I recently bought a hammock for the lovely, hot summer. It seemed like a great escape to relax in, but the main reason I got it was so I could stargaze.
I love the stars. To many, they seem distant and cold, but for me, they are breathtakingly beautiful. Not because they are little pinpricks of light in the dark sky. No, that’s not enough. They are beautiful because they are completely full of mystery.
Us little humans can determine a star’s distance, absolute magnitude, size, age, and much more, but we can’t visit the planets that orbit that star. We can’t feel the heat radiating off that star. We can only imagine.
In a way, that makes me sad. Besides our sun, Sol, the closest star to Earth is Proxima Centauri, which is 4.39 light years away from us. Can you imagine how much space is between us? Can you imagine how much space is between us and another planet that holds life? A lot. Will we ever be able to travel to other worlds like in Star Trek?
In many aspects, Space is very scary. It’s a vacuum, it’s huge, and mostly unknown.
But you know what? I’m not scared. I’m just amazed at the beauty of science. I don’t think the vacuum is a barrier, it just needs to be looked at in a different way.
Unlike the movie Interstellar, I don’t think we’ll need to find another planet habitable for humans. God put us here for a reason. But maybe one day, we will find a way to communicate with others, or be able to take pictures of distant planets ourselves.
For now, I can just swing in my hammock and watch the beautiful, twinkling stars shine through the light pollution of the city. One day I hope I will be able to name all the stars in the sky that I can see. We may not know much about them, but we know enough to wonder.
On a clear night, don’t forget to look up at sky. We often forget about the universe and that we are apart of it. Maybe it deserves some respect.