us. So the light you see happened 8 minutes ago. If the sun blew up, it would take 8 minutes to see it happen.


Then on my way home I thought....The closest galaxy to us (M83) is 15 million light years away. It is one of the closest spiral galaxies to our galaxy. We can even see it with binoculars. Within our galaxy there are billions of stars, some with their own solar systems with planets. Then think about the billions of other galaxies and their populations. Here we sit in our man made human society of Walmarts, fast cars, fashion, high society, political nonsense, work stress etc.

There's such a bigger picture out there which makes all this crap we deal with and worry about seem so insignificant. I'm not saying humanity is small in importance, it's the reality we have created that seems so silly. So far from the earth itself. People don't look beyond their cell phone, television or billboard advertisement to see the world around them. How many people look up at night to even see the stars or notice a sunset? How many people even notice the grass at their feet as they travel from their car to work? Some people complain how cold or hot it is outside when we are only outside for a brief moment in passing. I know I have. I too find myself walking around with blinders on. Perhaps that comes with adulthood. Children seem to notice everything and soak it all in. We should all act like children!

I won't be around to find out any of the answers to my questions regarding deep space and other life. Heck, I know why they have not made contact with us yet. Think about it. If they can get to us via the speed of light or faster (folding space, wormholes) then they must be perhaps millions or more years advanced than us...so we must seem pretty primitive to them. Why bother, we would not understand.

Speaking of the insignificant. After absorbing all that cool information on life and the cosmos, I get to go back to work and shuffle paperwork all day.

I love that Bella is interested in Space and the Universe. I hope she keeps her curiosity and fascination on life and the unknown alive and to always question, research, learn, and reflect. Never to be one sided or closed minded. I think if we get her a telescope, we both will be enjoying it together! That, or fighting over it...

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