On cloudless nights, the tiny planet we call Earth is exposed to an uncountable number of stars, each speck of light much different then it seems. Look, a bright star is flickering. That insignificant spark in the sky is really a colossal, turbulent ball of scorching hot, ever-burning gas.
How close is it? Is it still alive?
How would it look if we were nearer, floating near this chemically charged monstrosity in the unfathomable black vacuum of space?
What if this fireball has become a gigantic nebula; an overwhelmingly beautiful cloud of the proud star’s remains? What generation, if any, will witness its beautiful destruction as delayed over a seemingly incalculable distance?
No living being can ever comprehend how staggeringly large the universe really is.
Everything in the universe, as far as we know, is made of atoms. Anywhere from 2 to 5 to whatever number of atoms makes up a molecule. Thousands of molecules make a cell, the first and smallest identifiably living thing. Trillions of cells make up just your body.
Your house is one of thousands in your town. Your town is just one of hundreds in your state. Your state is a small percentage of your country, which is part of a seemingly gargantuan amount of land.
However, only a tiny part of the earth’s 5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000 tons is visible land, and the rest is all water and subterranean rock. There are 9 (counting Pluto) of these incredible planets, some much bigger than the Earth, and an extremely large amount of large space in between them, in orbit around a HUGE sun. 1,000,000+ Earths could fit inside it! On top of that, that huge sun is millions of times smaller than the largest stars we've found, and there is almost certainly even larger ones yet to be discovered.
These unimaginably large solar systems are found billions of times over in a single galaxy, light years
, which can lap the earth about 19 times in a single second, takes hundreds of years to simply cross just
of these galaxies. Hundreds of galaxies can make up a cluster, thousands of which can make a super cluster, and billions of supercluster
s with exponentially more free space in between them make up what is probably the tiniest fraction of the universe. It has been theorized that the scale of a quarter
to the known universe is comparable to the scale of the known universe to the actual size of the universe. In other words, a quarter is to what we can see, as what we can see is to what we can't.
Imagine yourself floating, impossibly small in relation to this infinitely massive vacuum. There is a deafening, absolute silence in the surreality of space, and there is no line between dreams and reality.
There is no difference.
Even your focused eyes and mind cannot possibly even begin to understand the depth of what lies in absolutely every direction.
There is no direction.
How insignificant you must feel, surrounding by an immeasurably large amount of nothingness! And yet, in this nothingness you come to realize that there is nothing but you – all the rest is too distant to exist in your thoughts. It may not exist at all.
How could you ever know for sure? You are the universe, and the master
of its contents. But how can that be? How could such a miniscule creature, with such a narrow knowledge of this tremendous entity be its owner? It’s because
in the universe; in your galaxy
; on your planet; in your country; in your house, on, inside and around your body; is made of atoms. Atoms, the simplest thing in the entire universe, combine in simple ways to create the most intricate
things in the entire universe. All things are made of the same kinds of atoms.
You are, in the purest way, the entire universe.
You are the very concept of existence.
The universe, the galaxies, the solar systems and planets, the stars they orbit, the life the planets contain, the places the life is, the life itself…
It is all the same.
The stars are lovely tonight, don’t you think?
I acknowledge that not everything in this write-up is entirely scientifically accurate. This isn't mean to be educational, it's just something to think about. Thanks. -soph