Posted on September 22, 2012
No subject outside of Literature, Art, Culture, and History has been more interesting to me than Astronomy, Cosmology, and the study of the universe as a whole. Even though these subjects are difficult, they are worlds that I’m curious about. What human does not gaze at the moon? How can we naturally not want to seek what is out there in the dark?
It is very fascinating that sometimes we seem to be so absorbed in our routines on earth, that the sky becomes an abstraction that floats somewhere up there ignored from the streets below. Maybe rain, snow, the geologists, make us look up, but is that curiosity? Space is not an abstraction. Even, if the lights that we see from distant stars come to us from distances that we may never comprehend, and we do not even know if those stars still exist, they are still part of our world.
From an incredibly short time, the quantum world, the world of the very small, became rapidly expanding, and space suddenly became very large. Eventually, carbon formed, and well, we are here now. Of course, things could have changed easily, things could have went in so many different directions, but they came together for us here.
There is a question of the clock-maker, and a question of infinite universes, but what stands pretty solid, I think, unless we are all dreaming, and in a computer world, is that we are here. So, the universe, as we know it, is our home. Scientists usually do not want to discuss what came before inflation (the Big Bang), but what I can just think about is that there was no separation. Nothing yet was different from something else; yet, we were potentiality. We were all the stars and the bug crawling on the table. So, there is a reason to look up. To see the remnants of our birth. It is a world to discover, a world that only hints at the greatness of the spaces between us. There is so much to be discovered yet, as it is theorized, our observable universe is 45.7 billion light years.
If we were constantly involved in the exploration of space, we would be excited again about looking up. When I followed the moment of Curiosity landing on Mars, (from http://www.nasa.gov/), I was fascinated, when the entire crew that was responsible for Curiosity’s landing, suddenly jumped up and down in the control room. Here was something going on at approximately 1 or 2 am in the morning that probably many did not know about.
We are on Mars again. Yeah, it isn’t actually us, standing, exploring, but we are there. We were continuing our slow, but hopeful, ascend towards the stars. We were going out to explore with our machines. Our machines that have become much more then sticks and stones. We should be proud. Our ancestors would be.
I am terrible in mathematics, but I’m over the idea that Astronomy, and the study of the universe, is a subject totally out of my reach. I still want to appreciate it. I feel like an artist that can’t draw. I can’t study by drawing myself, but I can still appreciate art. Sure without the mathematics many concepts are unintelligent to me. However, everything else can still be understood to a reasonable degree. After all, specialists do the hard work for us, and explain their findings in simpler terms. All we really have to do is watch, listen, and read.
Although, many articles and websites have given me the insight into Astronomy, it was Astronomy Magazine, which I subscribed to for a while that first introduced me to this world. After that, it was Stephan Hawking’s books: The Brief History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, and The Grand Design which helped me appreciate the history of time, and surprisingly the interesting ideas in theoretical physics.
I cannot leave out also a great show put together by the National Geographic Channel called: Journey to the Edge of the Universe. It was a show that went beyond just an introduction to space. And, if your interested like I am in space, many shows just talk about the basics, the things we have read again and again. But, this show, even if it was about stars, planets, and galaxies, it was also about something thing else. It was about the kind of place, if any, humans would be a part of, if they ever lived long enough to see.